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Legal Threat Demands Techdirt Shut Down

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the slapp-in-the-face dept.

Censorship 346

An anonymous reader writes "Earlier this month, the US approved a new law to fight against so-called 'libel tourism,' the practice of suing US companies in foreign jurisdictions (quite frequently, the UK) which do not have the same level of free speech protections. The new law, the SPEECH Act, may now get put to the test, as lawyers for a guy named Jeffrey Morris in the UK, who was upset about some comments on a 2004 blog post on Techdirt, have demanded the entire site shut down due to those unidentified comments."

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2004? No statute of limitations in the UK? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384170)

Isn't there a statute of limitations in the UK on libel/slander? I know that if a case is brought more than 2-3 years (depending on type of libel/slander and state), a judge would laugh it out of the courtroom.

Re:2004? No statute of limitations in the UK? (1, Interesting)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384232)

Regardless of statute of limitations, a judge in any state in the US would laugh it out of court on merit alone.

Re:2004? No statute of limitations in the UK? (5, Funny)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 4 years ago | (#33385004)

I have to say, Jeffrey Morris is a twit, he got my dog pregnant, he pissed in my refrigerator, and I'm pretty sure I saw him talking to Osama Bin Laden and Mel Gibson. Jeffrey Morris smells funny, kind of like fermented horsepiss and turnips. Jeffrey Morris's girlfriend left him for quadriplegic asexual carnival freak.

Ha ha, my plan to shut down /. is practically complete!!!

Re:2004? No statute of limitations in the UK? (4, Informative)

x2A (858210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384484)

Not sure but I do know our libel laws here are in desperate need of overhaul, and many are campaigning for this. We have one of (if not, the) highest libel costs in the whole of Europe, making us a very attractive place for libel tourism, as often is the case whether you're guilty or not doesn't matter, merely defending the court action can be enough to bankrupt you, especially if it's against somebody who has the money to throw at it. I know that can be true in many areas of law, but such is the cost of defending libel cases here in the UK, that the effect is far more exaggerated.

Re:2004? No statute of limitations in the UK? (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384856)

I'm told that "if it's true, it's not a libel" does not apply to UK libel law, rendering libel defense rather onerous.

Wait, let me cover my ass anyways: I could be wrong, though. :-)

Why care? (2, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384496)

Perhaps it is my lack of understanding of law but I fail to see why any firm should care about being sued in a foreign court when they have no presence in that foreign country. First there was the UK spam filtering company sued in the US, now there is this reverse case. Why did the US congress even need to pass the SPEECH act? Aren't US companies protected from UK laws by merely being in the US and not the UK just as the reverse applies? Isn't this what sovereignty means? The only exception would be extradition but that only applies to criminal, not civil cases.

Re:Why care? (2, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384576)

Since the UK is an important trading partner as well as military and diplomatic ally, it's my guess that the US has all kinds of agreements with them which generally allow civil cases to proceed across the Atlantic, and that types of cases which aren't reasonable under US law have to be specifically excluded from those agreements. This is just a guess; does anyone know for sure?

Re:Why care? (1)

fey000 (1374173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384658)

I can only speak for the business scenario. When two companies sign a contract, it is common that an arbiter of disagreements is decided in said contract. Many companies want a court for this purpose, but not necessarily any court. For a european partner, an american court may well infer an automatic loss. Since the opposite action (that is, going to court in the european partner's nation) is not exactly favourable to the american partner, it is practical to settle for a third nations court. Great Britain is a good choice for settling these disputes. Read into that what you will, but IANAL.

Re:Why care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384832)

(You are aware that the UK is in Europe, I hope...)

Re:Why care? (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384976)

I think he kind of sort of implied a European partner in a country other than the UK. maybe...

First Post (-1, Offtopic)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384172)

Will I be sued or downmodded for this? Only one way to find out. Push it to the limit! (Put it to the test.)

Re:First Post (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384326)

Neither. In two days you will be visited by an old man with a bowler hat and a handlebar mustache. He will knock on your door and ask if you have any ketchup. The next day the same man will appear dressed as a clown sitting in your car. For your own safety just ignore him. You won't see him for two days, and then he will appear in your living room dressed as a devil. Don't worry. He will leave immediately.

