tb+use...@becket.net (Thomas Bushnell, BSG) writes:
> Erik Naggum <e...
> > You have made it abundantly clear that these are statements of fact. As
> > such, they are not libelous in any form.
> Ok, we'll let a jury decide.
> > The _only_ reason that I supposedly cannot be held accountable
> > for what I write here is that you would be held accountable for
> > what you write here, too, and that would just kill you. I enjoy
> > this implicit admission of guilt from you. But my god, you are
> > _so_ stupid and childish.
> No, it's because it's not clear that Usenet is covered by the libel
> statutes, and slander is much harder to deal with. Coward.
My understanding of recent case law in newsgroup type things is that
all conversation is pretty much enclosed in a "my opinion is..."
quotation and that these charges are hard to carry though.
If you do want to make the charges, Thomas, please do it in court.
They have people employed to read and care.
I'm not a lawyer but my armchair opinion (offered free of charge, not
because I support "free law" but because the advice I'm offering may
well be worth what I'm charging) is that you will find the same
problem as Falwell's mother had in going after Larry Flynt for the
arguably slanderous statements made in Penthouse magazine. In order
to make your case of damage, you will have to first show that anyone
in their right mind would have believed Erik in the first place. But,
ironically, the only way to show that is to show that what he's saying
has an element of truth... If what he's saying is outlandish on its
face, it isn't injuring you. If it's not outlandish, that is, if it's
something a reasonable person having seen and observed you firsthand
here might still believe, it's not slander because truth is (in many
venues, at least) a defense.
The practical fact is that no one is listening or caring. All anyone
sees is "blah blah blah blah. not over yet. blah blah blah. this won't
be my last message. blah blah blah." So it's hard for them to form an
opinion other than the obvious opinion that this isn't about Lisp.
Please, everyone, just save the breath and just stand down. There are
more than enough Lisp things to spar over. And the great thing is, in
talking on-topic, it doesn't matter if you're a person of good
character or not. It only matters whether what you say is relevant to
the topic on the floor.
Each of us in our hearts out here has an opinion about what's really
going on, and more verbiage isn't likely to change it. It is likely to
give the forum a "cluttered" look.