Guess what everyone is going to be googling now.
The mother of US Olympic speedskating phenomenon Shani Davis is suing Google for refusing to remove a posting to its Blogspot site that was made by a user who has since died. It's questionable how far the lawsuit, filed last week in Illinois state court on behalf of Cherie Davis, is likely to get. Legal scholars say the …
Quote from the link in article: "Therefore, these sites are not held liable for any allegedly defamatory, offensive or harassing content published on the site."
IANAL but so should be ThePirateBay.org. It doesn't publish any defamatory, offensive or harassing content. There's hardly any content.
Well done, Cherie Davis! Thanks to your lawsuit, people world-wide are no doubt mirroring the web page, out of reach of US jurisdiction. If you had kept your yap shut, the page would have languished in obscurity. *I* certainly would never have known it existed ... and I doubt (m)any other ElReg readers would have known about it, either.
Another "Well Done", that woman!
Sorry, I'm totally out of the loop on this. I didn't watch the Olympics. I didn't give a shit/e about it. The only way I even knew about that Phelps guy was having him rubbed in my face by the cover of every magazine, the front page of every newspaper, and every damn TV channel in the country after he broke Mark Spitz's gold-medal record. Oh, and that bong-hit thing, too.
So, now I finally know who this Davis chick is, and my first impression is "jayzus, what a goddamn' diva!"
To quoth the the plaintiffs weasel... err scum sucking bottom feed.. shoot.. err lawyer, yeah lawyer that's it... "The purpose of the suit is to not squelch speech so to speak" That my friends are weasel words at their finest and of course coming from a lawyer. Who if he wins this case will no doubt want to have a few words with some authors because he thinks their books are naughty and he wants to protect us all of course. Not because he wants to "squelch speech so to speak".
This is a US citizen suing a US company over a post made by another US citizen. In what way is this not a US matter?
I have to agree with both sides here, if the post is defamatory, the plaintiff has no choice but to go after Google in the absence of the blogger.
Google shouldn't be taking things down without a court order either though.
I'm not sure about that. Try comparing Google and the Internet with newspapers and libraries. If someone puts something defamatory in a newspaper and then dies, does the defamed person have the right to sue all the libraries and have the newspaper removed from them and destroyed? I would certainly hope not. In the future we might not even have physical libraries any more so we should stand up now for our right of access to uncensored archives of what was published in the past, and we should probably allow individuals, even bloggers, to count as publishers.
Perhaps, however, unchanged archive material needs to be explicitly labelled as such, with an accurate date and source, so that people can tell the difference between something that is being (re)published now and something that is only being made available as part of a complete historical archive. Immunity should probably only apply to complete archives. People who selectively republish extracts should have to take responsibility for what they republish.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Memo To Cherie Davis
Dear Ms. Davis,
Listen, I hear you have gone on record as calling members of the speedskating federation "KKK", "white supremacist" and "neo-Nazi genetic mutation". And I hear you have taken to vigorously contacting members of said speedskating community as well as members of the media to tell them to never comment on your son, Shani. And I hear you take much joy in seeing people from other countries jeer Shani's American teammates.
And I hear you have taken to donning the colors and logos of the Dutch, which is fine and all as Holland has always seemed like a peaceful place and pot-smoking and prostitution are legal there, which is A-OK with yours truly. To be honest, I think you picked a fine country to fall in favor with.
Thing is, you did so while your son was racing for the United States. Yes, the same country that, despite your repeated claims of racism, saw the rise of your son from inner city kid on roller skates to Olympic champion on ice. Yeah, that country. I've never been the most gung-ho yahoo when it comes to undying patriotism and all that jazz myself, so I can sympathize with you a bit, but let's keep an eye on the big picture here.
Anyway, let me get to my point: Next time you want to scream and shout about the racism and hate you seemingly perceive all around you, I want you to stop, take a deep breath, and consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, the reason some folks may not be big fans of you or your son is because you're a petulant, ill-willed, flame war-starting psycho bitch and have gone out of your way to create the animosity you perceive to be aimed in your direction. Somehow I think that if you let down your walls of hate every once in a while, the sun might actually come out and the world wouldn't be such a big, bad awful place that is out to get you and Shani. The past week could have been one of great joy for you, your son, your country, and a whole bunch of potential fans, but you seemingly decided against allowing anything of the sort a long time ago. That was your choice. Nobody else's.
If you treat others like shit, expect the same in return. If you ask to be disliked, then expect to be disliked.
The Unknown Column
I'd never heard of this woman or her son, but thanks to her lawsuit I am now of the view that she probably is "a petulant, ill-willed, flame war-starting psycho bitch". So that's worked well I think.
It's remarkable to think that one's blog posts are potentially heritable; should wills include a section passing on passwords for online services?
"I have to agree with both sides here, if the post is defamatory, the plaintiff has no choice but to go after Google in the absence of the blogger"
True, but as Dan pointed out in the article, the blogger is referring to an unchallenged news report:
Jacob Lipman has defined libel quite well - I think it's clear that the blogger made his comments on a source that he validly assumed to be true. I'm sure there are plenty of bloggers that have commented on facts that were later turned out to be erroneous. I imagine he was one step away from complete immunity - referencing the source article and leaving it for them to correct.
For a 3+ year old blog that very few people would have seen, it's strikes me as a very silly way to get your name up in lights... She doesn't appear to have a problem with theage's article, but does take issue with someone getting indignant about it ?
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019