After that I can't be sure what will happen, but it will be one of two things. Either you will never see him again, or he will appear in your bedroom just as you're going to bed. I won't describe his appearance. If you're not going to find out, it's better to not know.

If he does appear that one last time, do not fall asleep or you will never wake up again.

Such are the consequences of a first post.

Sweet dreams.

Re:First Post (2, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384522)

Neither. In two days you will be visited by an old man with a bowler hat and a handlebar mustache. He will knock on your door and ask if you have any ketchup. The next day the same man will appear dressed as a clown sitting in your car. For your own safety just ignore him. You won't see him for two days, and then he will appear in your living room dressed as a devil. Don't worry. He will leave immediately.

Well, those are the most accurate descriptions of the Slashdot editors I've heard. And it sounds like they are really stepping up their anti-First Post campaign.

Straight from simple filters all the way to the handlebar clown devil treatment. No intermediary steps at all. Now that's how things get done on the internet!

Re:First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384606)

Someone must be reading the Holders series too much.

Seriously? (-1, Troll)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384202)

Change your tampon. Sheesh.

Re:Seriously? (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384314)

To loosely quote Russell Brand (British comedian):
I'm not liking this. I'm REALY not liking this.
Instead of turning off this offensive material I think I'll write an angry letter!

So much for... (5, Interesting)

TheMidnight (1055796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384226)

people crying that free speech here isn't as free as that in Europe. It's not true! It's legal in the U.S. to be racist, homophobic, a Holocaust denier, to be for or against abortion, or any other issue. Hell, it's legal to film sex and sell it here! In Europe, there are a lot of places it's not legal to be any of those things. While they're hateful positions that we can silence by not giving any attention to, the fact you can speak anything without fear is our greatest treasure, in my opinion. In several places in Europe, you go to jail for denying the Holocaust. You go to jail for preaching against homosexuals from your pulpit.

I'm sure I'll be modded down for saying it, but it needs to be said. Free speech is damn free in this country, and I'm glad we're going to even further lengths to protect it!

Re:So much for... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384244)

It's legal in the U.S. to be racist, homophobic, a Holocaust denier

In fact, it almost seems to be the norm.

Re:So much for... (0)

logjon (1411219) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384300)

I guess so, if you get your information from your television.

Re:So much for... (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384436)

wasn't "Baywatch" highly rated in Europe? I don't think that the general public has a very accurate picture of who the average American is.

Re:So much for... (4, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384450)

You'll never convince a European of that; the vast majority seem utterly convinced they are experts on American culture (and what's wrong with it).

Re:So much for... (5, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384714)

Thats funny, while I've lived in the Great Plains, the Pacific Northwest, western Florida and now Alaska, I never pretend that I know what other parts of the US are like. The US is very different as you go from place to place, there is no "American culture" despite what MTV and Hollywood would have you think.

The government is mostly the same, the banks and restaurants are generally the same and there is a common language(s), but thats about it. Some parts are white, some red, some black.

Getting on a plane in Portland OR and getting off it in Atlanta and going downtown felt more different than when I went from Tel Aviv to Munich.

John Keegan said in Fields of Battle: The Wars for North America, that as a European coming to the US, he felt the great unifiers were restaurant chains and brands. Applebees, Dennys, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Taco Bells everywhere gives Americans a sense they are in the same country. At least as much as the flag does

Re:So much for... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384824)

Getting on a plane in Portland OR and getting off it in Atlanta and going downtown felt more different than when I went from Tel Aviv to Munich.

Off-topic, but could you expand on just what you found was so different? Not positing an opinion either way. It's just that with Atlanta being one of the closer "major" cities to me (and having traveled no farther north than Raleigh - no farther south than Miami), you've peaked my interests.

