The Zeke saga continues

Apparently it wasn’t so much of a happy ending for Zeke’s Gallery’s blog and the gallery owner with the big ego and lawyer friend. After apparently being reassured that a simple pronoun confusion was at fault for a misunderstanding, it turns out he wasn’t satisfied.

Now other blogs are taking notice and calling on the world to blog about how this guy sucks and bloggers are under attack from evil lawyers.

The lesson in all this is that in the eyes of the law, blogs are no different from major newspapers. Both are responsible for their words and subject to libel law. Of course, the main reason bloggers don’t tend to get sued as much (besides the relative lack of readership) is that they don’t have very deep pockets. I learned that as editor of The Link.

The flip side is that for these small bloggers, it’s cheaper to give in to demands than hire a lawyer to fight even the most frivolous charges.

It’s not so much a blogging issue. It’s a problem with the justice system.

11 thoughts on “The Zeke saga continues

  1. Andrew J

    What’s evil about a lawyer protecting his or her client’s legitimate right to protect their reputation?

    The “evil lawyers” in this case had a legitimate point: the clumsy phrasing of the “interpretive” blog suggested that the “egotistical” gallery owner sparked a mafia investigation and was responsible for fraud. He wasn’t. He simply knew someone who was linked to the investigation. This impacts this man’s ability to put bread on the table. Why shouldn’t he do all he can to protect his reputation?

    Instead of looking to blame the justice system why not start looking at your responsibilities as the guys that want to hold the keys to the new digital media. Why should bloggers have any less legal responsibility for their work than other ranks of the media?

    If you’re claiming to have the same legitimacy as established media then take on the same accountability. If not ….get out of the kitchen so to speak.

    Reply
  2. Zeke

    Howdy!

    The lawyer has every right to protect their client. I just have two questions: What law did I break? Whose reputation did I sully?

    When I spoke with Me. Carmichael last week, he asked me to make a change in my post, I did. He then sent me a second mise-en-demure.

    Reply
  3. Andrew J

    Oh and as far as the laws are concerned. You didn’t break any criminal laws. This is about libel and slander which are civil matters.

    It’s simply to naive to say “What laws did I break?”

    Would you like your local newspaper to slander you and make unsubstantiated allegations against you over things you haven’t done and then turn around with up turned palms and say: “What law did we break?”

    You’d sue them. Am I right?

    This is the problem with bloggers. You want media power but you don’t want any accountability or responsibility for what you publish.

    Reply
  4. Zeke

    Howdy!

    Ummm, sorry to be asking these pesky questions, but could you please point out to me, where I slandered anyone? Feel free to copy and paste liberally.

    I take responsibility for what I write, that is why I don’t do it anonymously.

    Reply
  5. Andrew J

    Yep.

    I don’t have a link to the original post I read at hand that showed the complete before and after changes to the text so I’ll work with what I can find on this blog space:

    “According to this article, a guy named Frank Martorana was in business with Pierre-Antoine Tremblay who tried to sell some fake paintings to Loto-Quebec. Because of him (edit Frank Martorana), a bunch of different police forces here in Canada started to investigate the Mafia for something like five years, and resulted in them arresting a gazillion and a half people on Thursday.”

    When you wrote because of him without being specific about who “him” referred to it would lead an average reader to think that the individual selling the fake paintings was the catalyst for the police investigation.

    It’s a subtlety but its an important one. I can understand precisely why the lawyers requested the alteration.

    This is something an editor or journalist would be wary of and something that an untrained blogger wouldn’t pick-up. And it’s a perfect example of why blogs shouldn’t be taken seriously as alternatives to professional media outlets.

    You’re proving it by these posts.

    Happy

    Reply
  6. Zeke

    Howdy!

    Using the internet in the same way that you use a newspaper is like using a Ferrari for your morning commute. If I wanted to write without using links, I wouldn’t have a blog. Thinking that a blog and a newspaper are equivalents is just flat out wrong.

    There is a link for the words “this article” which leads to the Mafia take down instigated by Mr. Martorana. There is another link for the words “Frank Martorana” which explains in more detail M. Tremblay’s involvement with Mr. Martorana. There is another link for the words “tried to sell” about M. Tremblay’s involvement with Loto-Quebec.

    If you don’t click on the links, then obviously you are not getting the complete story. Sending two bailiffs because you can’t figure out who is the object of a sentence and who is the subject is useless. If I go to see a film in Moscow, I don’t sue the cinema to get my money back, just because I don’t understand Russian.

    Reply
  7. Pingback: Some people just won’t take “yes” for an answer at Fagstein

  8. Andrew J

    That argument is very faulty, as is your cinema analogy.

    From any legal point of view papers and blogs both take pieces of text containing information and hoist them into the public domain, and in that respect their power to defame is equivalent.

    What if they links die? What if someone re-prints your blog in magazine or paper? What if they read it out on TV?

    Suggesting that the onus is on the reader to search out, detect and remove the defamotory implications from your reckless work is an admission of defeat; that bloggers can’t do the job of professional media outlets.

    You’re admitting defeat there and then.

    Its a cop-out argument to rely on links and further reinforces my view that bloggers want media-like powers and credibilty to challenge news outlets but they want ZERO accountability.

    In this case the readers wouldn’t be clicking links to get “the full story” as you so craftily phrase it, they would have been checking them to help you get away with careless defamatory writing.

    If I pay to go see a film in Moscow I don’t expect to have to travel to Siberia to see the beginning, Skopja to see the middle and Johannesburg to see the correct ending.

    Reply
  9. Pingback: Beware your pronouns at Fagstein

  10. Pingback: Fagstein » Zeke’s Gallery scandal explained

Leave a Reply