So deep you need bootsI've always believed that there's a rather solid line between slander and libel. If you say it, it's slander; if you write it, it's libel. End of story—that's where the line is drawn. But suddenly I'm not so sure anymore. What if it's both at the same time? What would that be called?

For example, let's say I post an audio recording on my Web site, or blog, of Peter making slanderous comments about Paul. At the same time, I put up a verbatim transcript of that recording. It's both slander and libel at the same time, right? It's slibel.

On the other hand, if the content on my site is nothing more than a link to the same audio recording on someone else's site, have I posted slander on my site? Aside from any definitions associated with the Communications Decency Act—or interpretations thereof—what's the definition of the link on my page? It links to slander, but the link itself isn't slanderous; it's only a pointer to some other location. But if I make a transcript of that audio recording and post it on my site, have I posted the libelous equivalent of the original slander, or have I posted libel itself? Conversely, if I make a recording of myself reading the libelous content, then post the recording on my site, what is that called?

Okay, here's where things get super complicated. If I make a recording of slander but I'm singing the words, are the lyrics slanderous or libelous? The mind boggles.


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