Defamation

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Defamation

 

in criminal law, a crime against the individual, consisting in the spreading of fabrications known to be false that defame another person. For the act to be deemed defamation, it is necessary that the guilty person know that he is spreading false information intended to damage the victim’s reputation, and it is sufficient that the information be communicated to only one person. Under Soviet law, circumstances aggravating responsibility are the spreading of false defamatory fabrications by a person previously convicted of defamation; the spreading of defamatory fabrications in a printed work or a work reproduced by other means; and the spreading of fabrications known to be false combined with the accusation of commission of a crime against the state or other grave crime.

Defamation is punishable by deprivation of freedom or correctional labor for a term of one year or a fine of 50 rubles, or by imposition of the obligation to make amends for the harm caused, or by public censure. In the event of aggravating circumstances, deprivation of freedom for a five-year term may be applied (for example, Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 130). In cases involving defamation without aggravating circumstances proceedings are initiated only on the complaint of the victim and are subject to dismissal in the event of reconciliation with the defendant before the court withdraws to render its judgment. In exceptional instances provided for by law, proceedings may be initiated by the procurator even in the absence of a complaint by the victim. The circulation of true though defamatory information does not constitute a crime under Soviet legislation.

References in periodicals archive ?
106) Nationwide defamation actions are just as common in real-space, however, through nationwide newspaper circulations, as they may be in cyberspace.
Another argument used to support the notion that choice of law is confounded by cyberspace stems from the fact that defamation law draws a distinction between "private persons who may be unavailable to access the media to respond to the defamation and public persons who have greater access to mass media.
110) For example, in a defamation action, a plaintiff may bring suit in any state in which the plaintiff can prove that someone received the defamatory message.
A nationwide cyber-defamation action poses no greater opportunity for forum shopping than a nationwide real-space defamation action.
This heightened potential for cyber-statements to gain national attention may call for states to rethink the potential severity of their defamation laws.
118) According to Faucher: "Such an approach would allow judges to fashion a defamation law that is relevant to electronic communication" as well as "avoid the conceptual difficulties of applying choice-of-law rules to torts that have little relation to a single geographical area.
As well as offending state sovereignty, a federal common law for defamation seems difficult and unreasonable.
Regardless of these quandaries, it is entirely unreasonable that a state should lose its interest in protecting its citizens involved in a defamation dispute merely because a different medium was chosen to publish the defamatory material.
130) As cyberspace becomes more grounded and less mystifying, it becomes much clearer that cyberspace does not offer any unique problems for choice of law in defamation disputes.
Faucher, Let the Chips Fall Where They May: Choice of Law in Computer Bulletin Board Defamation Cases, 26 U.