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Remove Defamation on Money Saving Expert. Defamation Lawyer Yair Cohen wins court order against Money Saving Expert

By Kit Chellel – Bloomberg News

Sep 30, 2011 12:00 AM GMT+0100

Bains Cohen news

People who use fake names to post critical comments about companies on websites may not be as anonymous as they think, as firms use the courts to unmask online accusers.

MoneySavingExpert, a British personal finance site with 5 million readers, was forced to hand over personal details about three users calling themselves Againstjpc, GomerPyle and Ladybirds, following a London court ruling in August. The three wrote comments on the website accusing JPC Group Sales Ltd., an affiliate of a U.K. publishing company, of being a “criminal enterprise” and “a scam,” the company said in court filings.

Similar orders have been granted in the U.K. over comments posted on Google Inc. (GOOG) blogs and comment boards at its YouTube unit’s website, said Yair Cohen, a lawyer for JPC. Louise Rutter, spokeswoman for Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment.

“There have been a few of these cases and they are becoming more common,” said Korieh Duodu, a media law specialist at London firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP. “It is clear there is a significant footprint left by Web users, who are not always aware of how much information can be revealed about their identities when they publish material online.”

While Internet users have traditionally enjoyed the freedom to air controversial views without using real names, courts can order websites to hand over e-mail and Internet-protocol addresses, and other personal details, if anonymous comments go too far. A person who disrupts Web forums with inflammatory or offensive remarks is known as a “troll” in Internet slang.

‘Online Anonymity’

Disclosing the identity of Web users shouldn’t be taken lightly, said Eric King, human rights and technology adviser at advocacy group Privacy International. It could even be illegal, unless the comments caused serious harm.

“Online anonymity is a hugely important aspect of the right to privacy,” he said.

In 2007, the owner of a fan site for soccer club Sheffield Wednesday was forced to disclose the identities of several users after what a judge described as a “sustained campaign of vilification” against the club’s directors. Financial websites Motley Fool and Interactive Investor had to provide information about a user known as Zeddust in 2001, following a lawsuit filed by internet service provider Totalise Plc.

In the U.S., with stricter laws protecting freedom of speech, judges have sometimes found in favor of victims of online abuse. Former model Liskula Cohen won an order from a New York judge in 2009 requiring Google to identify a blogger who defamed her, while another model, Carla Franklin, won a similar ruling in 2010 over comments made on YouTube.

Court Order

Cohen, the JPC lawyer at firm Bains Cohen, said the company would now apply for an order against Internet provider TalkTalk Telecom Group Plc (TALK) to get the physical address of one of the individuals who posted the remarks on MoneySavingExpert. The company plans to sue the person for defamation, he said.

TalkTalk said in a statement that it “would never disclose any information” without a court order.

JPC, part of the Wyvern Media brand which publishes the Lincolnshire Telegraph and the North London Chronicle, said in an e-mailed statement that anonymous posters of abuse cost small businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds every month. “We are determined to bring our abusers to justice,” it said.

Brendan Perrett, head of operations at MoneySavingExpert, said the site hadn’t initially provided information about its users because of its privacy policy and the U.K. Data Protection Act.

“The job of balancing the consumer viewpoint and right to give their views without letting people unfairly tarnish companies’ reputations is never an easy one,” he said.

Duodu said the issue of freedom of speech had to be considered by companies deciding to tackle online abuse.

“The other concern for corporations is that they should be wary of stifling genuine debate. Seeking the closure of websites because of a few detractors can lead to a massive public relations own goal,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

Business Reputation New Free Tip Of The Day

bains cohen solicitorsIf at the moment the battlefield where you fight for your good reputation is based online and those on the other side, appear to have a reasonably good understanding of the battleground and of the basic tools and ammunitions which are required to cause you maximum damage, you might want to seriously consider moving the battlefield elsewhere where it will be harder for your reputational enemies to fight back.

What Is A Google Bomb

A Google Bomb. What a scary phrase. Surely you must have heard this term being used before and wondered what it actually meant. 

So what does the term “Google Bomb” really mean, how can a Google Bomb affect you or your business and what can you do to protect yourself from being a victim?

 

Find a ‘live’ example of a mini Google Bomb on my Internet Law Expert blog.

 

Follow this link to read the full article on How To Create A Google Bomb

Internet Law Experts: What Is A Google Bomb | Internet Lawyers | via Internet Law Experts: What Is A Google Bomb | Internet Defamation

Internet Lawyers: Defamation of Character Online – Are Website Hosts Responsible For Defamatory Comments Posted On Their Websites? | Internet Law |

Internet Lawyers: Defamation of Character Online – Are Website Hosts Responsible For Defamatory Comments Posted On Their Websites? 

Once something defamatory is published against you or against your company, website operators become a crucial point of call in the search for who may be responsible for the original publication of the defamatory material, and also key to getting the article or site removed.
Clearly, once a website operator is notified by a victim of defamation or by the victim’s internet lawyer, that defamatory material has been published on one of their websites, they become liable to the content of such website and in the vast majority of the cases they will simply remove the content even if just to avoid litigation.

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