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Sharman backs out of P2PNet lawsuit

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Jul 2006 10:45 User comments (18)

Sharman backs out of P2PNet lawsuit Sharman Networks, owner of the Kazaa file sharing service has backed out of a libel lawsuit filed against editor Jon Newton, his ISP Interserver and four p2pnet users who posted comments anonymously. However, Sharman CEO Nikki Hemming is still marching ahead in her action against Mr. Newton, his ISP and just one of the anonymous posters.
This is indeed a strange case. When it first became public, the obvious question was "What is Sharman Networks, the owner of Kazaa, thinking about that would lead it to sue a pro-P2P technology site?". Well, the company and Ms. Hemming were concerned with the P2Pnet story titled "Nikki Hemming's Money Mansion." To add to the confusion, that particular article extensively uses quotes from an Associated Press article.

The AP reported the following...

The chief executive of the company that owns the Kazaa file-sharing network on Friday denied hastily selling her multimillion dollar Sydney mansion and sending the proceeds to the tax haven of Vanuatu to make sure record company lawyers could not get their hands on it.

Apparently, the anonymous comments referred to Hemming as a "dupe" and a "disgrace". "The Defendants Newton, Interserver, and Richard Roe and each of them published, or caused to be published, and/or continued to publish, the defamatory expression . . . with knowledge of its falsity or alternatively, with reckless indifference whether it was true or false," Hemming's lawsuit states. "Further, or in the alternative, the said Defendant Richard Roe maliciously published his aforesaid defamatory publications for an improper purpose, and/or with the predominant purpose of causing injury to the Plaintiff."

To add even more insult to p2pnet, Hemming's lawyers have suggested that the publicity generated by the lawsuit and subsequent P2Pnet web site hits will counter Newton's legal costs resulting in "a net profit and ensuring the permanent success of [Newton's] P2P Website." They are upset with how they claim Jon Newton has made the entire affair public.

This is a major freedom of speech issue and if p2pnet were to lose this case, it could have a chilling affect for bloggers in Canada.

The Register

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18 user comments

113.7.2006 13:42

Maybe its early. But I am lost in this article soo sharman networks have pulled out. probablly because Kazaa is crapp now anyway :)

213.7.2006 16:59

SO bascily she sued the site for posting what the Associated Press siad and sued the annoymuose users for "dissing" her? the net is not a palce where you can sue soemone for makeing a comment....

314.7.2006 10:27

This article is a little confusing. I would think she would sue the AP for printing the article in the first place. Aside from that, I have a little trouble seeing how KaZaA is making ANY kind of money. I thought everyone pulled off of that when the second wave of lawsuits started hitting college campuses.

414.7.2006 10:40

shes makeing money by hideing it from the MIFIAA lawyers *L*

514.7.2006 11:38

well this is an updated article so if its confusing its cause the case wasnt being followed, but ye thats pretty much it, P2Pnet and 4 anonymous posters were named in lawsuit by Sharman Networks and its CEO Nikki Hemming. They article in question was using most of its stuff from an AP article and the four posters well..... shouldn't they be al;lowed to say whatever the hell they want? That's like a lawsuit being filed against Borhan9 for saying Kazaa is crap. But ye, if you're confused (we all are...) -

614.7.2006 13:59

kazaa is crap though, and it seems like as long as you post a sign sayin "piracy" u can bypass any laws

714.7.2006 14:45

Now wait a second here, is she trying to censor freedom of speech through the courts? Very lame, her lawsuit should be stricken out of court, just for the sheer fallacy of its nature in its entirety. I hope she does not win, because if she does win, then freedom of speech becomes endangered.

814.7.2006 16:44

hot_ice "freedom of speech" is already endangered all it needs is a few more nails in its coffin and to be burried 0-o

915.7.2006 7:55

The US freedom of speech laws specifically EXclude libel, slander, fighting words, & several other forms of expression, so a finding AGAINST a libellous statement would have NO chilling effect. But not only is the statement NOT libellous; it wasn't made by the parties named in the suit. IDK about Kanadia's laws, though.

