AfterDawn: Tech news

Jon Newton's p2pnet sued for libel

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 15 May 2006 15:03 User comments (14)

Jon Newton's p2pnet sued for libel No you did not read the headline incorrectly,, a valuable news source for all us news junkies and people who want to hear things straight without the spin the entertainment world creates, is being sued for libel. P2Pnet editor Jon Newton is keeping specific details to himself and the other entity/person involved for now for legal reasons. I think it's safe to say that most of our readers would visit p2pnet quite often as Jon does a terrific job in covering stories (easily 10+ per day by himself).
"Until I've been able to get legal advice, I can't go into detail. For now, though, to me freedom of speech is paramount, and this is very much a freedom of speech issue," Jon told me earlier. P2Pnet is a non-entrepreneurial, not-for-profit site based in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The project funds itself now but doesn't leave much left over for Jon and as he put it himself he's "not living in the lap of luxury".

Jon is currently seeking a Canada-based lawyer who might be prepared to help him out pro bono publico (for the public good). We here at AfterDawn wish Jon Newton the best of luck and hope this matter can easily be solved. Be sure to keep your eyes on p2pnet for updates and we'll make sure to keep up to date on the issue here as well.


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14 user comments

115.5.2006 18:04

I wonder what the libel is about? If the libel is concerning someone's opinion, then it won't pass in court, but if deemed otherwise, I believe a settlement will be in order.

215.5.2006 19:11

I am going to keep a judgement witheld just now, as I suspect there is a lot more to this story than we can ascertain.

315.5.2006 21:09

I'll go out on a limb and put forth a cockeyed conspiracy theory. I'll say this the libel suit is totally bogus but put up by say a record company or film company or some other sort of media distributor that wants to shut them down. Perhaps the libel suit asks for an exorbitant sum of money that will end up shutting down p2pnet or putting people in jail. If that doesnt' work they can always say they are helping out pirates and endorsing piracy by giving this information to the general public. But i am making all this up.

415.5.2006 23:34

This is really sad. And it strikes close to home too, since P2Pnet is located in my neck of the woods (Canada). Of course, I don't know all the details, but it seems that Jon Newton is being sued simply for expressing his opinions. Doom9 ( ) has been doing that for years - as have all of us here at AfterDawn via these forums. No one's sued us yet. (Knock on wood). Hmmmmm.... so like, if I express an opinion (in here), it's 'ok', but if I have my own website and express the very same opinion(s), I will get sued? What a crok! NO ONE can 'silence' the 'Net. Why do companies even try?

516.5.2006 2:51

I think it would be a smart thing for afterdawn to put up a huge disclaimer at the begining of the page stating that the views and opinions mentioned therein do not necessarily reflect those of or any of its staff members. It would save afterdawn a possible lawsuit in the future. Anyways, libel doesn't hold out in court, that is of course, huge corporations get involved, then you are pretty much screwed. Ouff, this is a ubiquitous problem in society, laws just smothering the life out of its citizens and creating a veil of fear in its sted. They are going too far, this is a democracy, not a hypocrisy.

616.5.2006 4:25

What democracy? In most countries, it is rule of the majority, which is NOT a true democracy. In a true democracy, everyone is considered equal and one group's view is not taken over another groups view, unless that view leads to other people being physically harmed.

716.5.2006 4:42

a update on the libel case,he posted this yesterday libel case p2p news / p2pnet: On this libel lawsuit, I'm not being coy by keeping my mouth shut. As I just told Tim Richardson over at The Register: While I search for someone to act for me (ie, pro bono publico), I can say this: I'm being sued principally as a publisher, not for something I wrote. This represents online freedom of speech in its purest sense and my natural inclination is to go into detail in public. But this isn't about what's right or wrong. It's about the law, and that's a very different bag. Handsomely paid lawyer's pleading against handsomely paid lawyers to other handsomely paid lawyers. The defendants and/or plaintiffs are almost incidental. And at this point, I'm getting nowhere with finding legal help here in Canada. In the meanwhile, I'll be doing posts as and when I can, in between trying to find a way to deal with this, or have it dealt with, in a fair and reasonable go here to read it all

816.5.2006 14:26

Sounds like another case of "Greed". It's all about the money!!! Someone feels as though they aren't getting the "Big piece of chicken" and they are going after it. Free speech cost money contrary to what it says!!! LOL with your case and hopefully the courts will overturn this one quickly and no one will be out alot of time and money. SSDD!!! LOL!!!

