As we wrote previously we are being sued by Andy Lehrer as a co-defendant because we refused to take down the website causepimps.ca (specifically, this page) when he emailed in a takedown request earlier this year.
(Briefly, we were requested to take down the web page, to which we replied:
“As an ISP we are a mechanical distributor and not the publisher or broadcaster of the website content. We are not lawyers or judges, thus we cannot be expected to, nor would it be appropriate, for us to make a judgement on whether the content of the website material is defamatory or libelous. Whether the content is defamatory or not is a dispute between you and the customer and a matter for the courts.
We would of course abide by any valid order of a court of competent jurisdiction.”
Lehrer has gone on to sue our customer, however he has also named easyDNS as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. He is seeking $25,000 in damages and demanding the web pages be taken down)
Lehrer has sued in Ontario Small Claims Court. As is mandatory in small claims actions, a settlement conference has occurred since we first posted about this. The details of the settlement conference are privileged, so we cannot publicly comment on what happened. Suffice it to say that a settlement was not reached.
easyDNS will now bring a motion to have ourselves removed from the lawsuit for two reasons:
#1) Andy Lehrer is seeking injunctive relief. In Small Claims Court injunctive relief is not available as a remedy (The injunctive relief is the part where we take down the offending webpages if he wins. He would need to file a lawsuit in Ontario Superior Court to do that.)
#2) It would set a horrific precedent for the entire web hosting and ISP industry in Canada were we to allow this to pass uncontested.
If we are successful in having ourselves dropped from the case we will proceed to seek to recover our legal costs from Mr. Lehrer.
As in our previous dealings with: The City of London Intellectual Property Crime Unit, ICANN and Verisign, and the United States Food and Drug Administration; we aren’t exactly known for backing down. More typically we have a demonstrated track record of going the distance to prove a point and uphold the ideals of a free, uncensored and open internet.
For those who would seek to squelch unfavorable speech or opinions through the use of legal bullying, threats and baseless lawsuits, we would like to direct them to the phenom of “the Streisand Effect” and make the case that time and time again, this almost always backfires.
- We Are Being Sued For Refusing to Take Down a Website
- Whatever Happened To “Due Process”
- The Official easyDNS Takedown Policy
- The easyDNS Plain English Terms of Service
- Full text of lawsuit (PDF) (note: The last version of the lawsuit we uploaded to Scribd was removed from our Scribd account in response to a complaint from somebody – we wonder who that was. We’ve rectified the basis of that complaint and re-uploaded the file. Also this link here is a PDF hosted on our servers)
- Trial date set on the matter of Andy Lehrer vs easyDNS
- Andy Lehrer files ammended claim adding 3 new allegations against easyDNS
- easyDNS to be dropped from Andy Lehrer lawsuit
- Andy Lehrer Suit Finally Over
Andy Lehrer says
Mark, I understand your position and am willing to remove you from the lawsuit if you agree that if the small claims court finds the material in question to be defamatory/libellous then you will respect that finding and remove the material voluntarily.