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> For-profit college, former employee square off in Wikipedia defamation case, Ars Technica
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post Mon 5th March 2012, 9:49pm
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For-profit college, former employee square off in Wikipedia defamation case

Ars Technica
Eric Goldman • Published March 5, 2012 3:45 PM • Given the size and scale of its database, it's remarkable that we don't see more US defamation lawsuits filed (rather than just threatened) over Wikipedia entries. It's even more remarkable when you …
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HRIP7
post Fri 9th March 2012, 5:28am
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QUOTE(Newsfeed @ Mon 5th March 2012, 9:49pm) *

For-profit college, former employee square off in Wikipedia defamation case

Ars Technica
Eric Goldman • Published March 5, 2012 3:45 PM • Given the size and scale of its database, it's remarkable that we don't see more US defamation lawsuits filed (rather than just threatened) over Wikipedia entries. It's even more remarkable when you …


This is an interesting topic. The article also mentions and links to some prior, similar cases.

This post has been edited by Jon Awbrey: Fri 9th March 2012, 4:33pm
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thekohser
post Fri 9th March 2012, 1:21pm
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It's certainly opinionated of the author of that piece, Eric Goldman, to say:
QUOTE
Clearly, these are relatively obscure pages. Any reputational impact of the alleged defamation was surely small.


...when he even calculated that probably hundreds of people viewed the pages while the defamation was in place. There are programs on television at this very moment that only hundreds of people are watching, anywhere in the world. Would such a television program's producers and broadcaster be immune from judgment if they said, "This is a relatively obscure TV show, any reputational impact of the alleged defamation was surely small"?
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post Fri 9th March 2012, 1:31pm
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QUOTE(thekohser @ Fri 9th March 2012, 1:21pm) *

There are programs on television at this very moment that only hundreds of people are watching, anywhere in the world. Would such a television program's producers and broadcaster be immune from judgment if they said, "This is a relatively obscure TV show, any reputational impact of the alleged defamation was surely small"?

Unquestionably that would be a good argument for saying that any damages awarded should be modest.
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thekohser
post Fri 9th March 2012, 1:40pm
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QUOTE(Detective @ Fri 9th March 2012, 8:31am) *

Unquestionably that would be a good argument for saying that any damages awarded should be modest.

It would, but I think what Goldman seems to be advocating is that the claim should be utterly dismissed by dint of that fact.
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post Fri 9th March 2012, 4:32pm
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I believe this type of case is only supposed to be in federal court if the damages exceed $75,000.
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post Tue 13th March 2012, 10:56pm
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"For that reason, this case probably doesn't belong in court at all. Yet, like so many defamation lawsuits, economic rationality probably isn't a main motivator for these combatants."

that's why so few people sue for defamation - its just not worth it money wise.
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barney
post Sat 17th March 2012, 6:10am
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No one has pointed out that this is a corp versus some editor -- Wikipedia is not a defendant, and is protected by the DMCA against this kind of thing. If people defame online, its on their head, not Wikipedias.
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post Sat 17th March 2012, 11:56am
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The "Hey nevermind we defamed you hardly anyone reads that stuff and at any rate it will be changed eventually anyway" defense.

Tuition is big business and the type of basement-dwellers that read Wikipedia are exactly the ones schools would love to scoop up, put in massive debt, and give them pieces of paper saying they're smart and deserve jobs or something. Damages could easily exceed $75,000. What's that, like 3 students?
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post Sat 17th March 2012, 12:04pm
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QUOTE(barney @ Sat 17th March 2012, 2:10am) *

No one has pointed out that this is a corp versus some editor -- Wikipedia is not a defendant, and is protected by the DMCA against this kind of thing. If people defame online, its on their head, not Wikipedias.


The Wikimedia Foundation is really pushing the limits on that, by claiming to be a factual reference work and marketing its product to schools.

Individual responsibility is good, but the way the Foundation acts is reckless and endangers the whole internet. The laws were meant to help get things done, not be a free pass for them to make money while making false claims and accepting zero responsibility for them.
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Ottava
post Sun 18th March 2012, 9:36pm
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The sad thing is that Wikipedia normally grants such people adminship.
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