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A defamatory statement made in permanent form, such as writing, pictures, or film (see defamation). Radio and television broadcasts, public performance of plays, and statements posted on the Internet are treated as being made in permanent form for the purposes of the law of defamation (Godrey v Demon Internet Ltd [2001] QB 201). A libel is actionable in tort without proof that its publication has caused special damage (actual financial or material loss) to the person defamed. Libel can also be a crime (criminal libel). Proof of publication of the statement to third parties is not necessary in criminal libel and truth is a defence only if the statement was published for the public benefit.

From:  libel  in  A Dictionary of Law »

Subjects: Law.

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