Publication is the delivery or announcement of a defamatory statement to another person through any medium. With respect to libel, the defamatory statement must be communicated through a tangible medium, generally meaning it is published in a:
By contrast, with respect to slander, a statement is considered published when it is communicated orally.
Generally, publication occurs once a single individual sees or hears the defamatory statement. However, America has a long history of protecting free speech. As a result, courts will sometimes require more action than just the act of seeing a defamatory statment in print to determine when publication occurs because of the First Amendment. Some courts have required that the time of publication in a libel case occurs in one of the following instances:
The exact time of publication is very important in a libel case. Generally, the time of publication will have an effect on a libel case in two ways:
If you believe you are the target of libel, or you are being sued for libel, and the time of publication is an issue, it is highly recommended that you contact either a personal injury or Constitutional law attorney. Only an attorney will be able to explain any relevant issues, help determine when the publication took place, and assist in defending your rights.
Last Modified: 06-26-2018 11:37 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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