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Emmens v Pottle; CA 1885

References: (1885) 16 QBD 354
Coram: Lord Escher MR
Lord Escher MR said: ‘But the defendants did not compose the libel on the plaintiff, they did not write it or print it; they only disseminated that which contained the libel. The question is whether, as such disseminators, they published the libel? If they had known what was in the paper, whether they were paid for circulating it or not, they would have published the libel, and would have been liable for so doing. That, I think, cannot be doubted. But here, upon the findings of the jury, we must take it that the defendants did not know that the paper contained a libel.’ and ‘In my opinion, any proposition the result of which would be to show that the common law of England is wholly unreasonable and unjust, cannot be part of the common law of England.’
This case is cited by:

  • Cited – Godfrey v Demon Internet Limited QBD (Times 20-Apr-99, Gazette 07-Jul-99, Bailii, [1999] EWHC QB 244, [1999] 4 All ER 342, [1999] Masons CLR 267, [1999] ITCLR 282, [2001] QB 201, [1999] EMLR 542, [2000] 3 WLR 1020)
    An Internet Service Provider who was re-distributing Usenet postings it had received, to its users in general, remained a publisher at common law, even though he was not such within the definitions of the Act, and it was therefore liable in . .
  • Cited – Donoghue (or McAlister) v Stevenson HL ([1932] AC 562, [1932] SC (HL) 31, [1932] ScLT 317, Hamlyn, [1932] All ER Rep 1, (1932) 101 LJPC 119, (1932) 147 LT 281, [1932] SLT 317, (1932) 48 TLR 494, (1932) 37 Com Cas 350, Bailii, [1932] UKHL 100, [1932] Sol Jo 396, [1932] WN 139, [1932] SC 31, (1933) 4 DLR 337, 533 CA 47)
    The appellant drank from a bottle of ginger beer manufactured by the defendant. She suffered injury when she found a half decomposed snail in the liquid. The glass was opaque and the snail could not be seen. The drink had been bought for her by a . .
  • Cited – Bunt v Tilley and others QBD (Bailii, [2006] EWHC 407 (QB), [2007] 1 WLR 1243, [2006] EMLR 523, [2006] 3 All ER 336, [2006] EMLR 18)
    The claimant sought damages in defamation in respect of statements made on internet bulletin boards. He pursued the operators of the bulletin boards, and the court now considered the liability of the Internet Service Providers whose systems had . .
  • Cited – Metropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD (Bailii, [2009] EWHC 1765 (QB), Times)
    The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .
  • Cited – Metropolitan International Schools Ltd. (T/A Skillstrain And/Or Train2Game) v Designtechnica Corp (T/A Digital Trends) and Others QBD (Bailii, [2009] EWHC 1765 (QB), Times)
    The claimant complained that the defendant had published on its internet forums comments by posters which were defamatory of it, and which were then made available by the second defendant search engine. The court was asked what responsibility a . .

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