1015.7.2006 16:59

Steve83 so any of us can be sued by the rich when they get a bug up their butt over a post or 2? 0-o

1115.7.2006 20:17

Legally you can make a statement like "he probablly sells crack", but you can not say "he sells crack" when you have no proof or have never witness it. Second a statement that puts someone in a bad light is okay as long as it is not a statement of fact, but a statement of your opinion. Also in order for her to prove that it was libel she would have to prove she didn't moved the money or sold the house.

1217.7.2006 0:01

the point i got from the jumbled article above is that he (with full knowledge of the story's falsity) published without given a rats arse who it hurts, is what i c she is saying. HEY wake up that is what the internet is 4. The fact that the anom person posted comments as an anon should b in my opinion reason 4 that person 2 get off the very fact that they r posting as an anon, could b argued that they were not sure or did not believe their information 2 b true, hence would not put their name 2 the post , however they were fully aware that they were doing it from their IP address . Showing they had no reason 2 fear what they were doing. Its an arguement i would use!!

1317.7.2006 5:00

Dix_Fix you are never anonymous becuse big brother is always with you so he can tell the rich uncel what you are doing 0-o what a wonderfull world the rich live in they have the abilty to sue someone for talking about them 0-o

1417.7.2006 19:00

ZIppyDSM im with u, d rich r able 2 afford the rights that should b available 2 all of us, the only 1's who win r the legals, b it solicitor lawyer barister judge these r the real beneficaries of any legal rangling, so a Q poses itself, is it in their (the legals) intrests 2 c each & every case 2 it fullest reguardless of the likley outcome ?

1517.7.2006 19:01

Sorry that was off topic

1621.7.2006 15:48

Yes, in the US, anyone can sue anyone for anything. I could sue you for murdering my imaginary hamster a year in the future, if I pay the filing fee & a clerk of court accepts it. That doesn't mean I'll win - it just means I've sued you for it. So yes, you can get sued for your posts.

1721.7.2006 15:52

@steve83 Actually steve, there was a case, where a robber breaked into an old man's house, and the old man, in self-defense, fired on the robber. I don't know if the robber suffered wounds or not, can't remember, however, the robber filed a lawsuit against the old man for excessive force! WHAT!?!? Can you do that, try and rob someone, the rob unravels with a sour note, use an excuse to justify excessive force, and sue thereafter??? What a joke our judicial system is...

1822.7.2006 18:41

Well hot_ice its not just the U.S. Im from Australisa & the case u just posted is almost identical to a couple of hi profile cases we had here. I.E. Guy robs a pub a closing, owner catches him on the roof grabs him bashes him & throws him into a lockable laundry till the police arrive. The robber getg done for break, enter & steal. the bar owner gets done for/ assult, assult with exssesive force, reckless endangerment (of life), unlawfull imprisonment, (if the laundry wasnt lockable NO PROB) The robber had 2 pay restitution ($6000) & got community service order on him for 2 years. The bar owner got 2 years suspended sentence,2 x $5000 fines for assult & unlawful imprisonment & is currently doing community service with the robber & he got 4 years community service Another small out of town store owner got held up a gunpoint, actually it was his wife he was out the back in the yard. On re-entering the rear of the premises , he realises whats going down & goes back out 2 his shed gets his shotgun & meets the robber as he flees the front of the premises. He orders him 2 stop as he is fleeing. Then unloads into the guys back at 100yards/90meters. (at that distance with a shotgun full of BB or birdshot of some sort i think is an amazing result just 2 bring the guy down or even stop him) So it comes 2 court the robber gets done with robbery with a firearm.6years with 4years on the bottom. The store owner is doing 12years for attempted murder as he planned & to some degree premedditated his actions. The silly prick should have just said the missus shot him & thats where he made it to. They would have been touted as heros. The store owners were in their late 70s didnt matter 2 the law. GO FIGURE EH?

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