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Wikipedia The Courts

$10 Million Lawsuit Against Wikipedia Editors "Stragetically" Withdrawn 51

First time accepted submitter The ed17 (2834807) writes with new developments in the $10 million defamation lawsuit against a few Wikipedia editors. From the article: On the same day the Wikimedia Foundation announced it would offer assistance to English Wikipedia editors embroiled in a legal dispute with Yank Barry, the lawsuit has been dismissed without prejudice at the request of Barry's legal team — but this action is being described as "strategic" so that they can refile the lawsuit with a "new, more comprehensive complaint."
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$10 Million Lawsuit Against Wikipedia Editors "Stragetically" Withdrawn

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  • srsly (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What assholes. They thought they would get a quick win from an easy prey. Luckily, the foundation is still good enough to protect its editors!!

    • What assholes. They thought they would get a quick win from an easy prey. Luckily, the foundation is still good enough to protect its editors!!

      Heavy-handed Wikipedia editors with serious "WP:OWN" issues often run roughshod over articles, creating seriously biased articles that no one can change because these editors engineer "consensus".

      This case will be refiled, and I hope it costs Wikipedia a pretty penny, if not in money, than in reputation.

  • Tough call (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Friday July 18, 2014 @07:36PM (#47486667)

    The man was acquitted of the charges. You would hope that his innocence would be the overwhelming message not what the government failed to prove.

    • Re:Tough call (Score:5, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday July 18, 2014 @08:00PM (#47486769) Journal
      The trouble is that it's very, very difficult to encapsulate the fact that you can construct statements that are strictly true but which convey a false impression in any sort of legal standard that wouldn't be dangerously vague and subjective. And, while sometimes inescapable, 'vague and subjective' are not virtues in legal standards. Any such move would markedly expand the zone of dangerous uncertainty about what you might be dragged into court and ruined for saying, since you would have no way to reliably predict what might strike a given judge or jury as 'strictly true; but excessively insinuates'. In practice, given the cost of losing, the uncertainty zone tends to become an exclusion zone.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        And, while sometimes inescapable, 'vague and subjective' are not virtues in legal standards.

        "I know it when I see it." seems to be fine, though. Well, it isn't fine to any logical person, and it's a complete violation of the first amendment, but it's fine to puritan authoritarian imbeciles who want to censor things they don't like.

        • How can you say that "Too nasty for the Supreme Court"(coming soon to pay-per-view) isn't a respectable standard for judging 'obscenity'?

          (Let's not even mention that the first amendment doesn't actually read "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech(except obscene stuff, obviously), or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievan
    • That's true, after being convicted of a second felony, he did appeal and that conviction was vacated. Also, a second court found that he did in fact commit extortion. So yeah, although he was convicted of two felonies, he should be treated as being guilty of the one.

    • by tomhath ( 637240 )
      Yea, same as O.J. Oh wait.
  • "Stragetically" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2014 @07:43PM (#47486701)

    Do the editors do any proofreading of these submissions whatsoever? Massive typo in headline and it's on the front page.
    No wonder this site is so shitty and dead these days.

  • This page has been marked for speedy delete due to WP:NOR [] and WP:NPOV [] violations.

    Please take all discussion to the Talk page.

  • by IonOtter ( 629215 ) on Friday July 18, 2014 @07:48PM (#47486727) Homepage

    Strategic Bullshit, hmmm? I wonder...

    *quick Google search*

    Yup! It exists! []

  • Wikimedia SCREWED UP (Score:5, Informative)

    by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Friday July 18, 2014 @08:09PM (#47486813)

    They should have filed a response. ANY response. That locks the case in and makes it impossible for the complainant to withdraw it without consent.
    Then they could have filed the SLAPP response.

    By delaying (likely to get way too many unnecessary ducks in a row, but that's how lawyers work) they now have lost that opportunity. The complaint will be filed again -- not necessarily in California -- and including elements that can't be dismissed by SLAPP elements.

    What a shame.


    • It would have been more impressive if you'd posted your analysis *before* the suit was withdrawn.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 18, 2014 @08:35PM (#47486927)

    In the early days of the Internet when Usenet carried a large proportion of total traffic, the technical community operated a technical measure to control Usenet abuse, the rather harshly titled Usenet Death Penalty []. Essentially, when behavior was deemed deeply pathological and all other remedies were exhausted, the abuser's traffic was cancelled as a measure of last resort until the abuse stopped.

