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bought from the defendant, or on the defendant's premises.
ARTICLE 6.—Damage presumed. For every libel an action (6) for damages will lie, even though no special damage can be proved.
NOTE.—In this respect there is a remarkable difference between libel and slander. In the case of libel, i. e., where
e the defamatory words are written, the law presumes that of necessity the person defamed has suffered damage, and therefore he is entitled to maintain an action, even though he does not and cannot prove that he has suffered any material injury or loss, or as it is technically called “special damage.”
On the other hand, in the case of slander, i.e., where the defamatory words are merely spoken, the plaintiff cannot succeed unless he prove that he has suffered special damage, except in three cases
(1) Where the words charge him with having committed a criminal offence (c);
(2) Where the words impute to the plaintiff that he has an infectious or contagious disease, tending to exclude him from society (d);
(3) Where they are spoken of him in relation to his trade, profession, or business (e).
(6) No action for libel can be brought in the County Court, except by consent (51 & 52 Vict. c. 43, ss. 56, 64).
(c) Webb v. Beavan (1883), 11 Q. B. D. 609; 52 L. J. Q. B. 544; 49 L. T. 201; 47 J. P. 488.
(d) Villers v. Monsley (1769), 2 Wils. 403. (e) Phillips V. Jansen (1798), 2 Esp. 624.
ARTICLE 7.-Intention immaterial. Except in cases of qualified privilege (f), the intention with which the libel was published is immaterial(g), and the defendant will not be excused on the ground that he published the libel by accident or mistake(h), or with an honest belief in its truth (i).
NOTE.—Thus the defendant was held liable in Cook v. Ward (j), where the plaintiff told some friends an absurd story about himself, and the defendant published it in his newspaper, simply for the purpose of amusing his readers, and believing that the plaintiff would not object. And in Blake v. Sterens and others (1), the plaintiff obtained 1001. damages against the defendants for the publication of a libellous statement, which had been inserted by mistake in a law book of which they were the publishers.
ARTICLE 8.—Who is liable for a libel in a newspaper
or journal. The following persons are liable for the publication of a libel in a newspaper or journal:
(1.) The proprietor (1).
(f) See Article 16, Notes 1 and 3 and Articles 17—20, infra. (9) Cook v. Ward (1830), 6 Bing. 409; 4 M. & P. 99.
(h) Blake v. Stevens and others (1864), 11 L. T. 543; 4 F. & F. 232; Shepheard v. Whitaker (1875), L. R. 10 C. P. 502; 32 L. T. 402.
(i) Blackburn v. Blackburn (1827), 4 Bing. 395; 3 C. & P. 146; 1 M. & P. 33, 63; per Maule, J., in Wenman v. Ash (1853), 22 L. J. C. P. 190; 13 C. B. 836; 1 C. L. R. 592; 17 Jur. 579; Huntley y. Ward (1859), 6 C. B. N. S. 514; 1 F. & F. 552; 6 Jur. N. S. 18.
(j) (1830), 6 Bing. 409; 4 M. & P. 99. (k) (1864), 11 L. T. 543; 4 F. & F. 232. (1) Charlton y. Watton (1834), 6 C. & P. 385; Colburn v. Patmore
(2.) The publisher (m).
sells (s), or lends a copy of the news
paper or journal. Each or all of such persons may be proceeded against, and that some one of them has been already sued, and heavy damages recovered
, against him, is no defence(t) to an action brought
(1834), 1 C. M. & R. 73; 4 Tyr. 677; Davison v. Duncan (1857), 26 L. J. Q. B. 104; 28 L. T. O. S. 265 ; 7 El. & B. 229; 3 Jur. N. S. 613; 5 W. R. 253; Popham v. Pickburn (1862), 31 L. J. Ex. 133; 5 L. T. 846; 7 H. & N. 891; 26 J. P. 646; 8 Jur. N. S. 179; 10 W. R. 324.
(m) Blake v. Stevens and others (1864), 11 L. T. 543; 4 F. & F. 232.
(n) De Crespigny v. Wellesley (1829), 5 Bing. 392; 2 M. & P. 695; Colburn v. Patmore, supra; Watts v. Fraser and another (1835), 6 L. J. K. B. 226; 7 Ad. & E. 223; 7 C. & P. 369; 1 Jur. 671; 1 M. & Rob. 449; 2 N. & P. 157; W. W. & D. 451; Keyzor and another v. Newcomb (1859), 1 F. & F. 559.
(0) Johnson v. Hudson (1836), 7 A. & E. 233, n.
