Saturday, April 18, 2015

Less bad than one would have predicted

Michael Coren, who at times can seem appallingly stupid, has written a column on Ontario's new sex ed curriculum (here).

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dawg v FD Decision

A friend of a friend forwarded me a copy of the ruling in Dr. Dawg's defamation case against Roger Smith and Freedominion.

For those who need a reminder, Dawg had sued Mr. Roger Smith (also known as Peter O'Donnell) for describing him as "one of the Taliban's more vocal supporters" and FD for publishing it.

The highlights are:
  1. the judge found that these words were indeed defamatory; 
  2. FD was indeed a publisher and therefore responsible for these words (their argument denying this "is disingenuous and ignores reality");
  3. because the words occurred within the context of a wider discussion that was within public interest, it could fall within the scope of a defence of fair comment;
  4. demonstration of malice would prevent a defence of fair comment, but because malice was not the dominant motive, fair comment stands.
  5. All parties are responsible for their own costs.
All in all, this looks to me like a draw.  Bloggers and other commenters should note that 'malice' and 'fair comment' are terms of art and applied here to a specific interaction.  Reading between the lines, it looks to me like the FDers had a near miss on 'malice'.

Favourite paragraph?  Obviously §201: 
Given that the entire point of defamation law is to determine the meaning and effect of words, the defendants submit that an incoherent post cannot have any meaning and therefore cannot defame the plaintiff.

Update.  Dawg's take here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Update on Warman and the Cools post

The wheels of justice, as the saying goes, grind slowly.

Long time readers will remember that I spent a good deal of time in 2008 investigating the allegation that Human Rights activist and lawyer, Richard Warman, had written a nasty racist screed about Anne Cools, and concluded that this was not possible:

  1. the IP address used by the author of the Cools post (which had later been used by Warman) was a load-balancing proxy usable by any of Rogers' close to a million customers;
  2. the browser and setup used by author of the Cools Post was different from Warman's in several key ways (here and here); 
  3. the 'expert' opinion presented by Bernard Klatt arguing that Warman was the author of the Cools post was deeply substandard in several ways (here)
Warman brought a defamation suit against those who had claimed that he wrote that post, and the case has been inching its way through the court.

I have now seen the Court report related to this case (available here). It dismisses with costs the motion of Levant (the defendant) that Warman surrender 12,000 pages of data without redactions for privilege or relevance.

One interesting point that I noticed there, which might be added to those above: 
Two separate Expert Reports (dated December 17, 2009 and April 23, 2010) concluded that (i) there was no evidence Mr. Warman's computer was even turned on the day the Hateful Posting was authored, and (ii) no evidence existed of the Hateful Posting anywhere on Mr. Warman's computer.
To which my response can only be:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Too cool

Check it out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012