Cox, who represented herself, also argued that Obsidian’s claim was unfounded because they never asked her for a retraction. Under Oregon’s retraction law, a defamation case cannot go forward unless the person who claims to have been defamed has first asked for a retraction or correction and not received it, but that law only applies to printed or broadcast material.
A federal judge ruled (pdf) against Cox’s legal arguments. The ruling requires her to pay The jury in the case required her to pay $2.5 million in damages. The case has made international news and has reinvigorated the question of whether bloggers are journalists. Should bloggers be protected by the same laws that protect traditional journalists?
In a world where more and more news is found online, how can those lines be drawn? What punishment, if any, should Cox — and bloggers like her — face for defaming someone? Should traditional journalistic standards apply to everyone who writes a story online?