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Its Defamation Act 1996 extended the “innocent dissemination” defense to ISPs.This is a somewhat technical defense but without it, a newspaper vendor would be spreading libel and would be held as culpable as the originator of the libel.In considering the defense under (b) and (c), the report stated: The defence of innocent dissemination has never provided an absolute immunity for distributors, however mechanical their contribution.It does not protect those who knew that the material they were handling was defamatory, or who ought to have known of its nature.Some ISPs and internet hosts have been held liable for the content even though they did not originate the content themselves.

Why is an English, as opposed to an American, case important?

Although Demon Internet could have deleted the message, it took no action until January 27, 1997 when the material on the server expired and was routinely purged.

A legitimate course of action that ISPs have to take when faced with a defamation notice is that they need to seek legal advice to determine whether a statement is defamatory.

This chapter uses defamation to clarify the issues before applying the analysis to copyright.

Except for the criminal nature of copyright, the principles to be applied are the same. Demon Internet provides an interesting discussion of defamation on the internet.

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