Can You Sue For Defamation If Someone Points Out Publicly That You Are Wrong?
from the thanks-for-nothing dept
Remember the publication that put legal statements on its site claiming that fair use did not apply and you could not reproduce anything on the site? Yes, the same one that then threatened to take legal action against the guy who (correctly) pointed out to them that you can’t take away someone’s right to fair use like that? Well, it appears that they changed part of their legal language to get rid of the bit about fair use not applying, though they kept up the part saying that you can’t reproduce anything. The former lawyer, David Giacalone, who had pointed this out to the editor in the first place, sent her a nice followup email thanking her for making the change. In response, however, the woman claims she will be suing him for defamation and has already alerted law enforcement and her attorney. It’s hard to see how it’s defamation to point out that the legal language on a site appears to be mistaken. The editor claims that the posts about the legal language encouraged “threats, intimidation and profanity” though, if you read the original posts on the topic it’s a pretty big stretch to seeing them as encouraging any such activity (not to mention that it was all brought on by the problematic language on her publication’s site). In the meantime, Eugene Volokh also has posted a followup on this issue, asking why anyone should trust the accuracy of the content on her site when her claims about copyright are inaccurate? Update: Giacalone lets us know that, after just one day, the site has gone back to claiming fair use is not applicable.