Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Publishers traditionally have enjoyed immunity from tort liability in running other parties' advertisements. Two recent suits against Soldier of Fortune magazine, arising from the publication of ads for mercenaries, have proved an exception to this rule. In this Commentary, the authors review the law and urge that negligence alone is an insufficient basis on which to impose liability upon a publisher for running another's ad. Rather, the authors argue that liability should be imposed only when the ad promotes a likelihood of lawless conduct which, in turn, creates a substantial risk of serious bodily harm.