Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

How Do You Spell SLAPP In Canadian?

from the just-asking dept

In the US, when large companies try to shut up whistleblowers with scary lawsuits for millions of dollars, we have SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) laws that are designed to protect those who are speaking up, and punish those who file frivolous lawsuits. It appears that Canada could use some of the same laws. Slashdot points us to the news about a woman who was chronicling problems with a local construction company that was working in her neighborhood. She put up a website to help it get some attention -- which it did. She received praise from various politicians for her work -- including from the Canadian Environment Ministry. Of course, the construction company in question wasn't particularly pleased and has dumped a $2 million lawsuit on her for libel, claiming that what's she's written has harmed their business. Of course, you could pretty easily argue that the company did more harm to their business in not following proper procedures and laws in their work. The woman in question is excited that she got sued, because she said the whole reason she put the page up in the first place was to try and get the attention of a judge to the problems the company has caused -- and now she will. Of course, without SLAPP laws, she's on the hook for legal help, unless she can find someone to take the case pro bono. Meanwhile, the construction firm in question is discovering the wonders of the Streisand Effect, where this random website that a small number of people had heard of is suddenly getting all sorts of attention. In other words, their very effort to shut this woman up, has just made her a lot louder than ever before (even if the actual website appears down as we post this).

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    dorpus, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 1:16am

    Bitch Slapping

    How do we know this bitch is telling the truth, though? Could she have been hired by a rival mafia syndicate that was upset at not getting a payoff, so is slandering the construction company in question?

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

  2. identicon
    Pete Austin, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 1:55am


    What She Says (Google Cache)
    To answer dorpus's questions:
    (1) If there was any truth to your theory, there would be plenty of evidence. A genius like you should have no trouble linking to some.
    (2) You mean libelling, not slandering, and only a real scumbag libels people anonymously.

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

  3. identicon
    jh, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 2:24am


    Ahh, the Streisand Effect and the Slashdot Effect in a positive feedback loop :-)

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 6:33am

    Re: Bitch Slapping

    Dorphus, It's amazing but everytime you post, to a political or technical item you always getting details wrong, accusing people of being idiots and that you are the only person who knows anything.

    Man, get a life!

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

  5. identicon
    marcos, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 8:01am

    Re: Bitch Slapping

    So you go off and do the same thing and call her a "bitch" before you even know if she is telling the truth or not.

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

  6. identicon
    Rikko, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 8:07am

    Re: Bitch Slapping

    We don't know she's telling the truth. That's why we made up this "legal system" thingie.

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

  7. identicon
    Max, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 8:46am

    Re: Bitch Slapping

    I wish there would be a moderator that can shut off dorpus for once. Dorpus, you don't belong to the human race. Puck.

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

  8. identicon
    Michael Vilain, Nov 14th, 2005 @ 11:18am

    Re: Bitch Slapping

    Dorpus is just mad because the Voices are really talking to _me_.

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

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