June 18 – June 25, 2009 Edition

AAP Wants Tougher Libel
Regulation for Publishers

NEW YORK, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/06/15/09–The Association of American Publishers (AAP) admonished Congress last week that the government hasn’t gone far enough in its efforts to protect authors and publishers against libel tourism.

Libel tourism is defined as the practice of foreign plaintiffs suing American authors and publishers in foreign courts where libel is easier to prove than in the U.S.

The AAP sent a letter to Congress last week saying there should be a way that American authors can rebut foreign court rulings when the judgment is not enforceable in the United States.

The Association said it does not support Congressional bill H.R. 2765, which was reported out of the Judiciary Committee last week, because it fails to give publishers and authors recourse to fight a libel judgment in a foreign court. Instead, the group favors a bill introduced by Rep. Peter King which would allow publishers and authors to countersue. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate by Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman.

The letter, signed by Allan Adler, vice president of the AAP’s government and legal affairs, said serious and thoughtful attention should be given to strengthen the bill before it is presented to the full House.