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Thread: Oil firm secures court orders in online defamation case

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member H.R. Haldeman's Avatar
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    Default Oil firm secures court orders in online defamation case

    The headline:

    An Irish oil exploration company has secured court orders aimed at identifying people who allegedly posted defamatory material about it on internet message boards with a view to suing them following a "catastrophic" fall of 132 million in its market value in recent weeks.

    It is claimed "wholly untrue" defamatory postings between November 8th and 22nd, including postings claiming the company's drilling project in Nevada, US, was a "scam" by "liars", materially contributed to its share price fall and damaged its company's reputation and ability to raise funds to exploit oil discoveries.

    The market capitalisation of US Oil & Gas plc (USOP) on November 5th was 173 million when the share price was 4.15 and is now 41.6m with a share price of 1, the court heard.
    Oil firm secures court orders - The Irish Times - Wed, Nov 28, 2012

    The bit that should concern all of us who post online:

    Mr Fanning said the material complained of was posted on message boards on three websites - boards.ie operated by Boards.ie Ltd, an Irish company; iii.co.uk, operated by London South East Ltd, a UK company; and lse.co.uk, operated by two related companies, Interactive Investor Trading Ltd and Interactive Investor plc.

    All the defendants had taken down the material when complaint was made, had behaved promptly and responsibly and his client had no issue with them but wished to get access to material aimed at identifying those who made the postings, counsel said.

    Boards.ie Ltd had said it would provide IP addresses of those who posed the alleged defamatory material if the court ordered it to do so, he said. London South East Ltd had given a similar indication and, while Interactive had raised jursidcitional issues, it was not anticipated there would be a difficulty with that entity, counsel outlined.

    I think the thing to take away here is that the websites are singing like canaries (Jaysus, I hope that's not defamatory!) and will/are co-operating in identifying the people who actually posted the defamation.

    I'd also be of the opinion that this is a great ruling for online freedom of speech. It means websites themselves, if they act responsibly and in good faith, probably have less to fear than the individual posters who publish a defamation. That should keep more discussion sites open, whilst also protecting individuals and companies from defamation, since it is clearly the responsibility (primarily, at least) of the individual for what they post.

    It's also a pretty scary reminder that some random comment can have real consequences in the real world.

  2. #2
    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    Will there be a Maltese version of this ?
    Coveney's ambition is the be Ireland's next EU Commissar and Ireland will pay a price as he builds his CV to position himself sufficiently loyal to the nEU empire.

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    Politics.ie Member Analyzer's Avatar
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    Another disaster from Lendahand.

    As far as I can remember he did nothing right. Ever.

    Ireland's defamation laws provide yet another justification for dishing out punishment to FFinished.
    Coveney's ambition is the be Ireland's next EU Commissar and Ireland will pay a price as he builds his CV to position himself sufficiently loyal to the nEU empire.

  4. #4
    Dylan2010
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    I'd say hedge funds are at this all the time, short a comany's stock, put out some rumours on investment boards and voila. So indeed its good if they bypass the board and go for the individual.

  5. #5
    Politics.ie Member gerhard dengler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.R. Haldeman View Post
    The headline:



    Oil firm secures court orders - The Irish Times - Wed, Nov 28, 2012

    The bit that should concern all of us who post online:




    I think the thing to take away here is that the websites are singing like canaries (Jaysus, I hope that's not defamatory!) and will/are co-operating in identifying the people who actually posted the defamation.

    I'd also be of the opinion that this is a great ruling for online freedom of speech. It means websites themselves, if they act responsibly and in good faith, probably have less to fear than the individual posters who publish a defamation. That should keep more discussion sites open, whilst also protecting individuals and companies from defamation, since it is clearly the responsibility (primarily, at least) of the individual for what they post.

    It's also a pretty scary reminder that some random comment can have real consequences in the real world.

    I heard the firms legal rep saying as much on the news earlier.
    The website co-operated in turning over the IP address of the posters and the legal firm went after the posters as opposed to the website.

    Which begs a question.
    Even if the firm have an IP address for a poster how can anyone be sure that the computer's owner posted the defamatory message? It could be another user who has access to the computer.
    Politics.ie moderators should moderate instead.
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    Politics.ie Member Mr. Bumble's Avatar
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    I would think that this was a case of deliberate malicious intent on the part of the posters. Not some uninformed looper ranting, as is the norm here.
    Cry your hardest now, it opens the lungs, washes the countenance, exercises the eyes and softens down the temper. So cry away.

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    So, now that it's all been sorted out, why hasn't the share price recovered?

  8. #8
    Politics.ie Member stopdoingstuff's Avatar
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    It's ok. Just phrase things in the form of a question.

  9. #9
    Politics.ie Member ruserious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stopdoingstuff View Post
    It's ok. Just phrase things in the form of a question.
    Is that a legal loophole?
    Boycott the "Irish" Sun rag.

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    Btw - its only Defamation if it's untrue,

    Now, let's go duck hunting,

    Quack quack

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