The ruling will alleviate fears that holding someone liable for how they use hyperlinks on websites, personal ones or others, could cast a chill on internet use.
The responsible use of the internet and how traditional defamation law applies to modern technologies were at issue in this case, which was watched closely by media organizations and civil liberties groups.
How someone can protect their reputation in the internet age when content is passed around with the quick click of a button was also considered in the case. On social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter, users often share links, and the court's ruling could have dramatically disrupted that function had it gone the other way.
CBC.ca - Oct 19, 2011
Extract: Wayne Crookes, a former Green Party campaign manager, sought damages from Jon Newton for defamation over links that appeared in an article posted on Newton's website on July 18, 2006.
Newton didn't repeat the allegedly defamatory remarks on his site, but links to two U.S. websites were posted without comment.
The B.C. Supreme Court dismissed the case saying links are like footnotes, not publication. Crookes's lawyer says linking to a website is an invitation and encouragement to visit the site.