Fine line between absurd megalomania and “actionable” slander…or not?

After reading the discussion going on at the WordPress Wank blog, here, I am rethinking my opinion about the whole “WordPress banned in Turkey” thing. I think some of the replies concerning WordPress Wank’s post(see above link), are right:

When you are running a large publishing venture as Matt is doing, and the attorney for a minor celebrity (or major religious leader, depending on who you ask…) mails you multiple letters asking you to uphold applicable US and international laws regarding slander and defamation of their client (see “cease and desist,” explained here.), the smart thing to do is to at least reply to one of their myriad attempts to warn you that they think they might have grounds to sue you, and if you’re really smart you might even request that the offending writers take corrective action or risk having their blog removed for “ACTIONABLE” (VERY IMPORTANT DISTINCTION HERE) SLANDER AND/OR DEFAMATION.

Failing to respond to what may be very serious charges that could cost your company large sums of money in defense fees and damages is just not a good plan. –While this Turkish stooge may not be the one that takes down WordPress for its failure to respond to actionable legal claims concerning it’s content providers, it’s a pretty safe bet that there is an attorney or 2 out there taking note of what has transpired here and he or she is probably more than a little sure that he just might squeeze a golden egg out of this place for him and his client with a little effort.

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2 Responses

  1. We did respond, but it wasn’t the answer he wanted to hear. He just sent the same thing over and over and we didn’t respond with the same answer every time. The guy would literally spam every email address or contact form he could find on our sites.

  2. Actually there’s no proof that letters had been sent. Heck, I don’t recall that they even stated what email address they sent it to for it to be noted by staff. Also remember that WordPress.com has a ‘policy’ in place to promote Free Speech. They often ignore that and other policies but it’s in place.

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