posted on Sep, 2 2011 @ 12:56 PM
In this particular instance, the court sided with the posters and refused to order the disclosure of their identities. Since the plaintiff (who
has since indicated she plans to appeal) did not identify the specific defamatory words, she failed to establish a prima facie case of defamation.
Moreover, the court also ruled that the posters had a reasonable expectation of anonymity and that there were insufficient efforts to try to identify
Interesting to say the least as the Harper government is set to pass extremely restrictive internet regulation legislation that would actually outlaw
using fake names online, let alone allowing people to sue if you "offend" them online. Very interesting to see a court actually side with reason on
this one. Can't wait for the appeal.
That said, a question popped into my head while reading this.
Now they were arguing that someone "defamed" someone online and were attempting to get the court to demand the users information.
So basically, someone using a fake name on a comment section somewhere said something you didn't like and you feel entitled to get that persons name
and information so you can sue them.
Well, lets play out a similar scenario except remove the internet.
Lets say you are in a crowded shopping area and someone, whom you couldn't actually see, says something defamatory or hurtful at you. Now of course
you didn't actually see who said it so you can't identify them.
Can the court step in and demand you provide your name? Is this not a similar situation?