Republication Rule and Transmission Rule

David A. Szwak

Republication Rule and Transmission Rule

Postby David A. Szwak » Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:51 pm

Each communication of a defamatory statement to a third person generally constitutes a new publication and gives rise to a separate cause of action against the publisher.

When a third person communicates the original defamatory statement to a fourth person it is called "republication" or "repetition"; republication of a libel is a separate tort which creates a separate basis of liability against the republisher.

The original publisher may also be liable for republication if repetition by third persons was reasonably expected as the natural and probable consequence of the original publication.

The "transmission rule" makes an exception to the rule that a person who repeats or republishes defamatory matter is subject to liability as if he or she originally published it, if a person only delivers or transmits the defamatory matter published by a third person; however, the transmission rule does not shield the person if he or she knows or has reason to know of its defamatory character.

Wright v. Bachmurski, 29 Kan.App.2d 595, 29 P.3d 979, [Kan. App. 2001].

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