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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/xtn-you-wrote-thanks-for-your-easy-to-understand-30542621.aspx

Subject:  Re: Another expose on the credit reporting indus Date:  2/14/2013  3:02 PM
Author:  joelcorley Number:  306821 of 310619

xtn,

You wrote, Thanks for your easy-to-understand analysis. I just don't think there is a "basic right" to avoid being defamed. I can defame you, and you can seek justifiable damages. Just like you say that rights to privacy are only those provided by law, any right against defamation is also only provided by law.

Well as far as I'm aware, there are no "basic rights" outside of law. The right to life and freedom of speech are both legal notions. For instance, without human law (or human intervention), there would be nothing except my conscience preventing me from taking a life.

With that said, if you have a right to free speech, one of its limits is my right to not be defamed. The right to defend yourself against defamation has actually been an accepted concept for centuries - much longer than the right to free speech. The concept of free speech is actually in response to the crown suppressing opposition through the courts with criminal charges such as seditiou