Visscher v. Maritime Union of Australia (No 6) [2014] NSWSC 350

Supreme Court of New South Wales.
Document type
Court Decision
New South Wales Supreme Court found the Maritime Union was liable for publishing defamatory imputations when it hyperlinked to a third party webpage. The Court held that the words “Read Full Story” showed the Maritime Union ‘published’ and accepted responsibility for the content of the hyperlinked webpage. The words conveyed to the reader that the Maritime Union considered the defamatory imputations in the hyperlinked article to be part of a complete version of events. Accordingly, the hyperlink amounted to a ‘publication’ of the defamatory imputations in the hyperlinked webpage. The Court stressed that the question of publication is always one of fact, not law; it was therefore inappropriate to decide that hyperlinking could never amount to publication. 
Topic, claim, or defense
Defamation or Personality Rights
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Appellate Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Weakens Immunity