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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    thornintheside, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 5:39am

    What a dick

    How unCanadian can you get. Go live in the UK where they like to sue.

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

  2. identicon
    Guillaume, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 5:46am

    There is one in Quebec

    There is no Canada-wide anti-SLAPP law in Canada, but the provinc eof Quebec has one. It has already been used in a few cases which were clearly meant to serve as a a deterrent to silence critics.

    More info : http://www.slaw.ca/2008/06/18/quebec-government-introduces-anti-slapp-legislation/

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 6:11am

    What a crooked world!

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

  4. identicon
    iluvceleb, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    I just hope...

    I just hope the issue will be resolved. I was thinking that ANTI-SLAPP law should also be fair to everyone who would like to express themselves. The new law shouldn't oppress the freedom of expression.

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

  5. identicon
    NullOp, Sep 10th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Of course.....

    It goes without saying anti-SLAPP laws should exist in every country. Otherwise you have the "strong" beating up the "weak". The law is supposed to level the playing field not help tilt it!

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

  6. icon
    MBraedley (profile), Sep 10th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    The Supreme Court of Canada has decided to hear the case, and will hopefully agree with the lower courts. I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't agree, as overturning the previous rulings could have a dramatic chilling effect for online free speech.

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

  7. identicon
    Tex, Sep 14th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    Another SLAPP Lawsuit

    Here's another SLAPP lawsuit, and Amway lost BIG TIME last month: http://texsquixtarblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/amway-lawsuit-update-dont-mess-with.html

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

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