You must have either heard or read in the newspaper that a celebrity has been defamed by posting a nude photo or any such objectionable content on the web. Thousands of people might see such posts, which may damage the reputation of that person. This can not only happen with a celebrity, sometimes ordinary people like you and me can also be a victim of such malice. The question is not whether the posting is real or fake, but whether anybody has right to publish any private information of someone, without their approval?
To protect against such malice there exists a defamation removal law, which can protect your reputation. The victim has right to sue the person, who is responsible for publishing malicious content against anyone without his permission. Defamation can be of two kinds
- Oral defamation – In such case, someone may make offensive comment or story about someone in public
- Published defamation – It can either be publishing any offensive content in newspaper, book, web or in any TV program.
Can the person sued defend himself?
If any victim sues the culprit then the law has the provision so that he can defend himself. He can either say any of the following –
- The information published is absolutely true
- It was his moral duty to bring this information to general public
- It was only his opinion which he has every right to express
Finally, the case may go to court for hearing. Majority of such cases are usually mutually settled by either publishing an apology or by paying some hefty sum of money or sometimes even without paying anything. Only few cases really go to court. Interesting thing to note here that once the offensive content comes to the notice of public, the perception about the affected person does not change much.
Why people avoid going to court?
There are certain basic reasons why people avoid going to court as the law cannot really bring the reputation back and neither can debar someone to make free speech. Few reasons to avoid going to court are as follows:
- High cost of litigation
Unless the affected person is very wealthy, it is really very difficult for any common person to afford the cost of litigation. The case may drag for a long time and the victim has to pay his legal fees and if the opponent is rich person then it is almost impossible to pursue the case for a long time.
- Unpredictable outcome
Many people often ignore if any offensive or derogatory information is published against them, as after long drawn case you are not sure about the outcome of the case. Unnecessarily the matter will remain live, which otherwise vanish from people’s memory if it is not contested at all.
The defamation law is so complex that it usually deters anyone to publish offensive matter about others. Judges and lawyers can turn the case in any direction, which a common people can never understand.
- Moves slowly
Such cases usually drag for years and no decision is arrived.