(p) Burdett v. Abbot (1811), 5 Dow, H. L. 201; Adams v. Kelly (1824), Ry. & M. 557; Tarpley v. Blabey (1836), 2 Bing. N. C. 437; 7 C. & P. 395; 1 Hodges, 414; 2 Scott, 642; Bond v. Douglas (1836), 7 C. & P. 626; Frescoe v. May (1860), 2 F. & F. 123 ; per Byles and Mellor, JJ., in Parkes v. Prescott and Ellis (1869), L. R. 4 Ex. 181–186.
(9) Hearne v. Stowell (1840), 11 L. J. Q. B. 25; 12 A. & E. 719; 6 Jur. 458; 4 P. & D. 696.
(r) Per Wood, B., in Maloney v. Bartley (1812), 3 Camp. 213.
(8) Duke of Brunswick v. Harmer (1849), 19 L. J. Q. B. 20; 3 C. & K. 10; 14 Jur. 110; 14 Q. B. 185; but see note to Article 3, supra, and Emmens v. Pottle, Day v. Bream, Rex v. Holt, Rex v. Topham, there cited.
(t) See, however, Part I., Articles 27—29, infra, as to evidence in mitigation of damages and consolidation of actions under the Law of Libel Amendment Act, 1888.
of the others in respect of the same libel (u).
Where, however, the same libel has been published upon two separate and distinct occasions, a defendant who was responsible for the first publication, but in no way concerned with the second, would not be liable for any damage which he could prove was solely caused by the second publication, and in no way the result of the first.
Note 1.-In most cases of newspaper libel the proprietor, however, is alone sued, for his name and address can be discovered without any difficulty at Somerset House, room No.7. Moreover, he will not, as a rule, disclose the name of the author of the libel, nor can he be compelled to do so (x). If the publisher has, in the first instance, been sued, the proprietor will, upon the hearing of a summons before a Master in Chambers, be made a co-defendant (y). So far as liability to an action is concerned, the position of the defendant is in no way altered by the fact that the publication was without his knowledge or in his absence. That is no answer to a civil action, though, as we shall see, it affords a defence to criminal proceedings (3). Thus the proprietor of a newspaper is civilly liable for an accidental slip caused by his printer's man in setting up the type (a), and for a libellous advertisement inserted by the editor without his knowledge (b).
NOTE 2.—The publisher is also liable in a civil action
(u) Harrison v. Pearce (1858), 32 L. T. O. S. 298; 1 F. & F. 567 ; Frescoe v. May, supra; Colledge v. Pike (1886), 56 L. T. 124; Tucker v. Lawson (1886), 2 Times L. R. 593.
(əc) Gibson y. Evans, W. N. 1889, p. 135.
(y) Edwards v. Lowther (1876), 45 L. J. C. P. 417; 34 L. T. 255; 24 W. R. 434.
(2) See Part II., Article 7, pp. 64, 65, infra. (a) Shepheard y. Whitaker (1875), L. R. 10 C. P. 502. (6) Hurrison v. Pearce (1858), 32 L. T. O. S. 298; 1 F. & F. 567.
for all libels appearing in the paper, although their insertion was unknown to him (c).
NOTE 3.—An editor is responsible for all libels appearing in the newspaper which he edits, even though he is ignorant of the fact of their insertion. “If you look upon the editor as a person who has published a libellous advertisement incautiously, of course he is liable” (d).
In Watts v. Fraser and Moyes (e), both editor and printer were held liable for a libellous illustration, although they had never seen it, on the ground that the illustration was referred to in the accompanying letter-press, which had been printed by their servants.
NOTE 4.-Although the printer of a newspaper is responsible for all libels appearing therein, he is not generally sued, inasmuch as he will usually state the name of the person by whom he is employed. There is no reason for his refusing to do so; indeed, by 39 Geo. 3, c. 79, s. 29, every person who prints any paper for hire, reward, gain, or profit, must preserve one copy (at least) of the paper printed by him, on which he shall write or print the name and place of abode of his employer, and an omission to comply with this provision, or to keep the said copy for six calendar months, or to show it when required to a justice of the peace, is punishable by fine.
NOTE 5.-The author or actual composer of any libel which appears in a newspaper is liable for the damage caused thereby, if it can be proved that he requested,
(c) Blake v. Stevens and others (1864), 11 L. T. 543; 4 F. & F. 232.
(d) Per Pollock, C. B., in Keyzor and another y. Newcomb (1859), 1 F. & F. 559.
(e) (1835), 6 L. J. K. B. 226; 7 Ad. & E. 223; 7 C. & P. 369; 1 Jur. 671; 1 M. & Rob. 449; 2 N. & P. 157; W. W. & D. 451.