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Firth v. State of New York - Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Firth v State of New York, 98 NY2d 365 [2002] the Court of Appeals held that:

Republication, retriggering the period of limitations, occurs upon a separate aggregate publication from the original, on a different occasion, which is not merely "a delayed circulation of the original edition." The justification for this exception to the single publication rule is that the subsequent publication is intended to and actually reaches a new audience. Thus, for example, repetition of a defamatory statement in a later edition of a book, magazine or newspaper may give rise to a new cause of action.

The mere addition of unrelated information to a Web site cannot be equated with the repetition of defamatory matter in a separately published edition of a book or newspaper. The justification for the republication exception has no application at all to the addition of unrelated material on a Web site, for it is not reasonably inferable that the addition was made either with the intent or the result of communicating the earlier and separate defamatory information to a new audience. (98 NY2d at 371).

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