UNDERSTANDING DEFAMATION AND THE LEGAL RIGHTS ON DEFAMATORY CONTENT
Understanding Trade Libel in New York
Trade libel, although closely related to libel per se, is not the same. Trade libel is the knowing publication of false and derogatory material regarding another’s business, that is calculated to prevent others from doing business with the defamed party or otherwise interferes with its business relationships.
A person alleging trade libel must establish that the publication of the false material was a substantial factor in inducing others not to have business dealings with them. Though they are similar, trade libel requires proof of special damages, while libel per se, even if based on disparagement of the person’s business, requires no proof of special damages. As with any claim for defamation, a cause of action for trade libel is defeated by a showing that the published statements are substantially true.
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