Another reason to think before you click

Jun 08 2007 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Before you forward that email to half a dozen other people, stop and think for a moment. In another example of the fallout that your electronic trail can cause, a Russian millionaire who owns a property business in London is suing two female former employees who claimed that he made improper advances to them at their office Christmas party.

According to the London Evening Standard, Michail Watford has issued a High Court writ against the two women alleging that they defamed him by copying a number of other people in on emails claiming he had sexually harassed both of them and demanding an apology.

Whether or not the action creates any sort of legal precedent remains to be seen. But the consequences if it does could be significant.

Meanwhile, as we noted last month, there are also questions about the legal basis of email communications in the United States, with a University of Arkansas law professor suggesting that the U.S. Federal Copyright Act does not protect someone from copying and distributing another person's private expression - which means that forwarding e-mail without permission of the sender may be against the law.