Re:So much for... (2, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#33385022)

Well, for one, most places have more than one street. In Atlanta, every road is named Peach Tree. That's enough of a difference for me.

as an american i say: (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384936)

it's ok for europeans to hate americans. its ok for anyone to hate the usa for any aspect of our history or national character they find repugnant. you're completely welcome, be my guest, it's a free world (or rather, it should be a free world)

but what i dislike is when americans are held accountable for crimes and weaknesses that basically every human being is guilty of. or when the atrocities of the american government are given special analysis for high holy indignation, while much worse atrocities of the same form from other governments are completely ignored, minimized, or excused, including from their own government. not that a crime committed by another government excuses the crimes of the american government. but it doesn't excuse critics of the usa to focus their high holy indignation on the usa alone, when whatever ugly game in question is played by everyone

your criticism must be intellectually honest, or your criticism isn't valid

i repeat: there is plenty about the usa to hate. but what about the usa do you hate? if your answer is that you hate the usa for what everyone does, then that merely means you are propagandized and out of touch with the reality of the world you live in

the full force of your criticism should be based on principles, and principles alone. you will find then that the targets for your criticism flwo freely all over the world, and not along the lines of geopolitical tribal entities. but if your criticisms adhere too strongly to geopolitical boundaries, where what your country does is excused, but what their country does is not, then your own attitude is part of the problem, perhaps even more that that of americans or the usa

and, btw, my words here apply equally to americans who view the usa as untouchable and squeaky clean, and some other place or country the root of all evil: the inverse of irrationally hating the usa: irrationally loving the usa, is equally wrong

Re:So much for... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384258)

people crying that free speech here isn't as free as that in Europe. It's not true! It's legal in the U.S. to be racist, homophobic, a Holocaust denier, to be for or against abortion, or any other issue. Hell, it's legal to film sex and sell it here! In Europe, there are a lot of places it's not legal to be any of those things. While they're hateful positions that we can silence by not giving any attention to, the fact you can speak anything without fear is our greatest treasure, in my opinion. In several places in Europe, you go to jail for denying the Holocaust. You go to jail for preaching against homosexuals from your pulpit.

I'm sure I'll be modded down for saying it, but it needs to be said. Free speech is damn free in this country, and I'm glad we're going to even further lengths to protect it!

Our libel laws in the UK are one thing I truly detest and wish I could have what you Americans do. There's not much else I prefer in all honesty, but you guys got freedom of speech down cold.

Re:So much for... (5, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384292)

There's not much else I prefer in all honesty, but you guys got freedom of speech down cold.

Well, long as it's not more than four words from a lyric out of a RIAA owned song.

Re:So much for... (2, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384974)

Our libel laws in the UK are one thing I truly detest and wish I could have what you Americans do.

Really? You object to being required to be able to prove that what you said is true if it causes someone damage? Personally I think it puts the responsibility in the right place. If you cannot prove that what you are saying is true then why are you presenting it as fact?

There's not much else I prefer in all honesty, but you guys got freedom of speech down cold.

As a brit who lived in the US for several years you ought to try it before making comments like that. Remember that the freedom to say something does not imply freedom from the consequences of saying it and if those consequences are severe enough to put you off saying what you think do you really have true freedom of speech?

Re:So much for... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384278)

I don't think it's so much that speech isn't free here, just that the right needs to be carefully watched and hell raised over any transgressions whatsoever to avoid speech falling into categories like 'approved' and 'unapproved.' Also, as for filming sex, that's more of a legal gray area what with federal obscenity laws and all. Western Europe is by and large much more relaxed regarding things like sex. A flash of Janet Jackson's tit (nipple covered, even,) during a 'family event' in which overgrown steroid users repeatedly pummel each other into the ground caused a national controversy. Google max hardcore (some of the links will be nsfw) for an idea of just what's going on.

Re:So much for... (1, Troll)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384288)

Just don't write fiction about child molestation and you're fine, even the US has its limits on free speech.

Re:So much for... (2, Insightful)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384364)

or try and bring home some Japanese manga with any girly bits in them on anyone who isnt obviously 110 years old.

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384924)

To be fair, a lot of the girls in manga with girly bit in them are explicitly stated as too young. I don't care how much you stretch it: Jr High Students are simply too young by US law.

