Site Supposedly Sued For Just Linking To A Story That Potentially Libels Someone

from the oh-come-on dept

On Friday, we wrote about a guy who worked for the Green Party in Canada who was suing a whole bunch of sites, claiming libel. The problem was that he was suing sites like Google and Wikipedia for what its users had done -- rather than the users themselves. In our comments, people pointed out that he's apparently also sued Yahoo, MySpace and PBWiki (though, we haven't seen anything to back that up Update: I've now seen the documents showing the claims against Yahoo and MySpace). The original story about this was in The Globe and Mail, though plenty of other sources picked up on it as well. One was the site P2Pnet.net, where Jon Newton wrote up a blog post about the lawsuits... and 15 minutes later was sued himself. Yikes. Newton notes that the only thing he did in his post was link to the potentially libelous post, which hardly seems worthy of getting sued yourself. Reporting on a libel suit doesn't seem like it should make you liable for libel as well. Once again, all this is really doing is getting a lot more attention focused on this guy rather than hiding his critics. It's difficult to see how that's helpful.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Chris Maresca, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 4:10pm

    Sounds like he's never heard...

    ... of the Streisand effect. I'd never heard of him until now. Good to know that the Canadian legal system is more screwed up than the US one...

    Chris.

     

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  2.  
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    jon, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 4:20pm

    I don't know about Canada, but here in the US that wouldn't hold because A) it would have to be malicious, B) is protect speech (reporting a libel case not committing libel), and C) would have to be proven that a person reading the libel would think it was true *and* since it was linked from a story reporting the libel suit a reasonable person would not assume the libelous text is true. At least that is my understanding of the law here — please correct me if I am wrong.

    The US isn't perfect, but it got quite a few things right.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    And the Streisand Effect claims yet another victim.

     

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  4.  
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    Charles Griswold, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 4:52pm

    Streisand Effect

    The Streisand Effect is both fair and wise. It only claims the most deserving of victims.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Streisand Effect

    Like Jack Thompson.

     

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  6.  
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    Marc, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 5:48pm

    Evolution

    politicians with such arcane notions are funny....
    although.... most of them work hard to maintain the status quo. and they cause more suffering and death than mass murderers.


    i believe less than one percent of them actually do what is right.

     

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  7.  
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    Brett, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 7:33pm

    BS

    Am I missing something, or is this clearly BS. It does not seem believable to me that they served this guy lawsuit papers 15 minutes after he posted the offending content. One can't get a pizza delivered that fast. It would take much longer than that to: notice the article, prepare the papers, let alone have them delivered.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 7:49pm

    Re: BS

    Have to agree there. The guy says on hsi own site;
    "Literally 15 minutes..."
    then goes on to say;
    "..and since it's Saturday, I'll have to wait until Monday before I'll be able to do anything about this new suit."

    So this guy LITERALLY got served 15 minutes later...on a Saturday? Right.
    Either he doesn't know the meaning of 'literally', is lieing, or this suit is from something else.

    Come on!

     

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  9.  
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    Avatar28, Apr 23rd, 2007 @ 8:41pm

    And to make matters worse, when the Streisand effect causes him to lose the election he's probably going to turn around and sue everyone again on the grounds that their libel caused him to lose the election and that they now owe him loss of income, pain and suffering, etc etc etc.

     

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  10.  
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    Geeb, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 2:41am

    Re: Re: BS

    > So this guy LITERALLY got served 15 minutes later...on a Saturday?

    Welcome to web 2.0 - real-time litigation, delivered by a squad of lawyer avatars in Second Life.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Fred Flint, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 6:44am

    It's Not What You Think!

    Jon got "served" 15 minutes later. That means the lawsuit must have been in motion for quite some time and that just happens to be the time he got "served", not "sued".

    Even in Canada, you can't get "sued" in 15 minutes. The lawyers wouldn't make enough money on the paperwork, photocopying, telephone calls to their mothers and/or girlfriends/boyfriends/goats/sheep, whatever.

    You can now forget about this lawsuit for many years while all the lawyers pad their bills.

    Oh yes, the results of lawsuits in Canada are usually a bit different from the results of lawsuits in the U.S. Even if this jackass wins, it wouldn't be unusual for the jury to award $1.50 or some other appropriately small amount.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:01am

    Re: Re: BS

    So this guy LITERALLY got served 15 minutes later...on a Saturday? Right. Either he doesn't know the meaning of 'literally', is lieing, or this suit is from something else.

    or...you should think twice before commenting...nobody (including the guy) is claiming he got sued for what he posted 15 minutes prior to being served...

    In fact, 15 minutes would be amazing any day of the week....in 15 minutes, the politician read the article, drummed up his lawyer, had him file the petition, had it processed and served to the guy...that would be truly amazing...just a few thoughts that might (should) have gone through your head before you make a fool of yourself

    Come on!

     

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  13.  
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    alex, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: BS

    And to make matters worse, when the Streisand effect causes him to lose the election he's probably going to turn around and sue everyone again battery and adapter on the grounds that their libel caused him to lose the election and that they now owe him loss of income, pain and suffering, etc etc etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Fiber optic components, Jun 23rd, 2011 @ 7:23pm

    Fiberise - your reliable online store for Fiber Optic Components such as optical transceiver, fiber patch cord, fiber optic adapter, connector, attenuator, media converter, test equipment, fiber optic tool, accessory and network devices.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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