Skip to comments.A lawsuit has been served against our Canadian "sister" site, Free Dominion.
Posted on 11/23/2007 3:43:25 AM PST by backhoeEdited on 11/23/2007 1:22:32 PM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
More information has come up, here:
|Court Papers from Richard Warman [ 1, 2, 3 ]|
The battle continues- here’s the latest:
Fight for Internet speech ratchets up
Open forum site fighting for right to political discourse
The popularity of new homes of only 500 square feet, 500-million-year-old bacteria and Barack Obama telling those with successful businesses, You didnt build that.
Those are just a few among the topics of discussion now at Free Dominion, a Canadian version of Free Republic in the U.S. where Internet users talk about, well, just about everything.
Now website organizers are trying to raise a few thousand dollars to pursue arguments in a court case that would solidify the foundation for Internet free speech in Canada, a case they won at the trial court level but saw reversed on appeal because the judges wanted to address a number of public interest and legal issues.
The operators of the Free Dominion website are asking supporters for help in raising an estimated $14,000 they need right away for the fight.
We need the support of the wider Internet community to continue our journey toward justice in order to maintain the principles of freedom of speech, thought and association for us all on the Internet, site operators Mark and Connie Fournier have written in their appeal.
The Ontario Court of Appeals asked us to bring expert witnesses to help them understand how defamation law should be applied to our Internet. This is an incredible opportunity for us to help shape the law. We have to ensure that our freedoms of association, thought, belief, opinion and free speech are properly protected, they wrote.
We need to raise $14,000 immediately to pay court costs and we will need to raise more funds for experts and for legal expenses for the trial. Our track record shows that we will stand up for our Internet, we will not quit, and we can win! Through no choice of our own, we have been thrust into the front lines of this battle. We hope you will stand with us.
The track record is important to understand, Connie Fournier told WND. The site has been around for more than a decade, but in the last few years has been targeted under Canadas various laws that forbid expressing opinions about another individual or group.
Think of the U.S. hate crimes law, which enhances criminal penalties based on the thoughts of a perpetrator, on steroids.
But the site already has had success.
Our legal cases have, so far, resulted in some excellent case law that protects Internet users, the Fourniers reported.
Among the precedents that have been set are that plaintiffs must now show that they have a real case of defamation, and a judge must consider free speech factors before the private information of anonymous posters can be demanded from website operators.
Also, the fights have resulted in a determination that excerpts from a copyrighted article are not considered a copyright violation.
Thirdly, forums now can take advantage of a news reporting exemption for quoting from copyright works, and links to copyrighted material are not considered to be violations.
Lastly, and of concern in the case at hand, is that Internet flame wars should not result in a successful defamation complaint when one flamer chooses to leave the online debate and file a lawsuit. This is vitally important to website operators who allow comments because, in Canada, they are liable for what others post on their sites.
In the controversy, the couple was accused of defamation because of what a forum participant posted on their website, which some time ago was moved from Canada to a foreign ownership.
The district court judge ruled in a case brought by blogger John Baglow over comments by Roger Smith in a debate between the two that the case be dismissed.
Then the Ontario Court of Appeals got involved, deciding to hear the case.
The appeals court did not overturn Justice Annis dismissal because he erred in finding that the comment was not defamatory, but because the case raised a number of political interest and legal issues that the higher court felt should be dealt with, the Fourniers reported.
The site operators said its a good opportunity to establish ground rules for the ideas of free speech and freedom to comment.
Oddly, although going through a full trial will be an expensive and time consuming process for us, we are pleased with their finding. We see it as a golden opportunity to make important fundamental law that will protect Internet users across Canada, and beyond our borders.
Mark Fournier, in a statement on the website, explained that the appeals court has instructed parties to return to Superior Court with expert witnesses who can better inform the court of the many new issues related to the situation.
Traditional defamation law is badly in need of an update in its application to the Internet, Mark Fournier wrote.
