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Wikipedia defamation charges dropped

Wikipedia wins landmark ruling
Wikipedia wins landmark ruling

In what is being called a "victory for free speech and user-generated content", Wikimedia, the owner of Wikipedia, has won a defamation court case in New Jersey.

The online user-generated encyclopaedia was being sued by literary agent Barbara Bauer, who filed libel charges against the site, as she was unhappy about an alleged description of her.

Her Wikipedia page apparently described Bauer as "the dumbest of the 20 worst" literary agents with "no documented sales at all".

Lack of liability

Wikipedia argued that it was immune to any liability under the US Communications Decency Act. This act states that websites can not be sued for content generated by web users.

This meant that Wikipedia could in effect shrug the responsibility of the words on to the person who wrote the piece for the site.

This is a landmark victory as it means that the owners of Wikipedia do not have to take responsibility for what is written on the site, essentially making the website immune to further defamation lawsuits.