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Dow Jones settles Net defamation suit

Financial publishing company to pay businessman Joe Gutnick about $440,000 to end suit.

A high-profile libel lawsuit in Australia that shook the world's legal community has ended quietly in a settlement. Dow Jones, the U.S. financial publishing company, agreed to pay businessman Joe Gutnick about $440,000 in damages and legal fees to end a suit claiming that Barron's magazine published defamatory information about him.

Australia's high court drew headlines in December 2002 after ruling that a publisher of a U.S. Web site could be sued in another country. The court said: "If people wish to do business in, or indeed travel to, or live in, or utilize the infrastructure of different countries, they can hardly expect to be absolved from compliance with the laws of those countries. The fact that publication might occur everywhere does not mean that it occurs nowhere."