The Library of Congress website reports that, on April 23, 2009, a federal district court in the southern Russian province of Dagestan issued an unprecedented ruling against a journalist. The court ordered the journalist, who wrote a negative review of a book for the local newspaper, to pay US$1000 to the author, who claimed he and his family "experienced severe mental suffering" as a result of the review. Also, "his professional reputation was damaged as a result of the review." What?! Isn't that kind of the point of book reviews?
Not surprisingly, many have commented on the "very dangerous precedent" set by this ruling. Some have even suggested that if a book reviewer can be sued for writing a negative reivew, "a reader who did not like a book can sue the author for making a bad quality product."
(Via Three Percent)