Out-Law.com describes an interesting libel case in the UK where being able to demonstrate how many people actually accessed the article and from what locality came into play:
A libel action over an article that appeared on the website of a South African magazine has been dismissed by a court in England. Evidence suggested that the article had received only four visits from the UK in a two month period.
Describing the claim as being “totally without merit,” Mr Justice Tugendhat said the claimants had failed to establish “substantial publication” within the court’s jurisdiction.
Sprague presented evidence of traffic figures from the website for the two months following the date of first publication. The publishers had recorded a total of 65 visits for the contentious article.
“It is not possible to say whether these visits included more than one visit by the same person,” noted Mr Justice Tugendhat. “Nor is it possible to say in which jurisdiction the visitors were located.”
The publishers did say that on average approximately 6.79% of visits to their website are made by users of the internet based in the UK. “If the average percentage of 6.79% is applied to the 65 visits, the result is that about 4 visits might have been made by one or more visitors based in the UK,” said the judgment.
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