Unfortunately, and for reasons we do not understand, the high court ordered us to pay John Baglow $14,000 in costs. It is difficult because the appeals court wants us to help them examine these important issues, yet they placed a financial burden onus that could potentially knock us out of the game. If this happens it will be bad for Canadian Internet users.
We will remain in an era where Internet arguments will be settled by SLAPP suits and lawfare, and, to us, that is completely unacceptable.
Connie Fournier told WND that the issue is that in the United States, there is a different standard that what is used in Canada, where the law is based on British common law.
She said there are fewer protections for websites whose managers allow comments or posting.
Whats happening is theres a chill for website owners. When they get a complaint, they either have to take it down right away or face paying tens of thousands of dollars. Theres a chill because of that.
She said what the court has proposed a review of the requirements and standards is a good idea.
Without such review, Canada could end up being a shoppers forum for lawsuits over Internet statements, which could even threaten to reach across international boundaries and snag in Canadian courts American or other website operators.
She noted a Canadian Supreme Court decision just months ago now allows lawsuits in Canada based on the connection to Canada, such as if a person has business connections to Canada, lives there or such.
She said Free Dominion actually was transferred to a Panamanian corporate ownership and hosting service because of the threat to speech in Canada right now.
Several of the current disputes arose in a complaint that targeted a 2007 statement regarding radical Islam.
The idea of censoring a forum site, except for the truly abominable statements, is not something they would like to pursue, she said.
We want people to do their own fact checking, take everything they read and really think about it, she said.
The Fourniers also have posted online a list of the legal attacks theyve endured:
Thanks backhoe. Free Dominion stands out as the place actually fighting for our free speech unlike so many other sites where censorship is all to common.
Thanks for stopping by my drafty perch on the InterToobs...
Censorship freaks gangstalking Mark at work
H/T Narrow Back-
Here are all four interviews with Connie and Mark that should explain most everything.
Go to the link above for links to the interviews-
Mark and Connie are sensible and decent people caught up in a Kafkaesque nightmare. Their story is important, fascinating and needs to be heard.
Re: Latest documents filed in Warman vs FD Copyright Appeal
Unread postby Mark Fournier » 26 Apr 2013 22:13
In the vernacular of the layman
The links to the legal documents Connie posted above can be difficult reading for anyone not involved in the legal community so Im going to start a series of posts explaining it in laymans terms. As complicated as the legal issues are to get through, one cant fully understand the case without understanding the context in which the case is occurring. There is a long and involved back-story spanning a decade and three separate legal actions.
The ultimate beginning of the tale happened on September 5, 2003, when someone using the internet alias 90sAREover posted on Marc Lemires freedomsite.com the following bigoted screed:
Not only is Canadian Senator Anne Cools is a Negro, she is also an immigrant!
And she is also one helluva preachy c*nt.
She does NOT belong in my Canada. My Anglo-Germanic people were here before
there was a Canada and her kind have jumped in, polluted our race, and forced
their bullshit down our throats.
Time to go back to when the women n***** imports knew their place
And that place was NOT in public!
This post sat unnoticed on Lemires website for years. About two years after this post was made, Richard Warman and the Canadian Human Rights Commission began a hate speech action against Mr. Lemire which was to eventually end with Lemire being acquitted of all but one charge. He was found guilty of the hate crime of reposting, on his own website, an article written by someone else. The CHRT member, Mr. Athanasios Hadjis, who heard the case, used the one item he found Lemire guilty of to declare the entire process unconstitutional. That decision is currently being fought in the Federal Court of Appeal because the CHRC doesnt want to lose the power it wields through Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
In the seven-year-long course of the Richard Warman/CHRC prosecution of Marc Lemire, the Anne Cools post was to rise again and play a significant role in the proceedings. The entire story of the role it played will be told at a defamation trial on an unknown future date. That defamation case is part of the story behind this copyright case.
