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back to article Magazine faces legal action for bowing to legal action

The New Statesman faces a possible lawsuit for removing links from its website after it was threatened with legal action. The magazine removed links to Wikileaks after it was approached by lawyers acting for Iraqi-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. This led Wikileaks editor Julian Assange to accuse New Statesman of effectively …

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Private Eye

Nice to see you guys read Private Eye, then it's only fair, as I have seen stores here that have turned up in the next edition of the Eye

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And a good thing too ...

... the way libel laws are abused in the UK. The way that people with deep pockets can make news stories disappear by waving around lawyers is a bit of a problem. The US has recognised this, and hopefully the Lords will start to make changes here.

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Anonymous Coward

IANAL but...

Shirley some sort of disclaimer would sort this out, maybe something along the lines of "[The New Statesman] is not responsible for the content of external internet sites" (a la news.bbc.co.uk).

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Time to set things straight

Links on the Intarweb have nothing to do with accuracy. Putting a link on one's site does not mean the target URL is accurate, it simply means that the site owner believes that the linked site could interest his readers as well.

Supposing defamation because of a removed link goes straight to the "worst excuse ever" box of sad excuses for a lawsuit.

I don't think this one will fly in a court, especially if Wikileaks did nothing to trumpet the fact that it got linked in the first place.

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Black Helicopters

Eye told you so

Indeed. Luckily for us in the UK The Eye has been publishing stories about how mega rich non-UK nationals are using the UK's dreadful libel laws, along with extremely expensive lawyers, to threaten hell and damnation, plus a huge legal bill, should anyone defy their 'take down immediately' notices. The supine UK press just love it up the arse so over they go.

In some instances you only have to mention, say, 'Barclay Brothers' to receive a nasty letter complaining about privacy or libel.

What say you El Reg?

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Libel laws

The English libel laws are now such a farce that I'm amazed they've not been comprehensively binned and replaced by something more compatible with human rights legislation such as the ECHR.

Since Labour have legislated on everything else up to and including selling squirrels (you can't!) why have they left these dreadful laws on the statute book?

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Tom
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@Austin

Just make sure your pendulum doesn't swing too far our way. On this side of the pond you can publish things that ought to libelous but get protection under "celebrity" or "political" status. I'd say somewhere between where you are and where we are is the sweet spot.

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@Austin Chamberlain

This wouldn't be the 'Libel Terrorism Bill' would it? Which funnily enough has nothing to do with terrorism, but hey it's one way to get it passed.

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Up Yours!

I run a fairly minor forum. Nothing special but some okay people post stuff there. One day a pretty detailed comment was put up concerning a German company. It wasn't nice but as far as I was concerned it was factual so it stayed up. Soon after someone claiming to be based in London and their legal representative wrote to me and in rather nasty tones demanded the comments be removed or I will be in court. I replied saying I looked forward to it.

That was in March. Still waiting for papers to be served, but my guess is they gambled thet threat would be enough and in this case got it wrong so left it. Rectum fiddlers.

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Selling squirrels

Perhaps not red squirrels, but there seems to be a roaring trade in grey squirrel meat.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7347828.stm

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Thank goodness for wiki leaks

Keep the bastards honest!

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