You can say that the standards of the culture are different, which is very true. But that doesn't mean they're necessarily being arbitrary and prejudicial by banning the ones that really don't meet local standards.

Re:So much for... (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384600)

Just don't write fiction about child molestation and you're fine, even the US has its limits on free speech.

Wait, what? As far as I'm aware, writing a fictional story is not illegal in the US regardless of subject.

Otherwise, the government has been ignoring blatant lawbreaking as seen here;

http://www.literotica.com/ [literotica.com]

http://www.asstr.org/ [asstr.org]

Strat

Re:So much for... (2, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384636)

Stories I think are clear. However, laws have been passed which prohibit the display of a fictional illustration depicting child pornography. At one time a law was drafted (not sure if it ever passed) which declared it illegal to display pornography in which the subject APPEARED underaged even if she physically was not. Little Lupe fans still haven't been (successfully) prosecuted yet though, so I'm doubting enforcement on that law if it passed is 100% . . .

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33385038)

Don't know about written stories, but a man has been jailed for 6 months for owning comic books with a deemed-unacceptable drawing. He was a comic book collector, and he went to jail for seven of his tens of thousands of comic books. A comic book, not photographs. The 2003 "Protect" act is real obscenity.

Source, one among many: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/02/obscene-us-manga-collector-jailed-6-months/ [wired.com]

Not true (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384396)

the fact you can speak anything without fear is our greatest treasure, in my opinion

Good luck talking about terrorism, bombs, Islam, or airplanes.

you can talk about those things (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384670)

but you will be met by a wall of ignorance, hysteria, fear, hyperbole, and propaganda

which is fine. life is raw. i would prefer ugly truths to placid lies, which the laws in other countries apparently prefer

the alternative: forbidding people to talk about controversy, is that superior? i don't think so

as the top poster said, i am quite enamored with the usa's right to free speech

but what i don't like currently in the usa though is this melding of opinion and "news" organization, such as with fox news. currently in the usa we are drowning under a flood of misinformation and lies

in other words, i think it is ok to have any opinion you want. but what i don't think is ok is to tell people lies and present it to people as facts, which is what "news" organizations like fox do

what i would like to see is a law somewhere along the lines of "enjoy your free speech, just don't present yourself as an authority on something when you clearly are not an authority, just a bought and paid for huckster"

Re:you can talk about those things (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384950)

what i would like to see is a law somewhere along the lines of "enjoy your free speech, just don't present yourself as an authority on something when you clearly are not an authority, just a bought and paid for huckster.

Upon passage of this law, both houses of congress chuckled uncomfortably, rustled some papers on their desks, and went out for an early drink.

Re:So much for... (3, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384398)

But Oh my god, don't show nudity on public TV! That's just obscene!

Re:So much for... (1)

Cyner (267154) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384648)

That which is publicly available and privately available are two very different things. Besides, there are only a handful of public TV channels; Cable isn't "public" (under most circumstances); nor is Satellite TV. And i can attest, we do have channels with porn all day long.

Re:So much for... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384680)

Public TV no, but the subject itself isn't completely banned. Anyone who wants to see nudity doesn't have to look far.

That said, I have seen a few (usually right wing extremists) who have called for a complete ban on it. I think a few jurisdictions do so though. Kinda like the dry counties in the south where prohibition lives on even now.

Re:So much for... (4, Interesting)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384530)

Actually, California is the only state with a precedent (people v. Freeman) on record differentiating the production of pornography from prostitution, it's one of the reasons that the vast majority of porn made is the US is made in California. When you think about it, the distinction doesn't really make much sense; paying for sex is illegal... unless you film it with the intent to sell the video, in which case it's fine.

Re:So much for... (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384716)

In parts of Nevada where prostitution is legal, I'd wager that the (admittedly flimsy) distinction doesn't need to be made at all.

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384722)

It does make sense. Paying for sex is bad, stifling freedom of speech is worse, so lets ban paying for sex when there isn't any "speech" to it.

