Horror Blogger Threatened With Defamation And Copyright Lawsuits After Writing An Open Letter To Horror Magazine
from the now-that's-horrifying dept
It’s amazing how some people seem to think that basic criticism is defamatory. We recently wrote about how the editor of a journal that published a review of a legal book is now facing a defamation lawsuit in France, even though the book review was just a typical book review (and only slightly negative). Now, Robert Ring points us to the news of a “horror” blogger who wrote a somewhat critical “open letter” to the horror magazine Gorezone, complaining about the apparent grammar and spelling problems in the magazine combined with what the blogger felt was rather sexist content. Frankly, the open letter isn’t even that critical. It’s one blogger’s opinion with some constructive criticism.
In response, however, after the blogger’s comments were flooded with angry responses (allegedly a bunch all came from the same IP address, which is connected with Gorezone), Gorezone threatened legal action for both defamation and copyright infringement. Apparently, this would be in the UK, where (as we know all too well) defamation laws are pretty ridiculous. Even so, it’s difficult to see how anything in the original post is libelous. As for the copyright infringement, the blogger had used (but has since taken down) an image of a recent cover of Gorezone to prove his point. It’s difficult to see how this would be considered infringement as well, as the blog post was clearly commenting on the image, and certainly wasn’t competing with Gorezone. Of course, again, this is UK law, but there is the concept of fair use/fair dealing in the UK, and it’s difficult to see how this wouldn’t be covered.
As the link above suggests, this sounds like a SLAPP situation, where the magazine doesn’t like the criticism it’s received, and its response is to threaten the blogger to try to bully him into taking down the content. We see this all too often, and it’s why the world needs more anti-SLAPP protections and laws.