Queensland Consolidated Acts

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DEFAMATION ACT 2005 - SECT 32

Defence of innocent dissemination

32 Defence of innocent dissemination

(1) It is a defence to the publication of defamatory matter if the defendant proves that—
(a) the defendant published the matter merely in the capacity, or as an employee or agent, of a subordinate distributor; and
(b) the defendant neither knew, nor ought reasonably to have known, that the matter was defamatory; and
(c) the defendant’s lack of knowledge was not due to any negligence on the part of the defendant.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) , a person is a
"subordinate distributor" of defamatory matter if the person—
(a) was not the first or primary distributor of the matter; and
(b) was not the author or originator of the matter; and
(c) did not have any capacity to exercise editorial control over the content of the matter (or over the publication of the matter) before it was first published.
(3) Without limiting subsection (2) (a) , a person is not the first or primary distributor of matter merely because the person was involved in the publication of the matter in the capacity of—
(a) a bookseller, newsagent or news-vendor; or
(b) a librarian; or
(c) a wholesaler or retailer of the matter; or
(d) a provider of postal or similar services by means of which the matter is published; or
(e) a broadcaster of a live program (whether on television, radio or otherwise) containing the matter in circumstances in which the broadcaster has no effective control over the person who makes the statements that comprise the matter; or
(f) a provider of services consisting of—
(i) the processing, copying, distributing or selling of any electronic medium in or on which the matter is recorded; or
(ii) the operation of, or the provision of, any equipment, system or service, by means of which the matter is retrieved, copied, distributed or made available in electronic form; or
(g) an operator of, or a provider of access to, a communications system by means of which the matter is transmitted, or made available, by another person over whom the operator or provider has no effective control; or
(h) a person who, on the instructions or at the direction of another person, prints or produces, reprints or reproduces or distributes the matter for or on behalf of that other person.



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