Originally Posted by Katherine
I think it should of been obvious that I was referring to your remarks about Vertical Scope.
Ummm, that doesn't even make sense. Sites are subject to the laws of the country that they are based in. RateMDs is now owned by a Canadian company. Which may mean that it is subject to Canadian law. OTOH, maybe it is still legally based in the US. IDK. Perhaps the Admin could fill us in.
It makes perfect sense, and you already partially answered your own question. I took your foray into the subject of libel to be pertaining to users, not the site operator, qualifying my comments by referring to authors. I'm perplexed as to why you would be concerned about the site operator.
I wrote, "Applicable libel law is determined by the location of an author when they pen a statement, not that of a server. Accordingly, the operator of this site is located in the US, not Toronto.", based on your comment, "For myself, I am a bit concerned about the site being owned by a Canadian owned since Canada's libel and slander laws are less forgiving than those of the US."
If I post a libelous statement from my home in Canada, I will be subject to BC libel law. To the extent that Vertical Scope, USA (the actual site owner, a subsidiary of Vertical Scope in Toronto) would be named as a third party and subject to the libel law in the US state where they were incorporated.
If you posted a libelous statement, you would be subject to the laws of the state in which you were situated when you wrote it. You would have protection in limited situations under the Communications Decency Act, Section 230(c) as set by precedent in Barrett vs. Rothenthal. That case states that a user has Sec. 230(c) where they are merely quoting an otherwise libelous message or email from another author.
In some cases in civil law, a suit may be initiated not in the defendent's jurisdiction, but where the "transaction" occurred. This is sometimes the case where two parties interact via the mail, Internet, etc., and not together in one jurisdiction, and the reason why some agreements state that the laws of a certain jurisdiction will govern the interaction.
It is virtually standard operating procedure for non-US companies to set up subsidiary corporations in the US to own and operate websites, particularly those carrying user content, such as forums and messaging or email. That gains the "operator" of the site protection under the CDA Sec 230(c).