The Head of the Hungarian Tax authority, Ildiko Vida, is suing the Charge d’Affaires at the United States embassy in Budapest, M. André Goodfriend, for defamation after it emerged that Ms Vida was one of six Hungarian officials banned from entering the United States over alleged corruption. This followed the Hungarian Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, saying that Ms Vida sould be relieved of her role if she did not undertake legal proceedings. US-Hungary relations have been strained for some time over the banning and were recently exacerbated by Senator John McCain's description of Hungary as "a nation that’s on the verge of ceding its sovereignty to a neo-fascist dictator". While Budapest awaits the arrival of the recently confirmed US Ambassador, Colleen Bell,(former producer of the The Bold and the Beautiful and fund raiser for President Obama) FIDESZ's popularity has fallen dramatically in recent months. A large protest march is planned (link in Hungarian) for this Sunday. . This follows large scale protests in October when the Hungarian government announced an Internet tax.
An Oregon judge has ruled that a Montana blogger is not eligible for the legal protections afforded to journalists, letting stand a $2.5 million defamation verdict. At the end of the Ars Technica article there's a link to a Forbes article that contains some more details and the text of an email that didn't help the blogger's case.
"In almost all cases it is not possible to bring a civil action against" a website that hosts your nude images posted without your consent.
This past July, Forbes blogger Kashmir Hill posted a three-part series about "online defamation and involuntary nudity." The first entry focused on an offender: Hunter Moore, owner of IsAnyoneUp.com (Link is NSFW.) The second entry focused on a victim: Paul Syiek, whose company was defamed by a disgruntled ex-employee on the consumer website Rip-off Report. The third profiled a Senior Copyright attorney at Microsoft, Colette Vogele, who co-founded a side project this year to help victims: WithoutMyConsent.org. [more inside]
I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not Tweet indiscriminately. I will not...
Malaysian performer and social activist Fahmi Fadzil was sued for defamation by media company Blu Inc after a Tweet in January alleging that the company maltreated a pregnant friend who was an employee. His punishment? To tweet 100 times over 3 days:
I've DEFAMED Blu Inc Media & Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR Policies are untrue. I retract those words & hereby apologize.Responses from other Malaysian Twitter users, mostly on Fahmi's side, have been interesting.
The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a case deciding whether or not posting a link to allegedly defamatory material constitutes defamation itself. The complainant lost his case in 2008 at the British Columbia Court of Appeal. The complainant has launched various lawsuits in the past against numerous websites and blogs; all have been unsuccessful thus far. [Previously, RE: a similar case in Australia]
After serving a prison term for molesting an eighth-grader in Ohio, David Copeland-Jackson moved to the District to live with his mother. He e-mailed a buddy and together, federal authorities said, they came up with a plan that would fool a respected judge into issuing a $3 million defamation order against Copeland-Jackson's victim. [more inside]
Kentucky Lawmaker Wants to Ban Anonymous Internet Posting. This bill is pretty much a nonstarter, but should online defamation be criminalized? [pdf]
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."
New Jersey Assemblyman Peter Biondi didn't like that he and his friends are getting flamed on the news portal NJ.com by people named, inter alia, "frenchtoast2." So he introduced a bill, and that bill would require "operators of interactive computer services" to make members' real names available upon demand, and allow content providers to be sued for contributory defamation. And he saw that this was good. And that was the first day.
Borat likes you. Do you like Borat? Not everyone does. Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry is threatening to sue to prevent the country from being presented in a "derogatory way" by the caricature, a brainchild of UK comedian Sacha Boren Cohen, aka Ali G. [more inside, dziękuję]
The High Court of Australia has decided that you can defame someone in Australia by posting an article on a website hosted outside Australia, if that article is read by people inside Australia. I suppose this means that anyone posting on the internet is subject to Australian defamation law. (Unless you decide to block requests from Australian browsers.)
The Anti-Defamation League has categorized the circle-A anarchy sign as "General Racist Symbol" (although in the Background info, they state: "The majority of people who identify with this movement consider themselves non-racist or anti-racist"). Kinda wacky.