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The doctrine of republication operates as an exception to the single-publication rule in defamation actions.[1] Republishing material in a new edition, editing and republishing it, or placing it in a new form resets the statute of limitations.[2] This exception protects a plaintiff by providing "a remedy where the defendant edits and retransmits the defamatory material, or distributes the defamatory material for a second time with the goal of reaching a new audience."[3] Determining instances of republication is fact intensive.[4] Generally, a website is republished when its content is "substantially modified." [5]


  1. In re Davis, 347 B.R. 607, 611 (W.D. Ky. 2006)(full-text).
  2. Id. (citing Restatement (Second) of Torts §577(A) cmt. c, d).
  3. Id. (citing Firth v. State, 98 N.Y.2d 365, 747 N.Y.S.2d 69, 466, 775 N.E.2d 463 (N.Y. Ct. App. 2002)(full-text_.
  4. See, e.g., Woodhull v. Meinel, 202 P.3d 126, 130 (N.M. App. Ct. 2008)(full-text) ("[T]he point at which republication may occur depends heavily on the facts of each case.").
  5. Atkinson v. McLaughlin, 462 F.Supp.2d 1038, 1052 (D.N.D. 2006)(full-text) (citing Churchill v. State, 876 A.2d 311, 317, 378 N.J. Super. 471 (N.J. Super. 2005)(full-text); Firth, 775 N.E.2d at 465); see also American Dental Ass'n v. Khorrami, 2003 WL 24141018, at *5 (C.D. Cal. 2003) (noting that the single-publication rule applies to the Internet so long as the statement "is not substantially changed after its initial appearance.").