    Lawyers are the new sociopaths on the Internet, abusing everything they touch instead of advising their clients to act as good network citizens. If they'd figured out Usenet back then, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'd have been abusing it too, and probably gaining themselves and their clients some richly deserved technical pushback. (It's a minority of lawyers to blame of course, but the majority just look the other way.)

    Alas those days are long gone, and there is no negative feedback anymore applied to parties who engage in Internet abuse as a business plan. TFS / TFA is about one such case, among thousands of others in recent years. Copyright and software patent abuse, ridiculous C&Ds, baseless DMCA takedowns, hostile domain removal or outright domain theft, these things all fall under the category of pathological behavior on the Internet.

    This situation was predictable in the absence of negative feedback.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The Usenet Death Penalty was also not lightly applied. I was involved in those heady days on the old 'alt.usenet.abuse" newsgroup. It took lengthy and absolute refusal to act against a problem that was clearly your own fault, in the face of quite overwhelming evidence presented both publicly and privately. I used to spend quite a bit of time climbing the tiers of support lines to try and get to someone who could actually allow action. They were generally shocked when I was happy to reach out to lawyers and

    • "the abuser's traffic was cancelled as a measure of last resort until the abuse stopped" so it was a completely useless measure. Since the abuse would have been in the traffic, the abuse would stop as soon as the traffic was stopped so the traffic would then be immediately allowed again. Kind of useless.

  • Can a moderator please fix the typo in the title ("Stragetically" vs. ""Strategically"), preferably before I feel any more stupid? :-) Thanks for posting this. I'm a bit humbled.
    • by Bob_Who ( 926234 )
      It happens. A lot, apparently. Its certainly not your fault or a reflection on your intellect that human beings with worthwhile ideas and commentary are not always absolutely perfect typists or rhetoricians. That being said, I wish that the grammar Nazis would take a break until a better way to correct that outcome is implemented. I don't mind the typos nearly as much as the predictable response it brings from anonymous knee jerks. I'll give a benefit of the doubt to the known respondents, and not ass
      • A rudimentary spell checker in the posting mechanism would probably kill off half of the grammar-Nazi posters on Slashdot. But Dice would lose eyeballs doing that, so it ain't gonna happen.

        Besides, the l337 h4x0r2 script kiddies would get booted too. Boo hoo!

      • until a better way to correct that outcome is implemented

        Yes, if only there was a way to bring attention to words which are not correctly spelled. Perhaps they could be checked against a list of some kind, a "dictionary," if you will. This system could highlight said words so that someone could "edit" the mistake. One could even call these people "editors" and pay them money to do a half-decent job.

      • human beings with worthwhile ideas and commentary are not always absolutely perfect typists or rhetoricians.

        So, it's your theory that people who don't know the difference between "their", "there", and "they're" have "worthwhile ideas".

        Seems to me that in order to learn enough to develop a worthwhile idea, they'd have been exposed to enough schooling to not make the sort of mistakes one expects of seven-year-olds.

  • by wiredlogic ( 135348 ) on Friday July 18, 2014 @09:48PM (#47487133)

    I never heard of Yank Barry before but now I know all about his extensive criminal record.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Saturday July 19, 2014 @12:15AM (#47487527) Homepage

    It's not just about Wikipedia. Mr. Barry's press agent claims [] he is also suing the National Post (Canada) for publishing a critical article, "The world according to Yank: Montrealer with checkered past gets Nobel nod, or does he?" []

  • In a Bush voice
  • I notice from the Web site of the Superior Court in Ventura County that the legal team representing Yank was at least twice on the verge of being sanctioned for failing to provide legal filings in a timely manner. Ventura County's judges do not tolerate sloppiness. Most are former prosecutors. I have been on trial juries there three times and served two consecutive years on the Grand Jury.

    • You poor bastard.

      Repeat after me: 'I refuse, on religious grounds, to stand in judgement of any man!'

      Bonus points for telling the judge he's going to hell.

  • So turned to Wikipedia. Found out the guy's a crook.
    So what's this all about.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor