from the did-streisand-have-a-mullet dept
Judge Gibson said Mosslmani’s case was “overpleaded” and appeared to be designed to “claim as many imputations as possible while simultaneously avoiding a defence of honest opinion or justification”.I'm still confused as to how an "imputation" that someone "is a ridiculous person because he wears a controversial haircut" could possibly be defamation, but, hey, that's Australia.
The only imputation the judge allowed was that “the plaintiff is a ridiculous person because he wears a controversial haircut”.
“The plaintiff is entitled to plead an imputation of condition – namely being a ridiculous person for having such a hairstyle – as well as an imputation amounting to an act. This imputation is reasonably capable of being conveyed and will go to the jury”.
The imputation that he was “hideously ugly” was rejected despite the headline saying the complainant had a “ridiculous haircut” .
In the meantime, Ziggy will have to pay some of the costs of the media organizations he sued for the overpleading efforts. And the judge has suggested that maybe he should recognize the humor in this and the fact that it's not all negative:
District Court judge Judith Gibson mulled over the evidence and declared that Mosslmani’s Texas tailgate “generated a great deal of interest on the internet, most of it humorous.”In other words, yes, the judge found the memes funny herself. She also noted that all the "likes" on the Facebook post suggested that people liked the image, rather than that they were mocking Ziggy.
“However, the publication goes on to say that the photograph has generated 11,415 comments, 10,000 likes and 1.7m views, which suggests that the hairstyle has its fans and opponents, but is not indicative of ugliness; to the contrary, 10,000 people pressed the ‘like’ button,” Judge Gibson said.Meanwhile, this lawsuit and ruling is creating something of a Streisand Effect. Before this, it seemed that the meme was mostly known in Australia, but thanks to the lawsuit, it's going global. I hadn't seen it prior to the lawsuit, but now it's everywhere. And the photographer who took the image, Nool, seems to be having a lot of fun with it. He got to go on an Australian morning TV program and has been happily sharing the meme'd images himself: