In Turkey, insulting the President is punishable by up to two years in prison, so when Dr. Bilgin Çiftçi posted side-by-side photos of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and screenshots from the Lord of the Rings movies, he went on trial. Çiftçi's attorney asked the judge whether he was familiar with this "Gollum" fellow, and the judge admitted he had not seen all of the movies and empaneled five experts to report on the character. [more inside]
Frederick County Councilman, Kirby Delauter, threatened to sue the Frederick News-Post if they continue to reference him by name without authorization. The News-Post's editorial on the subject is exactly as amusing as you would expect. [more inside]
Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Ecstasy of Hedy Lamarr - Science! Fascists! Orgasms! Libel! Escapes From Literal Castles! (SoCH previously and Anne Helen Petersen previously)
Britain is considering legislation to protect scientific publications in peer reviewed journals from libel lawsuits, such as the Chiropractic Association's lawsuit against Simon Singh. [more inside]
William Lawrence Cassidy has been indicted for a series of threatening tweets directed towards Alyce Zeoli, aka Jetsunma Ahkon Lhamo, the leader of a Buddhist organization known as Kunzang Palyul Choling (KPC) to which Cassidy had belonged. There is however a small problem that federal prosecutors are employing a vague anti-stalking law that makes 'intentional infliction of emotional distress' through the use of 'any interactive computer service' a felony, rather than focussing more narrowly upon the outright threats. [more inside]
The public pillorying of Janet Malcolm is one of the scandals of American letters. ... why is it Malcolm, a virtuoso stylist and a subtle, exciting thinker, who drives critics into a rage? What journalist of her caliber is as widely disliked or as often accused of bad faith? And why did so few of her colleagues stand up for her during the circus of a libel trial that scarred her career? In the animus toward her there is something almost personal. [more inside]
In the UK, "super-injunctions" can prohibit the press from reporting a story on privacy grounds and from reporting that any such injunction has been issued. Newspapers are occasionally quite playful in getting around these increasingly unpopular injunctions. The Telegraph famously pointed its readers to the then-trending twitter campaign against Trafgura and, today, the Daily Mail appears to be playing a similar game. More prosaically, The Independent has simply reported a Tory MP's comments in Parliament that a currently sitting MP has taken out a super-injunction. [more inside]
Defamation by Twitter Broadway actor Marty Thomas has filed papers in court asking that the identify of the "bwayanonymous" Twitter account (cache) be revealed, after the account made a post alleging Thomas has crabs.
Prince and Kelly Clarkson Marry? Idaho No Longer A State? A Pomeranian Blight? Is this flimflamery? No, it is LIE BLOG, a place for lies. [via mefi projects]
Liblr "takes the twitter stream and replaces one phrase with another, in the name of fun. The people depicted here did not say these things."
Simon Singh, a science writer sued by the British Chiropractic Association for describing their treatments as "bogus" has today won his appeal. Previously
Simon Singh: This is goodbye. Being sued for libel is not only ruinously expensive, writes Simon Singh, it takes over your whole life. Which is why this will be his last column. Previously.
In 1771, John Wilkes succeeded in defending the freedom of the press to report the then secret debates of Parliament. In 2009, the well-known libel law firm Carter-Ruck, possibly acting on behalf of their clients Trafigura, succeeded in gagging The Guardian newspaper from reporting a question to be asked in Parliament (see #61). [more inside]
Suing for libel, UK newspaper proprietor Richard Desmond made a point of denying that he exerts any influence over stories appearing in his papers. He lost his case today, but reading his paper's website, you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd actually won it! [more inside]
Simon Singh is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association (previously on metafilter). A pre-trail ruling by the judge caused much concern in the scientific community and elsewhere. On the 4th of June Singh announced that he was applying to appeal against the pre-trial ruling, and Sense About Science launched a Keep Libel Laws Out Of Science campaign (T-shirts, badges and mugs available). The Streisand effect really started to kick in when Simon Perry screen-scraped 400 uk chiropractic web sites, searched for claims about the treatment of colic, and mail-merged letters to various Trading Standards officers. Over 240 letters were sent. This led to an interesting response. [more inside]
Simon Singh, author of Fermat's Last Theorem and The Code Book, was sued for libel by The British Chiropractic Association for comments he wrote in a column in The Guardian: [more inside]
Recently, everyone who pre-ordered a certain book on Amazon.co.uk received a letter notifying them "This item has been removed from sale for legal reasons." Amazon.com claims the book is temporarily out of stock. The book? The Complex: An Insider Exposes the Covert World of the Church of Scientology by John Duignan. Interestingly, on November 5th, Tom Cruise attended an "all hands" meeting of Amazon.com bigwigs. Photos. A random coincidence? What about all those one and two-star reviews that kept disappearing from books like Dianetics and Science of Survival?
John C. Frémont is a secret Catholic.
£17,000 damages for victim of fake Facebook profile. Matthew Firsht found a fake facebook profile created in his name, and he has successfully sued the person who did it. Amol Rajan knows exactly what having your facebook online ID 'stolen' feels like, as do many others. Are your social networking friends always who they say they are?
Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Ban Anonymous Internet Posting. This bill is pretty much a nonstarter, but should online defamation be criminalized? [pdf]
Nude Marathon! Psychotherapy traveled down a lot of strange paths in the 60s and early 70s, but perhaps none stranger than the naked group therapy sessions, some up to 48 hours long, supervised by Paul Bindrim. Bindrim's sessions were the subject of a documentary film and an unflattering, thinly fictionalized novel by Gwen Davis Mitchell. Bindrim sued Mitchell for libel. Can descriptions of a fictional character be libelous of a real person? Yes.
Mum's the word. Gina Ford threatens to close a website over comments in the sites forums. Most recent statements from both sides. Other cases.
Warning to chatroom users after libel award for man labelled a Nazi. "Mr Keith-Smith told the Guardian that he took action after a debate about the Iraq war in 2003 on a Yahoo! message board with about 100 members turned ugly. "She was very pro-Bush. Initially, she called me lard brain and I wasn't particularly concerned about that. Then she called me a Nazi," he said."
UpdateFilter: Schiavo autopsy results --contrary to those who used this poor shell of a woman as a political football and fundraiser, Schiavo was not abused, was blind so could not possibly have seen a balloon or her loved ones, and had a brain half the normal weight that was massively and irreversibly damaged. previous posts here--and just one example of the many many lies printed about her and her husband here. Some people should really be ashamed of themselves.
Anti-Kerry Film Producer Accused of Libel A Vietnam veteran shown in a documentary criticizing Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites)'s anti-war activities filed a libel lawsuit against the movie's producer Monday, saying the film falsely calls the veteran a fraud and a liar. Kenneth J. Campbell, now a professor at the University of Delaware, said in the suit that "Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal" combines footage of him appearing at a 1971 war protest with narration that claims that many of the supposed veterans who took part in the event were later "discovered as frauds" who "never set foot on the battlefield, or left the comfort of the States, or even served in uniform."
Rod Paige Criticizes Teachers Union Education Secretary Rod Paige called the nation's largest teachers union a "terrorist organization" during a private White House meeting with governors on Monday. Democratic and Republican governors confirmed Paige's remarks about the National Education Association.
Indymedia to cease operations. Sure, it's not announced just yet on their homepage. You have to go here to find out why. A hint: they have screenshots of this trash post on the usually very trash commentboards of a fine idea of a website.
Here's an interesting story for people who like to write and post stuff on the internet Judge Diana Lewis of Circuit Court in West Palm Beach issued an order that forbids Mr. Max to write about Ms. Johnson. That prohibition is not limited to his website. She ruled on May 6, before Mr. Max was notified of the suit and without holding a hearing. She told Mr. Max that he could not use "Katy" on his site. Nor could he use Ms. Johnson's last name, full name or the words "Miss Vermont." The judge also prohibited Mr. Max from "disclosing any stories, facts or information, notwithstanding its truth, about any intimate or sexual acts engaged in by" Ms. Johnson. Finally, Judge Lewis ordered Mr. Max to sever the virtual remains of his relationship with Ms. Johnson. He is no longer allowed to link to her Web site. ... All this as a result of a lawsuit in which Ms. Johnson maintained that Mr. Max had invaded her privacy by publishing accurate information about her.
PrintCafe sues idiot. Literally. They are suing several individuals who posted anonymous comments on F---edCompany's message boards. So far, all they have are the aliases the comments were posted under, namely "Ex-DLJ", "sucky-me", and "idiot!". Apparently that's all they're going to get, since Pud says here, "FC servers contain no logs ". Also of note is item number 4 on this page of the letter Pud received.
"In 21st Century America, harassment and cruelty are fine as long as you don't do it on a computer."
"In 21st Century America, harassment and cruelty are fine as long as you don't do it on a computer." You'd think the police would have better things to do than sieze the computer of a kid who made an offensive website. Free speech, anyone? Anyone?