off topic: review web site and law - please help

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I know this is wrong NG for this topic but as a long time visitor I know
that many webmasters post here and somebody
may have same experience or point me to corresponding resources.

I have a review site for some services in Canada, where visitors may submit
their reviews that I post on my site.
Several companies are threatening me with legal action against my site and
me personally because of negative reviews
submitted and posted on my site.

Please help

Re: off topic: review web site and law - please help

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[Cross-post to added]

If they do court action against you on the basis of negative reviews, your
defense will be based on the constitutional law of Canada regarding the
freedom of speech, and their claim will be turned down.
 (more specifically, article 2b)

Go to your local library, find the law section and look around there. If
you're even slightly familiar with the Dewey classification system, you'll
find the material you want around the 340's. Then, write a polite letter to
these companies where you tell them that they have no claim, and cite from
the law book.

If you, however, have used their logos or other graphics on your website
(including screenshots), this goes under copyright infringement, and you'll
have to remove all graphics belonging to them.

Will the law students and lawyers in please correct me if I'm
wrong; I based my reply on a Google search.

If you get easily confused, and can afford it, hire a lawyer to do the
"dirty" work for you. A trained professional may be able to find possible
loop-holes and conjure up good presentations that may or may not keep these
companies off your back.

Good luck to you.

Kim André Akerø
- ICQ: 92708098

Re: off topic: review web site and law - please help

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You have to cover yourself for libel, yet allow fair comment and freedom of
speech. What surprises me is that the big review sites don't appear to get more
legal action like this coming at them.

I assume you already have a disclaimer. This won't protect you, but it's worth
having one anyway. You should also have something in your site's  terms and
conditions about visitors who post libelous or malicious comments. This won't
protect you either, though.

Whether or not you review submissions before they are posted on the site,
there's probably no way you can check them all for accuracy. This is why most
opinion sites have some means of rating the trustworthiness of reviewers.
However, it is up to you to remove ones that really are libellous.

It could be that the companies are trying it on. Suspend them, and perhaps all
reviews in that section, and look into it. Free speech means people have a
right to voice their opinions: "I hated the house" is all right, it's
subjective. "The salesman was a gorilla" is not, (unless he really was).

Alice Woolley /
Inside the Bubble - autism information

Re: off topic: review web site and law - please help

Thank you for your reply.


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