Courtney Love is being sued for libel over deragotory remarks which she made on Twitter. She made the remarks after an argument with her former fashion designer, Dawn Simorangkir, over the cost of designing the clothes (Marikar 2009). Some of the malicious remarks included "history of dealing cocaine" and because of this, her Twitter feed is now discontinued.

(Source: ABC News 2009)

As technology evolves faster, can the laws keep up with it?

Existing laws do not provide for new and unaddresed areas such as technology. For example, how should this libel case be handled in terms of social media? How can society balance responsibility with free speech? How then do we define privacy when information is so easily relayed from private thoughts to public knowledge?

There are several reasons why the law cannot keep up with expandinf technology. It is very difficult to forsee innovations in technology. For example, when Napster was created, law suits were filed over copyright issues and are still going on eventhough Napster was shut down (Menta 1999).

Another reason is that it's difficult to handle cases that deal with the Internet and the Web because it confronts a fundamental topic: A unique virtual space over an extension of our physical space.

The last challenge for the law is that the World Wide Web is not bound to any state or international borders. For example, what happens when a Twitter user in Malaysia sues another user in Australia for comments posted on the site? Which county's rules apply to the case: Malaysia, Australia or the United States where Twitter is based?

(Source: 2009)

In the end, the fact remains that the law may not be able to get ahead of technology. But they may keep up if they can overcome the obstacles.


Marikar, S 2009, 'Courtney Love's 'Malicious' Twitter Rants Revealed' ABC News, viewed 19 November 2009, <>.

Menta, R 2009, 'RIAA Sues Music Startup Napster for $20 Billion', MP3 Newswire, viewed 19 November 2009, <>.
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