Monday, April 5, 2010

Canadian Supreme Court to Rule on Hyperlinks

Wayne Crookes, a businessman from Vancouver, has sued Jon Newton, a free-speech advocate, for hyperlinking to comments on other websites which Crookes said are libelous. Crookes, or his lawyers, contacted Newton and demanded he remove the links, as they were libelous, and Newton refused. So Crookes decided that constituted Newton's "republication" of "libelous" comments, and this serves as the basis of his case.

A judge ruled against Crookes, as did the Canadian Court of Appeals, so this jackass has taken his case all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court, which gave no reason for hearing his case, but is set to rule on the question of whether or not linking to sources constitutes republication of the material to which it is linking. American law has granted "hyperlink immunity" since 1996.

This case is frightening for many reasons, but I have a feeling the Canadian Supreme Court decided to hear the case specifically to set the other courts' findings into law. Crookes' ill-conceived concept of hyperlinking, and the Web in general, is nothing more than an obvious attempt at censoring those who oppose him - not surprisingly, he is a financial backer of Canada's political Green party, and former campaign organizer. You also have to wonder why he's going after someone who just linked to the allegedly "libelous" material, instead of whomever actually posted said content.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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