917.5.2006 7:28

What a sad world we are living in today where a citizen can't say what they want to say or allow someone else to say what that person wants to say without being sued or without the "fear" of being litigated against. Just more terrorism but by companies instead of people or groups.. I am sad for the world.....

1017.5.2006 10:43

Sadly, "Big Brother is Watching You" as good ol' Orwell's tried to prevent us back then... "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever." --from Nineteen Eighty-Four Sad, sad, sad... :(

1118.5.2006 15:20

TODAYS UPDATE, Sharman escalates p2pnet attack p2p news / p2pnet: I'm being sued by Sharman Networks and Kazaa ceo Nikki Sharman. What are they claiming, exactly? Go here. I've been doing my level best to keep this low key and between myself and Sharman Networks because I truly believe this is a 100%, solid gold, carved in rock freedom of speech issue, about people being able to say what they think and express what they believe online (or anywhere else) without fear. So Yes, I'm an evangelist. And Yes, I'm on a mission. Yes, I want to keep p2pnet online, and of course, I also want to keep my family safe because this has the potential to seriously affect us to a far greater extent than it's done already, and no mistake. I tried to comply with all, not merely some, of the demands being made of me and, despite my inclination to do the opposite, didn't published anything beyond the bare bones of the situation, and Sharman notwithstanding, I intend to maintain that stance, responding only to accusations it publishes through the media. On that, Sharman has chosen to go loudly public which, given the nature of the claims, is strange not only because Sharman's Kazaa is supposed to be whole-heartedly for the international p2p community, of whom I'm a member, but also because Hemming is supposedly so worried about her reputation she felt compelled to sue p2pnet to protect her good name, demanding that I take down pages which had offended her. I took them down. And despite her assertions to the contrary, they're still down. But nonetheless, she now appears to be doing everything she can to draw attention to the case Poster child for record labels In fact, "It's nothing short of astonishing to see Kazaa and Hemming want to pursue legal action against a site that has spent the past few years backing P2P software makers at all costs," says Vance in The Register. "In addition, one would think the company had seen enough white-wigged men to last it a long, long time. Kazaa has been the poster child for record label and music publisher lawsuits against P2P companies. The music industry - which has decried Kazaa users' abuse of its copyrighted material - no doubt finds it hilarious." No doubt they do. Kazaa has been on the wrong end of corporate music industry law suits in Australia for some time, now. The Sharman sues p2pnet story came up firstly on Emma's P2Punite in Sweden. It was quickly picked up by Torrentfreak in The Netherlands and by Slyck in the US, as well as by other sites and blogs around the world. It'll soon be everywhere. And this is only the beginning. Implications for the blogosphere Because this isn't about Sharman suing p2pnet . It's about a multi-million-dollar company using its weight to try to stop a small news site from reporting something the company didn't want reported - shades of Steve Jobs and Apple. And it therefore has hugely important implications for the blogosphere, and for the millions of people who've chosen the Net as their principal means of talking to each other. Sharman says in statements reproduced in whole and in part on The Register and Slyck: "The writ was delivered following two formal attempts, on May 5 and May 8, requesting Mr. Newton to remove the material in question and post an apology on Only after being served with the writ did Mr. Newton act to remove - if only temporarily - the defamatory material." GO HERE TO READ THE REST

1220.5.2006 3:20

im an aussie and i cheered sharman all the way through the courts i backed em all the way but, well...... Now i would not give thm the time of day. this comes across as a school play bully beats up kid 1, kid 1 beats up kid 2 just because they are angry be cause they lost the fight with the bully Unbelieveable, record and movie industry would be laughing now "look now they are fighting each other our work here is almost done" why destroy from the outside inward when you can get it to collapse from the inside out.

1323.5.2006 10:20

hmmm... p2pnet may have taken the offending stories offline as per the writ, but Google still cache them... does this mean that Jon may have a co-defendant with more muscle than Sharman if they decide to try and sue Google as well?

1426.5.2006 10:29

From what I hear from sharks (a.k.a. lawyers) libel suits never work, and they are exceptionally hard to establish. However, this only applies to private citizens, and not corporations, that is the big difference in this case I suppose.

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