In the matter of Andy Lehrer vs Tim Rourke & easyDNS, Mr. Lehrer has filed an amended claim adding three new allegations against easyDNS.
Mr. Lehrer has dropped the paragraph that seeks removal of the website (this avenue is not available under Small Claims cases).
Mr. Lehrer has added three additional allegations against easyDNS. There is no need to repost the new claim, it is more or less the same as the old claim, with the additional paragraphs 54-56. The allegations seek to treat our posting of the actual lawsuit as an “egregious” and malicious act and he is seeking punitive damages:
54) Further, the Defendant EasyDNS has, on August 22, 2014, November 13, 2014 and December 10, 2014, posted publicly about this lawsuit on https://www.easydns.com/blog and directed people to the Defendant Rourke’s content despite knowing that the Plaintiff views this content as defamatory. According to a chart posted on the Defendant EasyDNS’s November 13, 2014 posting, the earlier blog entry of August 22 resulted in substantial increase in the number of individuals viewing the causepimps.ca website. The postings by EasyDNS constitute egregious and non-content neutral behaviour which is contrary to the EasyDNS’s claim of “innocent dissemination” and deserves the censure of this court.
55) In addition, in reaction to the within proceeding, the Defendants easyDNS and Rourke have both published the statement of claim on their respective websites. In addition, Defendant EasyDNS has published the statement of claim on the online publishing platform Scribd. The Defendants have thus furthered the libels after being put on notice of the defamation. Their conduct is egregious, is deserving of the censure of this court including the imposition of punitive damages.
56) The Plaintiff pleads that the Defendants deliberately, intentionally or recklessly harmed and damaged the Plaintiff by publishing and distributing the defamatory words and that they acted with actual malice by either publishing and distributing the defamatory statements with the knowledge that the information was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
We don’t have a lot to say on this.
The lawsuit is a public document. Any member of the public can make a copy of the claim at the courthouse. We may not be able to stop people from suing us, but when they do, they have no reasonable basis for presuming that we won’t disclose the public documents.
Further, some companies spend their money on Super Bowl ads, inane marketing and empty sizzle; we don’t do that. But we will spend money on legal fees to defend our oft repeated core values:
- Absent clear and present net abuse issues or ToS violations, there needs to be a legal basis behind any website takedown (a.k.a due process).
- Anybody can say pretty much anything they want online (free speech).
It is not reasonable to expect a web host to decide content in cases of “he said / she said”. You don’t want your web host to make decisions on that sort of thing.
It is our position that web hosts are mechanical distributors and are acting reasonably to require a legal basis in the form of a court finding or order before taking down a website based on the content of that site.