Holy shit, the logic boggles the mind!

Re:So much for... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384902)

I think the difference is that all participants in pornographic sex are being paid to perform. If you hire a hooker, it doesn't suddenly become legal to pay here to have sex with you if a camera's involved.

Of course, there's nothing stopping you from setting up your own dummy corporation and "paying" yourself to perform in your own videos.

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384540)

Yes, but in the US you can get sued for anything and everything. Even if you have a site name that contains "book" ...

Re:So much for... (0, Troll)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384590)

Truth is a legal defense in the US, I'm not sure if it is in the UK.

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384704)

Nonsense! The US legal defense is a costly option Joe Average cannot afford. This example is UK's ridiculous libel laws, that for some reason have been allowed to get insanely out of control and used to suppress dissenting opinion. However, there are moves to correct it, and the drive-by libel tourisms cases will soon cease.

Re:So much for... (0, Offtopic)

Myopic (18616) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384666)

It is my opinion that moderators should always down-mod any post which contains something like "I'll probably be modded down for this..."

If a post is insightful or interesting, it will stand on its own without the not-so-subtle plea for positive moderation.

Re:So much for... (2, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384766)

Indeed. Especially when the rest of the post is basically pandering to the audience at hand. It's a persecution complex - people love to feel like the underdog.

If this site was run by Baskin Robbins I have no doubt there would be people here posting:

"I know I'll be modded down for saying this, but I've got karma to burn. Ice cream is fucking awesome!"

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384798)

Now, go to one of our major airports.
Walk inside. Find something you like.

And loudly proclaim, "that's the BOMB!"

Good luck...

Re:So much for... (3, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384826)

It's even legal in the US to be Jeffrey Morris, though he will now go down in the internet archives as a complete prat whom you should never do business with.

Re:So much for... the Free Market (2, Insightful)

dpilot (134227) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384862)

One of the fundamental requirements for a free market is an informed consumer with choices.

One could interpret matters like this as suppliers trying to keep their dirty laundry quiet, trying to keep consumers in the dark, keep them from making fully informed choices. Obviously if available information is clearly incorrect that needs to be fixed, but it's also not clear that that's the case here.

Most people have been looking at this from a freedom-of-speech point of view, and that's valid. But there are other problems with it as well, and the free market implications are one of those.

Re:So much for... (1)

retardpicnic (1762292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33385028)

Yah that so awesome that nazi's and homophobes can run off at the mouth...whooooooo hooooo. Thats great..er.really

huh (4, Informative)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384240)

Test? What test? The Act pretty solidly protects techdirt from the UK parties seeking to enforce a judgment in the US. It doesn't protect them overseas though, but as long as they don't have assets in a country where the judgment can be enforced they shouldn't have a problem. But you're not going to see some dramatic legal case where this is tested.

Re:huh (1)

Defenestrar (1773808) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384548)

Perhaps filtering at the border is something to be concerned about in some jurisdictions.

Jurisdiction (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384260)

"So, uh, yeah, go ahead and sue. And tell them they can rule that I need to shut my site down. Oh, wait, what country were you in again?"

Jeff Morris (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384302)

Is a fucking asshole.

Re:Jeff Morris (4, Funny)

c++0xFF (1758032) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384402)

Oh, great. Now he's going to sue Slashdot!

Keep your comments to yourself next time.

Re:Jeff Morris (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384930)

Better yet, go post them on Fark.

Re:Jeff Morris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384498)

No, you got it wrong:

Jeff Morris is person who behaves preferentially to members of his own socio-cultural group.

And stating that is, apparently, offensive.

Re:Jeff Morris (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384644)

No, you got it wrong:

Jeff Morris is person who behaves preferentially to members of his own socio-cultural group.

Oh my god ... you mean he's a Republican? Evil bastard!

