With the rough and tumble of the debate over the stimulus legislation starting to wind down, Congress is starting to turn to other subjects. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law held hearings yesterday on “libel tourism,” the filing of libel lawsuits against U.S. defendants in libel-plaintiff friendly countries such as the U.K.

This is not the first Congressional run at the subject, which is of particular interest to authors and media companies that publish online and thus are more likely to be susceptible to claims of harm caused in distant locations. Indeed, authors and publishers of print works that may be sold online to offshore purchasers should be concerned as well, as a foreign court may predicate jurisdiction on even a small number of such sales.