Getting sued for Linking
When they said you can get sued for linking to a libelous blog, some people do really mean it.
I was just informed that a website I’m previously connected with is being sued for linking out to a blog. Can’t share any more details for now and yeah, I know it’s a stupid thing to be sued for libel because you just linked to the offending source but that’s how it goes here in the Philippines. I know this case will be dismissed and all but the hassle of getting and paying for a lawyer is a pain in the neck and the pocket. We’ll have to wait and see how this pans out.
The clincher here is that it could have been me. Again! And to think I’m not yet through with my own libel case in the civil courts.
As for the previous case, one of the defendants posted a blog entry (dated March 19, 2008 at 1:04 am) about his own experience:
For those who do not know, I have been under legal fire during the past couple of years – late in 2006, someone sued me for libel over a string of allegedly defamatory comments posted in a private internet forum. Last year, I recieved a warrant of arrest and was temporarily held under the custody of the Makati Police (I was never jailed nor handcuffed for those who want to ask) and within that day I was able to bail out, with a scheduled arraignment in September. I asked for legal and financial assistance (we even did a benefit event) and was able to support my ordeal.
Reference to this case can be read by following these links:
My case was dismissed last month over a technicality that questions the court’s jurisdiction of the case. In this case, records show that â€œthe Prosecution failed to allege in the informations the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offenseâ€ – and I just have to wonder at the fact that the alleged libelous comments were posted online and the website is hosted in a facility outside the country where different laws on libel apply. There will be a whole lot of definitions to go by in order to determine what should be applied in this case. Bottomline is, you cannot just sue someone for libel over a forum or blog post where the local trial court has no clear jurisdiction on the case.
Anyway, I am just thankful that this is over and Iâ€™m sure my co-accused is very much relieved as well. It’s a learning experience for me, and while I am still a strong advocate of freedom of speech and self expression, there is still the responsibility of exercising our freedom – in my case I got into a whole lot of trouble and was almost living dangerously. To the person who sued me, I can only wish that he would let go of all the anger in his system and be able to accept his own mistakes as well. I will admit that there has been some wrong in my part but I will make a stand on what is right and truthful. It is time to move on now and attend to more important matters, holding a grudge would only do more harm.
The blog’s domain has expired but I was able to get this from Google cache.