Pot meet kettle (4, Informative)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384310)

It would seem a strange turn since the USA allowed a one of its firms to sue a foreign entity not that long ago: http://www.spamhaus.org/organization/statement.lasso?ref=3 [spamhaus.org]

Re:Pot meet kettle (2)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384508)

Well, they also found it normal that copyright didn't go for 'foreign' products. A lot of early writers, musicians, filmmakers and inventors found out about that one. They also find it normal to get the world to sign ACTA, even if a 'bit' of pressure (read: threat) is used... And yet the USA wonders why about 90% of the people in the world hates the country. Now this will probably be mod down to troll by the same people that say they have such great free speech, completely ignoring the fact that a large part of the world hates the country and it's politics, not the people living there. I know some great american people, but boy, the politics suck! They really think at a high level they are Godlike. They know it all. And that is very silly considering the crime-rates, the unemployment rates, the ghetto's. The democracy in the USA is a 2-way choice. Democrats or Republicans. In the end they have 2 people to chose from. It's ridiculous and it's even more ridiculous the rest of the world under the threat of violence puts up with it.

Re:Pot meet kettle (5, Informative)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384572)

Actual research [worldpublicopinion.org] disagrees with many of your generalizations. And yeah, the US has considerable freedoms related to free speech while having significantly many other problems. Still, I somehow doubt you've ever lived in the US and are getting all your information from those same people who fed you that 90% fabrication.

Re:Pot meet kettle (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384770)

I love you so much for finding that source. I was just going to make a snarky reply about people making things up as they go to suit their arguments, but bitchslapping them with actual data is too good.

Re:Pot meet kettle (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384774)

Have looked at the participating countries? Lol.

Re:Pot meet kettle (2, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384792)

Btw, it's called in your own paper as the Obama effect... Do that same 'research'(poll lol) again. This time without the USA please. That is not research, it's a freaking poll.

Re:Pot meet kettle (3, Insightful)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384966)

You're right, asking people how they feel about the US in a representative manner is a fundamentally flawed way of establishing a country-by-country perception of the US. And we should totally exclude those things which make people view the US more favorably. Gosh, what was I thinking. /s

Re:Pot meet kettle (1)

Malenx (1453851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33385010)

You got served sucka!

Re:Pot meet kettle (2, Interesting)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384578)

That's a terrible example. Spamhaus conceded jurisdiction by responding to the claim in US court. What they should have done was to contest the Jurisdiction. I assume they thought they were going to win and only upon realizing they were likely to lose did they run away to the UK.

Re:Pot meet kettle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384794)

Spamhaus conceded jurisdiction by responding to the claim in US court. What they should have done was to contest the Jurisdiction.

Huh? So, basically, by responding to the claim, they concede jurisdiction. What they should have done is respond to the claim, conceding jurisdiction, to contest the jurisdiction which they have evidently already conceded? How does that work?!

The United States of America, land of the catch-22?

Also, if you read the link, they did contest jurisdiction. The court decided that they had a US presence, and ruled against them. This was never reversed, despite the case going back and forth to the appeals courts on other matters. Last update (as of last month!) the judgment had been reduced to $27,000 - but they're still "guilty" in a US court, despite having no presence whatsoever in the US.

Re:Pot meet kettle (2, Informative)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384596)

Yes, that first case was clearly a failure of the justice system. I'm glad to see it was struck down on appeal, but the fact that a law firm needed to take it on pro bono to see the idiocy of the complainant is very disconcerting indeed.

Deman in one hand... (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384334)

Get a court order in the other. See which hand fills up first.

It just goes to show (2, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384356)

How mankind absolutely cannot recognize the fact that he lives in a global society, and that the internet is a global medium. I'm currently writing this post from Costa Rica where, as a born Canadian citizen and an adopted British and EU Citizen (my mother is Scots) I hold legal residency, and have for 20 years.

It's unfortunate that the ignorance of different laws and customs among those (supposedly) smart people we elect to represent us and judge us leads to this kind of mess. Why can the US enforce it's own very restrictive copyright laws and extradite people from oh, I don't know, Australia for example, to face criminal copyright infringement charges; only to turn around and then prevent its citizens (real or corporate) to be shielded from other countries' laws?

A decision must be taken: to enforce either the weakest possible or strongest possible law in every case, in order to avoid the arbitrariness not doing this would lead to; or to disconnect the internet.

