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Thread: Australian Discussion Forum owner being sued

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Sydney, Australia
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    Default Australian Discussion Forum owner being sued

    This is from Australia, so it may not have much of an impact for this forum, but I thought it may interest people nevertheless.


    Founder of Whirlpool discussion forum being sued
    By Mark Schliebs
    September 12, 2007 12:45pm

    THE founder of one of the nation’s most popular online discussion forums is being sued by a software company after publishing allegedly “false and malicious” comments.

    Users of the Whirlpool forum are now donating money to help pay the legal costs for creator Simon Wright, who set up the website to help internet users discuss problems with broadband services.

    Accounting software maker 2Clix Australia is suing Mr Wright for damages after two forum discussions about its products on the Whirlpool site.

    According to a statement on the site, purportedly from 2Clix, the action was based on comments criticising its software and postings encouraging other Whirlpool members to avoid purchasing their products.

    2Clix spokesman David Morgan said that he would not confirm that the “Statement of Claim” on the website was an exact copy of the court documents.

    “There is a legal process underway (and) on our legal advice, we will be making no comment,” Mr Morgan said.

    According to the document, 2Clix “quantifies its loss in income between January 2007 to July 2007 at approximately $150,000 per month”.

    The document also said 2Clix would be seeking $150,000 in damages for the alleged “injurious falsehood”, the permanent removal of two forum threads discussing its software and legal costs to be paid by Mr Wright.

    Whirlpool said it would be fighting the allegations in court.

    “Whirlpool believes the action has no merit and will defend the matter vigorously, despite being a community website with little resources,” a statement said.

    Mr Wright is being sought for comment.

    The forum threads in question still appear online.

    Users show support

    Since news of the court action was posted on the website last night, more than 1200 comments have been posted in support of Mr Wright – and many users have actually donated money to help with legal costs.

    “Donated $1254 via PayPal… $1 for each post I've made on (Whirlpool),” one user said.

    “WP is the best forum of its type in the world and it would be a very sad day if that were put in jeopardy… I urge you to donate as much as you can.”

    Another user who looked at every cash pledge made on the site calculated that at 10.30am (AEST) today, supporters had donated at least $3097.94 for legal costs.

    “Amazing when you consider that these were only the amounts posted, not including those who didn’t post the amount, those who had posts deleted, and those yet to read and donate,” the user said. END
    Dean Whittle
    Sydney, Australia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Memphis, TN
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    Similar cases here in the States have been ruled in favor of the discussion board owners. The owner/operator of an online bulletin board essentially has no responsibility for what a third party posts on the board. Let's hope this case is ruled in the same way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Bedford, England
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    Things are potentially far worse in Britain. I would not advise anyone to set up a controversial blog or board here. The latest, which you will probably *not* read about is some of our resident Russian billionaire gangsters... er... I mean "businessmen" (as well as a few Saudi princes connected with terrorism) pre-emptively dropping legal documents on everyone who even seems to be contemplating revealing details of their (often extremely) sordid past. So far it has worked well, with newspapers being gagged, books being withdrawn and pulped and site owners forced to remove every trace of criticism.


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