Craig Woolheater has posted:
Cryptomundo and Loren Coleman have been sued for defamation by a member of the site, John Johnsen (click here to see a copy of the Complaint). Both Cryptomundo and Loren believe the case is baseless. Mr. Johnsen has demanded that he be given ownership of the website to settle the case. This is simply not acceptable.
We are not lawyers, but according to the legal document the domain Cryptomundo.com is on the table. below is an excerpt from the legal Summons Document (you can see the document here)
Plaintiff requests judgment against Defendant Cryptomundo for damages, including but not limited to liquidated and actual damages, costs, interest, attorney's fees, and prays for such other relief in equity, including but not limited to transfer or any and all domain names associated with Defendant Cryptomundo, which this Court deems just and proper.
What is all this about? In paragraph 13-15 it describes the alleged act of defamation:
13. On or about Junee 8, 2011, Defendant Moneymaker published an inaccurate recitation of his interactions with Plaintiff, during a wildlife expedition in the Ocala National Forest. During
this characterization of Defendant Moneymaker's interactions with Plaintiff, Defendant
Moneymaker defamed Plaintiff by stating that Plaintiff was mentally ill and by accusing
Plaintiff of carrying firearms into the Ocala National Forest.
14. Defendant Moneymaker published these comments on the website www.cryptomundo.com. a forum for members of the cryptozoological community. See Exhibit 1.
15. The statements disseminated by Defendant Moneymaker were defamatory in nature because they depicted Plaintiff as a crazy, delusional man who carries firearms into national forests, and is "not in the same reality as the rest of us," to quote from Defendant Moneymaker.
What are typical defenses against Defamation? Again we are not experts and we do not practice law. We did visit ExpertLaw.com and found these common defenses against a defamation.
What Defenses Are Available To People Accused of Defamation?
The most important defense to an action for defamation is "truth", which is an absolute defense to an action for defamation.
Another defense to defamation actions is "privilege". For example, statements made by witnesses in court, arguments made in court by lawyers, statements by legislators on the floor of the legislature, or by judges while sitting on the bench, are ordinarily privileged, and cannot support a cause of action for defamation, no matter how false or outrageous.
A defense recognized in most jurisdictions is "opinion". If the person makes a statement of opinion as opposed to fact, the statement may not support a cause of action for defamation. Whether a statement is viewed as an expression of fact or opinion can depend upon context - that is, whether or not the person making the statement would be perceived by the community as being in a position to know whether or not it is true. If your employer calls you a pathological liar, it is far less likely to be regarded as opinion than if such a statement is made by somebody you just met. Some jurisdictions have eliminated the distinction between fact and opinion, and instead hold that any statement that suggests a factual basis can support a cause of action for defamation.
A defense similar to opinion is "fair comment on a matter of public interest". If the mayor of a town is involved in a corruption scandal, expressing the opinion that you believe the allegations are true is not likely to support a cause of action for defamation.
A defendant may also attempt to illustrate that the plaintiff had a poor reputation in the community, in order to diminish any claim for damages resulting from the defamatory statements.
A defendant who transmitted a message without awareness of its content may raise the defense of "innocent dissemination". For example, the post office is not liable for delivering a letter which has defamatory content, as it is not aware of the contents of the letter.
An uncommon defense is that the plaintiff consented to the dissemination of the statement.
We know many of you have your own blogs and your own facebook groups. It is important that we are able to quote third party opinions and not have to fear litigation. You can contribute to the Cryptomundo defense fund. It is easy. Go to this paypal link and type in firstname.lastname@example.org as the recipient. For the record we have a made a small contribution ourselves.