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Top court passes on Web libel case

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear a case over Internet libel, letting stand an appeals court's ruling that two Connecticut newspapers could not be sued for libel in a Virginia court over allegedly defamatory articles posted on their Web sites. In the case, Young v. New Haven Advocate, a prison warden in Virginia sued over news articles that criticized a "supermax" prison in Big Stone Gap, Va.

In Monday's denial of certiorari, the high court passed on an opportunity to set a national standard for whether someone can be sued in another state for comments made online. Lower courts have veered in different directions, with Australia's high court even saying that Web publishers are fair game for libel suits anywhere their content can be viewed.