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Liability of mobile service provider for defamatory material transmitted by users of network

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king Written by jamaicaobserver.com

1. On February 29, 2008 a Joint Select Committee commissioned by Prime Minister Bruce Golding produced its report on their review of defamation laws in Jamaica (The Report).
2. One of the Committee's recommendations was to recognise the "various media by which statements could be published which would include wired and wireless means as well as new media eg streaming webcasts and podcasts".

3. Since then at least one mobile service provider has written to the Joint Select Committee expressing its concern as a service provider with the potential liability in defamation for the transmission of defamatory material by users of its telecommunication network.

4. This article examines the validity of the concerns of mobile providers and its potential liability at common law for defamation by users of its wireless network.

Who is a service provider?
5. A service provider is generally defined as "an organisation that provides some kind of communication service, storage service or processing service or any combination of the three..". A mobile service provider utilizes telecommunication networking as a platform for (among other things) users to transmit information either by SMS messaging (or text messaging) or by emails or instant messaging. For the purposes of this article, mobile publication is in reference specifically to SMS text messaging...

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