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Volume9
MonthMay
Year2008
TitleConfronting the Limits of the First Amendment: A Proactive Approach for Media Defendants Facing Liability Abroad
Author(s)Michelle A. Wyant
First Page367
AbstractThis Article confronts the limits this issue imposes on the First Amendment in four parts. Part I described the potential for conflicting defamation laws and forum shopping to undermine the American media's speech protections in the context of the Internet and global publications and outlines the Article's overall method of analysis. Part II first orients these conflicting defamation laws with respect to their development from the common law. It then frames them in terms of the underlying structural and policy differences that have produced their substantive divergence. This frame provides the analytical perspective through which this Article examines the varying levels of protection these substantive laws afford speech and the individual's reputation. Building from this frame, Part II then demonstrates the manner with which each jurisdiction's procedural laws facilitate their respective substantive goals. Lastly, Part II discusses these laws in terms of their extraterritorial application and views them from an aggrieved plaintiff's perspective to emphasize both his incentive to forum shop and the ease with which he may pursue that end. Thus, in the absence of any further action, the American media must either edit global publications to conform to foreign law or face potential liability in a foreign jurisdiction.