Why Canada Needs Safe Harbors And An Anti-SLAPP Law Too

from the pointless-waste dept

We’ve discussed in the past how Canadian Wayne Crookes appears to be fairly litigious in suing sites, including Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo and Myspace for hosting content he felt was defamatory. In one case, he sued P2Pnet blogger Jon Newton not for posting such content but for merely linking to such content. Unfortunately, without clear safe harbors or an anti-SLAPP law, Crookes has been able to keep the lawsuit alive. It easily lost at both the district and the appeals court levels, but rather than recognize that perhaps suing Newton isn’t the best target, he’s pushed forward.

Newton is pointing out that while his own lawyer is doing the work pro bono, and with lots of large companies filing briefs in his favor, it’s still going to cost a fair bit of money for the trial, and so he’s asking readers to help out and to raise $5,000 to help cover those costs (anything left over will go to charity). This is definitely an important case in Canada, and it’s already upsetting that it’s gotten this far.

If Canada had a real anti-SLAPP type law, this seems like a perfect case for it to be used — where it would have helped Newton get the case tossed faster and easier. However, without such a law, then Newton has to go through with all of the court process, which is a huge waste of time, even with having a lawyer help out. A combination of better safe harbors and an ANTI-SLAPP law, it would seriously help others being put in such a position.

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