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Parking Eye lawyers issued a "take it down now" threat against my blog


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Hey guys,

 

Just curious if anyone else has posted their dealings with Parking Eye online and recently had a "take down" request issued to them (possibly via web hosts)?

 

I have, as have the moderators of the PePiPoo consumer rights bulletin board. Apparently reporting the methods Parking Eye use to get money out of people is "defamation". Unfortunately it means I have to pull one of my blog posts down by Monday or my entire site will be removed by my hosts.

 

The legal seagulls involved are a company called M Law. I have a feeling Parking Eye are running frightened from the bad publicity and the fact that people might be *shock horror* finding out that their charges have no legal basis and may not be coughing up.

 

My post will remain till Monday if anyone wants to check it out before then, Honestly, if anyone can find anything "defamatory" in it, please let me know.

 

I can't post links as yet - need 20 posts - so if you Google for "moshblog", then search for "PakringEye" on the blog itself (top right) you'll get the post.

 

Cheers.

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I suppose it *could* be defamation to say that a parking company has no right to your cash - I believe they do, in some circumstances. If you park your car in a car park where charges apply, and don't pay, then I would be surprised if the courts agreed with your conclusion that there is no legal ground for the company to chase you for the cash.

 

Of course you could argue that in a blog you are merely stating your opinion, and that you are therefore entitled to be wrong (if you are).

Edited by my-spirit-soars-free
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A fair point. From what I gather, though, they *don't* have grounds - at least in my case. The car park I was in was built on the proviso that it was to be available for anyone wishing to park there, not just patrons of the retail park it's located at. Council documents prove this!

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"pseudo-legal bull-poop" may irritate them but hardly defamatory.

 

Personally I would be tempted to try and hit the press with this if you can.

 

I would also advise your service provider that you and they are being bullied by people who operate on the fringes of legality - refer to the current proposals to outlaw private clamping as evidence of the dubious circles in which private parking enforcers operate and that if your service provider acts to take down your blog that will be seen as a hostile denial of service by them.

 

Dont know what help that will be.

 

Make sure you have a back-up of your blog and check out alternative providers to be safe.

********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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Also a good point. My plan is to leave the post "as is" until Monday when I have to remove it. I'll then replace it with copies of the letters and pure statements of fact i.e. "This is what I did. This is what happened" with no conjecture at all.

 

Isn't it a poor world when people have to get all legal and heavy-handed instead of sending a quick "look - we don't like this bit, could you change it" messages?

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Bernie - my plan is as above. Also possibly to repost the initial post on Blogger, WordPress and other sites hosted abroad. I've contacted BBC Watchdog, though I doubt they'll take it up.

 

They *did* report on the guy who's anti-RyanAir website was taken down. I checked out the site he moved it to and it's *full* of conjecture, ire and downright slanderous material.

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There is nothing actionable in that post that I can see. You could ask them to clarify which words they believe are defamatory and bring the reponse (or lack of one) to the attention of your host.

 

Do you pay for the site? If so check your contract to see the exact wording of what power they have to remove posts and in what circumstances.

Post by me are intended as a discussion of the issues involved, as these are of general interest to me and others on the forum. Although it is hoped such discussion will be of use to readers, before exposing yourself to risk of loss you should not rely on any principles discussed without confirming the situation with a qualified person.

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http://www.weblaw.co.uk/articles/defamation-and-the-internet/

any help ?

 

has to be a false statement about the claimant I believe. But some ISPs run from it and just drop the hammer on their clients.

 

You could sign up to a host in a more friendly country - wikileaks did :)

 

and there is

http://blogs.journalism.co.uk/editors/2010/06/17/high-court-ruling-imposes-new-threshold-of-seriousness-for-defamation/

( http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2010/1414.html )

 

and

http://journalism.winchester.ac.uk/?page=227

 

Question. Can you defame someone that is held in low regard by the public ?

Question. Can a company even pursue a defamation suit ?

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Thanks for the last two replies. Lamma, I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment - I believe my host are running from it and dropping the hammer on me. It's far easier for them to do so than pursue *my* entitlement to freedom of expression. After all, that's not their battle. Why should they spend time/money on what is my issue?

