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Could You Be Sued for Libel?

Know what you can and can't say on your company's blog.

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This story appears in the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's easy to forget that blogging makes one an international journalist, meaning businesses that host blogs are subject to lawsuits over libel. So here's a quick look at the law.

Courts typically treat blogs like other media, though a recent Texas decision limited a company's liability over libel on a blog to one year after posting, and a recent California ruling granted immunity to all but the initial source of a libelous statement made online. The First Amendment protects Americans' speech, but not when the speaker knows it's false.

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