Re:It just goes to show (3, Insightful)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384428)

Why can the US enforce it's own very restrictive copyright laws and extradite people from oh, I don't know, Australia for example, to face criminal copyright infringement charges; only to turn around and then prevent its citizens (real or corporate) to be shielded from other countries' laws?

Because the leaders of Australia went "Oh, go ahead, here he is! We'll even send a police escort with him, and pay for the plane tickets!"

Re:It just goes to show (2, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384476)

Why can the US enforce it's own very restrictive copyright laws and extradite people from oh, I don't know, Australia for example, to face criminal copyright infringement charges; only to turn around and then prevent its citizens (real or corporate) to be shielded from other countries' laws?

Because, the rest of the world can suck it!

[cracks Budweiser]

USA! USA! USA!

Re:It just goes to show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384922)

Because, the rest of the world can suck it!

[cracks Budweiser]

USA! USA! USA!

Gee, and to think that people believe the US is full of ignorant, beer-swilling rednecks.

Thanks for clearing that up for us, asshole.

Re:It just goes to show (1)

jpolonsk (739332) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384634)

Or, you can have many countries with different laws and global organizations that create treaties that specify how those laws impact other countries. What would be nice is, freedom to move and live in all these different countries easily so if you didn't like a certain countries methods you could easily leave.

Re:It just goes to show (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384638)

How do you propose we consolidate laws that ban certain religions or make women 2nd class citizens?

Different culture leads to different laws. I don't want to be bound by Chinese law - do you?

Re:It just goes to show (2, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384896)

Because not all of mankind lives in a global society. The rich and mobile do, but the majority of humans don't have that luxury.

Nations still exist because the majority of the peoples that live in nations want their nations to continue, they don't want to live in a global society. That is true even in the rich and mobile nations.

Who in the EU wants social laws and punishments to be leveled from EU norms to strike a balance with Saudi Arabia, Iran or the People's Republic of China?

Hell, ask Canadians in British Columbia what they think about joining Washington and/or Oregon and they are scared to death of it.

Re:It just goes to show (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384934)

Ask Quebec if they want to be a sovereign country they go hell yeah. Ask the east coasters if they want to join the US and they hmm. Might not be bad.

Of course (1)

ooji (1471967) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384376)

the BEST thing is that the sockpuppet defending Mr Morris on the thread that the case is about is called 'Dirk Manly'.

Streisand effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384378)

Congratulations Mr Morris, your silly attempts at intimidation have now hit /. and blown up in your face and the original article is available for all to see. FYI the comment was posted after a blog entry related to Jeftel so it is all the more incredible that the guy behind these demands might be associated with the funding & running of an ISP. Here is the body of the offending comment quoted in the complaint and appended to the blog entry along with other very silly stuff:

  the unchosen one, Apr 16th, 2010 @ 6:30am
my name is adam gould son of doctor gould in leeds.
I get bollocked by jeffery everyday. He makes me feel stupid, maybe because i am?? I get paid 30k a year to get slapped about like a whore by jeffery. Who only looks after his own 'jewish' workers. the rest treated like shite.

Jeffery Morris has young people around him, they are so so fooled by his 'brainwashing' ways!! tels them anything to make them sell..many people are educated but caught in a 'dream' that he will make them rich. Hahah what a joke!!

The guy who runs wamey now is Dennis Carr, who owns a bar in manchester. Complete conman, check him out on google, inside track. He tries to get into your head like the demon headmaster, but he is just a working class plasterer who earned a few quid scammin people in property. Jeffery Morris what a wanker, scammer. Dennis is gettin a dose of his own medicine by jeffery..where is your workforce? left because dennis is a conman

Jurisdiction (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384400)

IANAL, but isn't there any kind of jurisdiction regarding stuff like this. Why is a law needed for, "Courts that have no jurisdiction here can't have jurisdiction here."? From the ISP's perspective: 1. The ISP is American (I assume), and 2. The client is American, and 3. If the client and/or ISP haven't broken any American laws why should they use a UK cease and desist for anything other than toilet paper? If the client and/or ISP HAVE broken American laws, the person should sue using the American court system.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

easterberry (1826250) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384494)

I believe because the person who commit the libel was in the UK at the time.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384730)

Ok, I can see how that person should be able to sue for damages in the UK courts then (which the defendant could probably ignore unless he plans to travel to the UK in the future), but I still don't see how that should get the site that's no where near UK jurisdiction shut down.

