In “Nature journal libel victory prompts libel reform call” (BBC News, July 6, 2012),
Pallab Ghosh reports,
Physicist Prof Mohamed El Naschie said an article published in November 2008 had damaged his reputation.
However, the publishers argued that the report was fair and honest, and in the public interest.
Amazingly, for Britain, the rag won anyway. 😉
Libel reform campaigners said the case was the latest example of defamation laws being used to suppress science journalism.
Not just science journalism. Any kind where you are telling people stuff they might really want to know.
Nature has had to fight the case for four years and incurred undisclosed costs, which might run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
In that case, a better solution would be to declare the case for the plaintiff with all costs.
Niri Shan, head of media law at Taylor Wessing – the solicitors representing Nature – said many smaller publishers did not have the resources to defend libel actions, so did not publish important science stories for fear of being sued.
Well, how be this then: Hereafter, all British libel cases are always decided automatically for the plaintiff with all costs. Gavel.