 

I have no issue with their actions - they've been pretty fair giving me 4 days to remove a post when doing so only takes a few seconds. I have,however, just emailed them to ask if they could gain clarification over what part of the post is actually defamatory.

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Hey Mosh,

 

Fully concur with comments above - there is absolutely nothing defamatory about your blog - just the plain truth about how these bullies operate. And now they're kicking & screaming in the only way they know how - with even more bullying. Frankly, I'm amazed your host is so easily intimidated. They need some serious surgery done to their backbone. The vultures @ M Law don't have a legal leg to stand on either against you or your host. If you have the stomach for it, why not offer to indemnify your host against any losses they may suffer as a result of any action taken by these clowns? I guarantee you they will not pursue your host if they stand up to these bullies, or else if they are stupid enough to try their hand at litigation - they will lose. The law is on your side, as has been well attested by several forums that deal with this issue. Plse see my post in the athena thread posted by chelsy.

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Question. Can you defame someone that is held in low regard by the public ?

Question. Can a company even pursue a defamation suit ?

 

I'll start with question 2, since it's easier!

 

Yes is the simple answer. A company is a legal person.

 

Question 1: "Can you defame someone that is held in low regard by the public ?"

 

Defamation requires an act that lowers the reputation of another person in the eyes of a third party. If the "victim" has no reputation, than it can be hard for them to make a case - and any damages awarded may be nominal. There is case law for this.

Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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Question. Can you defame someone that is held in low regard by the public ?

Yes but damages may be restricted as a consequence.

Question. Can a company even pursue a defamation suit ?

Yes, ask McDonalds about the McLibel case - I guess that could apply to the above question too!

:)

********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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Cheers again guys. I've mailed my host to ask if they could get clarification as to what parts are defamatory, and also that I consider they're being a bit lax.

 

HOWEVER I have to state again that, as far as I can tell, my host are acting in their own interests which is understandable. They're taking the easy way out because it works and it saves them time and money. After all, it's *my* words which have caused the complaint, so asides from moral reasons they've no cause to defend me.

 

While I would *love* to take this further, if I did so the first thing that would happen would be that my blog would go offline. This isn't the world's biggest publishing loss by any means, but it would be a pain to transfer it elsewhere and I'd likely also lose out financially as I'd forfeit my hosting fees.

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I would have thought you could defend a libel suit on the grounds of public interest - provided you're not name calling and just stating facts.

 

Trouble is, as you say, there is a third party involved, who probably don't want to get dragged into it.

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Not sure what PePiPoo are doing, though I may ask. My issue is the third party. And the fact that I would be going up against someone who's got cash and lawyers. No matter how right I believe I am I don't have the resources.

 

Let's not forget that these days we have a legal system in which being *right* doesn't count for anything. Being *rich* ensures you win in court.

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Thanks Startkey - I'm considering it. A shame as I do like my host, and it's a fiddle getting everything shifted, plus I'd lose out on current hosting fees. My blog is just a personal site - I make nothing from it.

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As others have said, the 3rd party complicates matters. I suspect that in this instance it means that you will probably have to remove the blog. Not because ParkingEye are right in law but because your host wants you to.

 

However, I don't see why you cannot create a new blog entry, maybe providing a link the the BBC watchdog clips.

Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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Great minds, Mighty... I've just this moment reposted the entire thing on the MoneySavingExpert.com website, which I can't like to at present as I need another 12 posts on here!

 

I'll replace the post late on Sunday night if I have no other option. I won't remove it... that way the link to it will still work as it will remain on Google for an age anyway. The replacement post will contain a link to the article above. Which is hosted by a consumer advice organisation with a good reputation and a legal team.

 

Let's see how they deal with *that*.

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I would have thought you could defend a libel suit on the grounds of public interest - provided you're not name calling and just stating facts.

 

The defence is "fair comment"

********************************************

Nothing in this post constitutes "advice" which I may not, in any event, be qualified to provide.

The only interpretation permitted on this post (or any others I may have made) is that this is what I would personally consider doing in the circumstances discussed. Each and every reader of this post or any other I may have made must take responsibility for forming their own view and making their own decision.

I receive an unwieldy number of private messages. I am happy to respond to messages posted on open forum but am unable to respond to private messages, seeking advice, when the substance of that message should properly be on the open forum.

Many thanks for your assistance and understanding on this.

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