Tell Spamhaus that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384536)

Tell Spamhaus that. Oh, yeah, the slashdot stories all had USians turning up saying "well, they should have turned up in court, then, shouldn't they!".

Here is your other shoe, kid.

If you don't like what I have to say... (1)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384412)

As much as I'm against filtering at all, if your country/government doesn't like what's said in another country, it's up to your country to filter it out.

We aren't going to bend to your will or around your laws when on our soil, Mr. Dickhead in the UK. Don't like my opinion and what I have to say? Know what that sounds like? It sounds like a tough break for you.

Called out for spamming? Just sue, sue, sue! (5, Informative)

kaptink (699820) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384432)

The story looks to be about this post http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20041001/0941211.shtml [techdirt.com] regarding Jeftel in which the company is called out for being a spam sham. This guy doesnt exactly look like the next Richard Branson :) Jeftel.com doesnt exactly resolve to a legit operation either. Just a default holder page. Is this guy just pissed for being caught out? What a douche

cf McKinnon, the OFFENCE took place in UK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384486)

cf McKinnon, the OFFENCE took place in UK!

Take that, 'merkins!

Re:cf McKinnon, the OFFENCE took place in UK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384598)

McKinnon, a British citizen 'illegally accessed' a computer in the US. The 'scene of the crime', therefor, was the US (Where the server which was illegally accessed was).

In this case, the "libel" happened in the US, was an act of a US citizen, on a US server, owned by a US company, but was viewable from the UK. The 'scene of the crime', therefor, was the US (Where the server which published the "libel" was).

Not a very good comparison, you've just made...

Nope, no illegal access. It was open to the public (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384854)

Nope, no illegal access. It was open to the public. There was no damage done. There was no secrets unearthed. There was no crime and the crime he is being extradited for did not exist in the US at the time.

So, although there are differences, there are more differences than you lead to suppose. The most important one is that when this "crime" took place

a) no such law existed for McKinnon's actions
b) libel laws existed for this case

Libel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384532)

I hear Jeffrey Morris is a irredeemable pedophile who collects the underwear of his young victims as trophies. He has a couple diapers as well.

I hear Jeffrey Morris once watched The Adventures of Pluto Nash all the way through and enjoyed it.

Pretty damm funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33384556)

You would think the UK lawyers would learned about US laws before threatening to shut down a website that is out of their country. I guess when you live in Oceania, I mean the UK you can do whatever you want.

Re:Pretty damm funny (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384918)

I believe that many lawyers in the UK accept cash as well as blood, and will do so even if the legal argument you wish them to advance is a silly one.

Oh great (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384772)

Great, just great.. the solicitors are from Leeds too. My home town, it'd only be a relatively short walk to get to them in town too.

Thanks Addlestone Keane Law, great way to help the international reputation of Leeds.. for fucks sake. This is going to go streisand effect, I just know it.

Dear Jeffrey Morris in the UK (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384828)

You are a flaming asshole. Please to go fuck yourself.

Different motives involved here (5, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384864)

"It is entirely possible that the lawyers were unaware of the SPEECH Act, but it does seem like a law firm making legal threats in a foreign country should be expected to have researched the legal barriers to making such a claim before using billable hours to make threats they cannot back up."

The law firm doesn't care if their threats are stupid:

Client: I want to sue!
Attorney: Well, you don't have grounds and probably can't win.
Client: I don't care! I want to sue!
Attorney: Okay. (Now with a clear conscience, turns on the clock.)

Re:Different motives involved here (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#33384972)

Note that "clear conscience" actually means "sufficient warning given to client to avoid liability in eventual malpractice lawsuit".

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