Interesting reading this morning in The Age. A company is bringing legal action against an online forum (Whirlpool) becaus ethey would not remove negative comments posted by some users in 2 threads. They are saying that it caused them loss of business.
My question is if it is successful could some listed companies raise the similar cases against online stock forums for downrampers?
Not really a question by more an invitation to comment as I do understand this current case has a long way to go.
Claim threatens tech forum
September 13, 2007
A $150,000 legal claim by an aggrieved software developer is threatening Australia's most popular technology discussion forum, Whirlpool.
Gold Coast company 2Clix Australia is suing Whirlpool's founder, Simon Wright, over alleged "false and malicious" claims made by the website's users about 2Clix's accounting software and the company itself.
2Clix made the claim of injurious falsehood — similar to defamation — after Whirlpool refused to remove two collections of users' comments, called "threads", from its website.
The first of the two discussing 2Clix and its software began in February last year while the second started in November.
According to the claim, negative comments in the threads have contributed to a "severe downturn" in 2Clix's monthly sales since January, when it first sought to have the threads removed.
"The statements have been intended to produce and have resulted in actual damage to both the plaintiff and its trade and business," its claim states.
2Clix claims it has sent 13 emails to Whirlpool since January requesting removal of the threads.
White Computer Lawyers founder Steve White said the decision to continue hosting the threads was "a risky one which they need to fully consider".
Whirlpool posted a story about the claim on its website, stating: "Whirlpool believes the action has no merit and will defend the matter vigorously, despite being a community website with little resources."
Two 2Clix staff, national sales manager Stephen Tritton and support manager Simon Metcher, were regular contributors to the threads, asking customers experiencing software problems to contact them.
In one of the threads, Mr Tritton asked the "gutless wonders on this thread who hide behind aliases and refuse to contact any of us to resolve your issues" to "put up or shut up".
"How do I know they are clients of ours and not opportunistic competitors seeking an easy way of bad-mouthing a company that has taken business and market share from them?" he said in another thread.
Mr Wright is believed to have until October 9 to respond to the claim, which has been lodged in Queensland's Supreme Court.