Kyiv Post Blocking Access From The UK To Protest UK's Libel Laws

from the one-way-to-make-a-point dept

We’ve discussed at great length the problems with the UK’s libel laws, which have put a chilling effect on free speech and public participation. The problem of libel tourism has even resulted in the US passing laws saying that it will not enforce any such judgments in the US. Glyn Moody points us to the news that the Kyiv Post has apparently decided to protest UK libel laws by blocking access to the site if you’re coming from the UK. The page in question states:

The Kyiv Post, effective Dec. 14, 2010, is blocking access to all web traffic originating from the United Kingdom in protest of the draconian libel laws there that hinder legitimate free speech and threaten the work of independent journalists, authors, scientists and others worldwide. In a phenomenon known as “libel tourism,” rich and powerful plaintiffs file lawsuits in London — “the libel capital of the world” — to exploit laws stacked in their favor, stifling journalism and threatening news organizations and others with costly lawsuits.

Nice to see a media publication take a stand like that, even if it’s mostly symbolic. Hopefully it will help spur the UK to finally reform its libel laws.

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Comments on “Kyiv Post Blocking Access From The UK To Protest UK's Libel Laws”

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14 Comments
Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Of course

you know, that whole ‘don’t end sentences with prepositions’ thing?

not actually applicable to English, for two reasons: one: English actually does that, properly, all the time, and always (to the best of my knowledge. certainly for the last century or two, even in formal contexts) has. it was Latin that did not.

second, technically speaking, when you do, they stop being prepositions Anyway and are in fact post positions.

i think you meant to say ‘i wonder what they were sued for’, or, if you Really want to avoid that post position ‘i wonder why they were sued’… though the second one does heavily imply that their being sued is a known fact and happened in the past, rather than conjecture.
this has been your random grammar Nazi fyi of the day πŸ˜›

(also, yes, i am aware of my incredibly dubious use of punctuation marks and capitals, or lack there of)

on the subject of the actual topic:
yay for smart moves in the face of stupidity… now let’s see if it actually has a positive outcome.

Jason says:

Re: I can't hear you..

“I can’t hear you. I’ve got a banana in my ear!!”

“Why don’t you take out the banana if you can’t hear?”

“Are you saying I’m deaf? That’s not true!! I CAN hear, I’ve just got a banana in my ear! Slander! Libel!!

“Oh, nevermind.”

“What’s that? I can’t hear you; I’ve got…”

Simon Chamberlain (profile) says:

Re: Kyiv Post?

Likewise never heard of them. Their articles are in Nexis, but not since about December 2002, so I’m guessing that they aren’t really a particularly important paper. Certainly not in the UK.

(This looks a bit quixotic anyway: preventing me from accessing their website does zilch to change the laws here, all it does is lose them readers).

As for lawsuits: I found an article from March 2008 which says “Ukrainian tycoon Rinat Akhmetov on Monday accepted a public apology and undisclosed damages [from the Kyiv Post] over false allegations that he stole billions of dollars by rigging share auction processes, according to AFP.”. The article says an English law firm acted for Akhmetov. So I think that answers Mr. Oizo’s question in post #1

Not an electronic Rodent says:

Double standards

US passing laws saying that it will not enforce any such judgments in the US.

I love it when the US government gets like this:
“You must enforce all our pointless and draconian laws because we say so and besides we think they are to our benefit, but we’ll block any of yours we don’t like because we are A-merican and international partnership means you do what we say…. besides we’re right every time.”

Johnny says:

Re: Double standards

Except the EU did the same to block the US anti-Cuba law. i.e. any american company who sues a european company for activities in Cuba can be sued in the EU for damages and their executives banned from traveling to the EU.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helms%E2%80%93Burton_Act

The European Union introduced a Council Regulation (No 2271/96)[4] (law binding all member states) declaring the extraterritorial provisions of the Helms?Burton Act to be unenforceable within the EU, and permitting recovery of any damages imposed under it. The EU law also applied sanctions against US companies and their executives for making Title III complaints.

Mind you I think that was a good thing, we should counter the extra-territorial effects of US laws more often. And the US is fully right to do the same with European and British laws that have effect in the US. Like this crazy UK libel law.

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