Friday, December 03, 2021

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via Web Host Liable for Contributory Infringement.
A South Carolina jury’s recent $770,750 verdict against Bright Builders Inc. marks the first time a Web-hosting company has been found liable for contributory infringement without actual notice that a customer’s website lists fake products for sale.

South Carolina District Judge Margaret Seymour’s March 14 judgment in Roger Cleveland Golf Company Inc. v. Prince followed the jury’s March 10 verdict.

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In the rapidly evolving world of the internet, laws are written that have unintended and unexpected consequences which means that laws which are made by Judges who passed their Bar exams a decade before the personal computer was invented and commercialised, could have an extra damaging effect on the internet savvy public.

Was this elite, led by the top lawyers in the country so naïve so as to believe that information published on websites which are based abroad cannot be viewed in England?

Between the political parties’ unelected and unaccountable  bureaucrat elite, which sits in Brussels, our own well intended, yet somewhat socially alienated  judicial elite and a small group of celebrity elite, we end up with ridiculous Super-Injunctions which only serve to demonstrate how wide the gap is between the new style law makers and those who have to live with the consequences of such laws. It is perhaps not a coincidence that those who have been seeking Super-Injunctions are also part of an elite group; a financial elite which has perhaps little to do with the intellectual elite which has imposed on us these Super-Injunctions but still, these political, judicial and financial elites somewhat managed to get together and conspire to ensure that those who can afford it are able to prevent their innocent victims from telling the truth about the ‘well-off’s’ misdemeanour.

In a way, one cannot help feeling a bit sorry for all those who took part in this shameful attempt to conceal the truth. Did they not realise that these Super-Injunctions would not possibly last forever? Did they really believe that the whole world will slavishly adhere to court orders which are created with the sole purpose of suppressing the truth? Did it not occur to them that the internet also exists in the USA,Canada, Africa or the Middle East? Did they honestly believe that they can force an American based website to refrain from publishing the truth about corrupt celebrities, in particular as injunctions granted overseas are hardly enforceable in any of the American States?

One can perhaps understand how an anxious footballer, who perhaps might not be well versed with the ins and outs of the internet, could get carried away, and be willing to spend tens of thousands of pounds on worthless international gagging orders. But didn’t the lawyers bother to explain to their clients how the internet works? Did they forget to explain that it was inevitable that these ‘permanent’ worldwide injunctions could not have possibly lasted for long because of the way the internet works? Perhaps it is just that our elite is not as intellectual as it would like us to think it is.

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Scottish experts have warned gagging orders are ineffective following the naming of Ryan Giggs and former banker Sir Fred Goodwin in the House of Commons.

Critics believe the UK government is to blame for not reacting quickly enough to the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) into UK law in October 2000. Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed concerns about privacy laws being developed in courts rather than in Parliament.

However, Dr Gillian Black, lecturer in law and privacy specialist at Edinburgh University, said successive governments had “ducked the issue” and must now introduce new laws as a matter of urgency.

“It is incumbent on Parliament to do so,” she said. “The media is very unhappy about the courts doing this (writing privacy laws], but they are only doing so because Parliament has ducked the issue.

“The article eight right to privacy (in the European Convention on Human Rights] has been here since October 2000, so Parliament has had long enough to go away and think about these things.”

However, she believes governments have long viewed more stringent privacy laws as a vote loser, with the press and public putting a high value on freedom of speech. Dr Black said: “They’ve not simply missed it. It’s a well accepted fact in the academic world of privacy that the government has not been willing to legislate because it’s not going to be popular.”

She said enshrining privacy laws in legislation would go some way to encouraging people to respect it.

“One concern is that the courts make this up as they go along,” she said. “What we need is a statutory right to privacy – a privacy bill.

“The government would not have to do much more than set down what judges have already done, but it would clear up what the media can and can’t do.

“The one thing they can address is the remedy. Super-injunctions are a failed remedy.”

Super-injunctions have become highly controversial as a court order that not only bans the media from publishing information, but also from revealing that the order even exists.

Former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin obtained one to try to hide details of an alleged affair with a colleague, although the order had to be altered after a peer revealed details in the House of Lords.

BBC journalist Andrew Marr also obtained a super-injunction to try to hide an affair with a colleague – he later abandoned it and admitted he was “embarrassed”. Since the UK became compliant with the ECHR, judges have had to balance the two competing rights within it of freedom of speech and privacy – such as when Mr Justice Eady ruled in favour of Manchester United footballer Giggs’ right to privacy – over Imogen Thomas’ desire to name him when speaking publicly about their alleged affair.

However, Frank Johnstone, convener of the privacy committee of the Law Society of Scotland, said it is not judges’ privacy laws that have been the problem, but the way they have tried to enforce them.

“I don’t take the view that the law on privacy has been broken,” he said. “The law was interpreted by a judge and he granted a remedy – the super-injunction. The remedy has proven to be ineffective, that does not mean the law was wrong.

“Rights are important but rather meaningless if you cannot translate it in effective remedy.”

He suggested tighter security might be imposed around the court proceedings, limiting the chance of the information getting out.

“What would be interesting to know is how did it get out in the first place, someone must have breached it initially, and it is that person that made it an ineffective remedy,” he added.

However, Maurice Frankel, director of the Campaign for Freedom of Information, warned free speech must be enshrined in any new legislation.

“My concern would be in cases where there’s genuine, or substantial, public interest that that (freedom of speech] should not be over-ridden.

“Freedom of expression is very important. It’s not an automatic trump card over everything else, but neither should it be set aside.”

Yair Cohen, a leading internet lawyer, said people should be given stronger powers to challenge inaccurate or defamatory stories before publication, as an alternative to super-injunctions.

However, he also warned that celebrities who cheat on their wives, husbands or partners, may have to accept the blame for hurting them if their antics later appear in the press.

Mr Cohen said: “The families of, let’s say a footballer, who is guilty of indiscretions might have to bear the consequences of this change in the same way that families of criminals have to live with the consequences of an unlawful act by one of their members.

“And the family member who committed the indiscretion will have to take some responsibility for his actions, including the effect of his actions on members of his family.”

He added: “Any change in the law of privacy should cement this principle but should also give an opportunity to aggrieved parties to challenge any publication in advance in the event that the information which is about to be printed is incorrect or defamatory.”

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday opened the first ever e-G8 forum in Paris. The event brings together leading figures from the technology industry to discuss the impact of the internet.

News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch and BBC director general Mark Thompson were due to speak at the event.

via Yair Cohen\’s Business Talks.

Super-Injunctions: Former Sun editor tight-lipped in super-injunction case – Surrey Herald.

NATIONAL newspaper columist and Weybridge resident Kelvin MacKenzie says he will not reveal his emails or text messages to a defence lawyer in a super-injunction case.

The former Sun editor got dragged into the super-injunction case between the affair of a footballer, who cannot be named, and reality television star Imogen Thomas, after revealing on BBC Radio 4’s Today show he received emails and texts from readers asking to tell them the names of celebrities using injunctions to protect their privacy.

Read full story on Super Injunctions

http://www.stoponlinedefamation.co.uk

Friday, 13 May 2011

 

Blogger publishes super injunction order in full- The Inquirer

 By Lawrence Latif
Fri May 13 2011, 17:01 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION was the reason given by a blogger who published the full text of a gagging order.

 

As celebrities clamour to cover their indiscretions by asking judges to issue injunctions that suppress information, one blogger has gone a step further and revealed, in full, a gagging order. The super injunction was granted to a claimant, referred to as ZAM, to prevent details of his (mis)behaviour from becoming public.

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