They fought the media law, and the media law won

media lawCould British Libel law be forcing British media out of business and creating a boom in blogs hosted by ISPs in countries which are not under UK court jurisdiction?

This article in today’s Sunday Times about libel media law in the UK, and how it could force American publications out of the British market, is just one of a number of recent stories which have stood out.

Then there was the story on BoingBoing.net about British law firm Wragg and Co, which the blog believes is being tasked with targeting internet forum posters and whistle blowers. It is great for the UK to be a leading centre of excellence, but this is one industry which if left unchecked verges on the sinister.

We also have libel tourists flocking to the UK, as explained in this story in The Times. Surely a surefire sign that the law is getting out of hand.

On the positive side, libel is no longer a criminal offence in the UK but this is a rare positive story.

Are strict libel laws pushing already hard up ‘old media’ print outlets out of business? Not solely because of the cost of litigation, but because blogs and online titles will be willing to take bigger risks? Will I turn to print media for my news or will I go to a blog which has the better stories? The answer is obvious: BLOGS. This is especially so of those blogs which are hosted in other countries which are out of British jurisdiction and can publish largely what they want.

Just look at the BoingBoing story over the Ralph Lauren scandal which I covered a few weeks ago (click here). Would this story have been publishable in the UK?

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