More Legal Threats, This Time from Switch Media

Legal Threat from Switch Media. Please do not refer to them again here. Ever. – boards.ie

Now we have been threatened with legal action from Chris Evans at Switch Media and their solicitors Beauchamps. This was pretty annoying, the shoot first (with a solicitor’s letter), tell us to sort the problem afterwards policy really doesn’t work people. I’m talking to the clients in this case, not the solicitors (they just did what they were told to I guess).

To paraphrase (again), this letter asked that a “misleading, false and defamatory thread be removed immediately“. If that wasn’t done by today, there were some threats of instituting legal proceedings. It then mentioned the client’s goodwill in Ireland, and that they would seek all current and future legal costs from us in addition to damages and an account of profits (ours or theirs?!).

Even if such a case were pursued (and I don’t think it would be valid, since a poster’s opinions are their own [see previous Irish Psychics Live post]), it would only damage the overall boards.ie community (on the comments of one poster) and also the claimant’s reputation.

Just ask us to remove dodgy content or defamatory material, and we’ll do it. Send us a solicitor’s letter and we will still do our best to remove problematic posts, but you will also get the extra negative PR associated with any bully tactics.

I’m glad that Switch Media now consider the case closed. I hope others thinking of sending solicitor’s letters will hear my plea.

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6 thoughts on “More Legal Threats, This Time from Switch Media

  1. Unfortunately whoever runs the website is legally liable for any defamation carried on it, so they could sue you and win. Since it’s internet based, they could sue you anywhere in the world too (Belfast is becoming the world centre of libel-shopping).

    On the other hand, it would probably be a Pyrrhic victory with whatever damages they won being more than matched by the damage to their reputation.

  2. Pingback: amd on software
  3. To be honest, I can’t work out your logic. You’re saying that it’s acceptable for Switchmedia to contact you and ask you to remove the offending content and you’ll do it; yet you claim that getting solicitors involved is a step too far/bully tactics? I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. You’re admitting to being in the wrong but stating that, when Switchmedia threaten legal action which is perfectly within their rights, there’s a problem.

    To be honest, you’re acting like a little kid throwing a tantrum. Boards.ie is not a law unto itself and must follow the exact same rules as everyone else. Maybe Switchmedia don’t want to call you up, act all friendly and ask you nicely to remove the material. Maybe they see the sinister nature of your ‘old boys club’ forum where their competition regularly post and, ironically, where their own ‘hosting’ forum was closed as a result of unprofessional, anti-competitive behavior and mud-slinging.

    You say Switchmedia consider this closed and yet you have the precocious arrogance to continue to drag their name down and post ‘sticky’ threads on boards.ie, post blog entries, etc. Very mature indeed. The only reputations that have suffered in my eyes are those of the Irish hosts that have used this (and previous threads on boards.ie) to throw digs at Switchmedia as well as the credibiliy of boards.ie as an impartial conduit when the ‘webmaster/flash’ forum is regularly used as an advertising forum (embarrassingly so) for Irish hosting companies (for example – http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2054959423)

  4. Firstly, we never admitted being in the wrong. The original poster agrees to this when they sign up: “All messages express the views of the author, and neither the owners of boards.ie, nor Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. (developers of vBulletin) will be held responsible for the content of any message.” There are many people who say that websites that have some kind of editorial control or moderation privileges over content are liable for the content of their posters. There isn’t one website that does not have any editorial control. Therefore, if you let anyone add to your website, whether it be a wiki, forum, blogging service, tagging site, book reviews, etc. there may be an issue if this is really true / enforceable.

    But we do do our best to remove any offending content as soon as it is brought to our attention. However, the legal letter we received from Switch Media was very heavy handed, even if it did just say “remove the content or else we will have to go to the next step” it would have been better than what I paraphased above. So if I sound like a kid throwing a tantrum, yes, I am – if you tap me on the shoulder and say to me that I stood on your foot accidentally, I’ll say sorry – if you poke me with a stick and tell me, I may not.

    The web hosting companies were warned on that thread you highlighted Menace, as you’ll probably have seen Ph3n0m’s comment “Keep all offers/advertisements strictly to PM – or else I will ban the offenders”. But please feel free to point out any flaunting of services by hosting companies as I have no problem in stamping on them. I’ve also commented on the aforementioned thread. Perhaps you work for one of the rival hosting companies, because I haven’t heard of this other hosting forum you mentioned… Some more details would be interesting.

  5. I’m sorry to hear that, I guess its the price of doing business online, we are always liable to these types of things. I hope everything works out for you in the end.

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