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Could Your Website Be Liable for Online Defamation?

In recent years, there has been a flood of criticism directed at websites that publish objectionable content from third parties. Examples include social media sites that allow “fake news” and false political ads and websites that host proponents of mass shootings and white supremacy. But there are everyday examples of the damage done by people


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Liable for libel in fiction: Narrative filmmakers beware

Typically, the most common filmmakers concerned with potential defamation claims against their films are documentarians.  After all, documentaries are fact-based and intended to spread a message of truth, while narratives are fictional. Narrative films, however, can be subject to defamation suits, especially when based on or inspired by actual people.  What happens when a narrative


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Cast in a bad light: A documentary star’s defamation claims

The award-winning documentary The Queen of Versailles chronicles the extraordinary, “rags-to-riches-to-rags” tale of timeshare baron David Siegel’s super-mansion.  Siegel’s company went on the offensive against the documentary’s filmmakers after an unexpected change in the film’s direction.  This month, an arbitrator for the Independent Film and Television Alliance has cut to the chase, putting an end


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The foibles of fame: How celebrity status can limit recovery for defamation

On February 5, 2014, acclaimed screenwriter David Bar Katz sued the National Enquirer for $50 million.  The tabloid claimed Katz, who discovered the body of close friend and recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman in the actor’s Manhattan apartment, told reporters in an exclusive interview that he had a sexual relationship with Hoffman and had witnessed


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