On the morning of January 18, 2008, only a handful of people knew about the Anne Cools post and the role it played in the Lemire prosecution, in fact, hardly anyone knew the name Marc Lemire. A small group of CHRC camp followers, many of whom belonged to the ultra-violent ARA gang, had so successfully smeared the reputation of Lemire that literally nobody would look into his case. We had only recently found our way to his story because Richard Warman had fired the first salvo of his Maximum Disruption campaign against us a few months earlier in the form of a rambling defamation suit against the two of us and eight anonymous Free Dominion posters.
While researching Richard Warman in order to make our defense in that case we found our way to the CHRC and the Lemire prosecution. The CHRC and its camp followers did NOT want us looking into the case and waged a concerted campaign to dissuade us from doing so. In retrospect, its easy to see why.
From talking to people who were involved with the case, and from reading the transcripts from the CHRT hearings, I learned the story of the Anne Cools post and thought it would be a good vehicle for drawing public attention to what the CHRC was doing with Section 13 in general, and to Lemire in particular. I compiled the information and wrote and published a story about it at Free Dominion on January 18, 2008. Read article...
The story I posted on Free Dominion about the Anne Cools post was quickly picked up by other blogs including Ezra Levants blog, Small Dead Animals and Five Feet of Fury. About a month later the MSM got up to speed and Jonathan Kay wrote an article about it and posted it on the National Posts website. Read Kay article...
[Note: the actual text of the Kay article and its title begins after the National Post banner at the link.]
It is more than ironic that at no point in Jonathan Kays article does he attribute the research or original writing about the Anne Cools post to either me or to Free Dominion, where it first appeared to the public. Yet the National Post is currently suing me and Connie for an alleged copyright violation for reproducing the Kay piece in which my work was directly, or indirectly, the unattributed source.
Within hours of the Kay articles appearance online Richard Warman reacted in his usual fashion, he threatened to sue everyone in sight. The National Post responded to this threat by taking the newspaper publishing industrys default position of instantly buckling. Warman had threatened to sue them for defamation if they did not take down the Kay article, apologize and issue a retraction. The National Post immediately met his demands but it didnt do them any good, he sued them anyway. He sued me and Connie for writing and breaking the story on Free Dominion and he sued the three bloggers mentioned above and Jonathan Kay and the National Post for their reaction to the facts I presented in my originating story.
Staying true to form, the National Post soon entered into settlement talks with Warman. Although the terms of their settlement are confidential, shortly after the settlement it became known that Warman now held the distributional rights to the Kay article. He quickly used that power to start the copyright action against me and Connie that is the topic of this thread.
There are two other parts of this copyright case, the Maximum Disruption speech and the picture of Richard Warman in a military uniform that someone posted a link to in the FD forum.
Ill next write the back story of those items and then we can get into the copyright case at hand.
“If you cannot speak freely, you are not really free....”
Today, Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Smith issued an order in the Richard Warman vs Mark and Connie Fournier and John Does defamation case heard September, 2013. In addition to ordering that we must pay Warman $127,000, Justice Smith issued an injunction against us ordering we that never publish, or allow to be published, anything negative about Richard Warman. This means we are barred for life from ever operating a public forum or a blog (even about cookie recipes) where the public can comment. If we do so, any one of Warmans handful of supporters could, and probably would, use a common proxy server to avoid being traced, plant a negative comment about Warman on our site, and we would both be charged with contempt of court. If that happened --unlike in the Ottawa courtroom where we were blocked at every turn from presenting a defense-- we actually would have no defense. We would both go to jail. This life sentence was imposed for our terrible crimes of voicing our honestly held beliefs and allowing others to do the same. Defamation law, in its current state, is entirely inadequate and counterproductive when applied to the internet. Now it is being used as a tool of censorship. Effectively!
Conservative website shuttered after libel ruling [Free Dominion]
Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:14:41 AM by conniew