Demon backs down in libel appeal - update

Demon has abandoned its appeal in the Internet libel case brought against it by UK scientist Laurence Godfrey.

Monday's deadline for the appeal passed without action from Demon, suggesting the ISP is backing down in the case it previously said threatened "the entire ethos of freedom of speech on the Internet".

The case began two years ago when Godfrey complained to the ISP about a defamatory statement about him on a newsgroup -- soc.culture.thai -- hosted by the ISP. The message remained on Demon's server despite the complaint.

Earlier this year Mr Justice Morland ruled that Demon's defence of 'innocent distribution' was untenable as the ISP was aware of the posting and failed to remove it.

ZDNet has repeatedly asked for Demon to comment, which it has declined. A statement from the ISP was expected at 4pm today but failed to arrive.