David A. Potts, Barrister

March 09, 2011 10:26 ET

"Cyberlibel": You Can Fight Back

Groundbreaking New Book a Must for Personal and Organizational Reputation Management in the Internet Age

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 9, 2011) - Wikileaks. Jihadist recruitment. Conspiracy theories. Facebook-led revolutions. Celebrity gossip. Threats to privacy. Means to enlightenment. Tools for tyranny.

All are manifestations of the Internet Age as we stumble through the 21st Century, making them among the most discussed and debated issues of our time. Few understand the forces that have been unleashed. Fewer still know how to control them. Most assume we cannot control them at all.

So when it comes to matters of personal or organizational reputation, most people long ago concluded that once you are "slagged" in cyberspace, there's nothing you can do defend yourself. It's simply out there. And you can't take it back.

Well, it turns out, most people are wrong.

In a groundbreaking new book, Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? (Irwin Law), noted Canadian defamation lawyer David A. Potts brings years of research and experience in libel and slander law into focus on how individuals and organizations can gain the upper hand in safeguarding – or restoring – their reputation once it's assaulted on the Internet.

"There is a lot of case law out there that has slowly begun to tackle cyberlibel on a piece-by-piece-basis," Potts says. "My job was to fill a huge void by bringing it all together and drawing out practical strategies that can be used to take your reputation back once it's been hammered on the Internet.

"You can fight back. This book shows you how."

Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? includes the following rarely-explored topics in Canadian and international defamation law:

  • What makes cyberlibel issues unique from a legal perspective
  • How to remove a defamatory publication from the Internet
  • Defences available for those sued for cyberlibel
  • Whether rules of conduct apply to bloggers and Facebook users
  • What constitutes invasion of privacy and injurious falsehood online
  • Whether search engines and ISPs are liable for defamatory statements
  • The difference between libel on and off-line
  • Emerging case-law defining cyberlibel

Judging from advance reviews drawn from Canada's legal community, Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? is expected to become a vital reputation-management tool for organizations of all kinds – from corporations and professional associations to government agencies and not-for-profits.

Copies of Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? can be ordered online at www.irwinlaw.com.

A practical, accessible handbook for combating cyberlibel, distilled from the book, is under development.

About the Author

David A. Potts received his BA from Cape Town University, his LLB from Dalhousie and his LLM from Osgoode Law School. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 1979. Since then he has specialized in libel and slander law and in reputation management for a diverse range of clients in public life. He has served on the Ontario Attorney General's Advisory Committee on the law of defamation, and is a sought-after speaker and writer (CBC, Forbes, USA Today, the Canadian and International Bar Associations, The Law Society of Upper Canada and many others). Published titles include co-author, Canadian Libel Practice (Butterworths, 1985), co-author, Canadian Libel and Slander Actions (Irwin Law, 2004) and a contributor to Cyberlibel in Electronic Commerce – A Practitioner's Guide (Carswell, 2002).

About Irwin Law Inc.

Established in 1996, Irwin Law specializes in legal subjects that are accessible to students and legal practitioners alike. Driven by the belief that books on law don't need to be difficult, dull and costly, the company publishes books that analyze the complex legal issues of the day in a succinct, readable and up-to-date style. All manuscripts are authored by leading Canadian and international scholars and practitioners and are subject to peer review.

NOTE TO EDITORS: A complimentary, 800-word op-ed by David A. Potts (http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/CyberlibelOpEd.pdf) on cyberlibel is available for your use, provided appropriate authorship and publisher credits, as included here, are incorporated.

Cyberlibel: Information Warfare in the 21st Century? by David A. Potts
Published by Irwin Law Inc.
Publication Date: March 9, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55221-203-5
Price: $65

To view the "op-ed by David A. Potts," please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/CyberlibelOpEd.pdf.

Contact Information

  • For more information, or to schedule an interview
    with David Potts, contact:
    Peter Varley
    (647) 990-0562