Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship The Media Your Rights Online

Wikileaks and Iceland MPs Propose Journalism Haven 153

Posted by kdawson
from the vikings-of-transparency dept.
geegel sends word that Iceland could become a journalism haven if a proposal put forward by some Icelandic MPs, aided by Wikileaks, succeeds. Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks, said that the idea is to "try and reform Iceland's media law to be a very attractive jurisdiction for investigative journalists." The article notes one area in which supporters of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative need to tread carefully: "...the troubles of the financial sector may lead some Icelanders to be sceptical of efforts to transform their country and [one supporter] is aware of the need not to make exaggerated claims." A British opponent of the idea (and supporter of the UK's draconian libel laws) is quoted: "The provisions allowing defendants to counter-sue 'libel tourists' in their home courts could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comment written — and uploaded — at home."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wikileaks and Iceland MPs Propose Journalism Haven

Comments Filter:
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:27AM (#31113378) Homepage
    Eh, "virtually untouchable" is not so bad, really. I'll take that over the British scheme, I think. After all, there's (usually) more effective ways to defend one's self against libel than lawsuits.
    • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:51AM (#31113732) Journal

      I concur.

      Free speech should mean exactly that. You own your mouth, and nobody else should be able to muzzle it under any circumstances (unless you are inside their house or other private domain). Slander/libel laws shouldn't even exist. If you don't like what somebody is saying about you, then use your own mouth to tell those frakkers to "put up (evidence) or shut up".

      • by Entropius (188861) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:57AM (#31113848)

        Unfortunately, this means that the person with the bigger mouth can just shout louder than the other guy. Especially in the modern atmosphere of mass media, this means that whoever pays more can make their statements heard by everyone.

        Saying patently false things about someone that you know are false *should* be a crime, IMO, even if our interpretation of the law has gone too far.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          P.S.

          >>>Saying patently false things about someone that you know are false *should* be a crime,

          That sounds good in theory and might even work for awhile, until you get yourself some future president who resembles Mao Tse Tung. Said future president will define anything he doesn't like as "false" and imprison you. For example: "The communists killed hundreds in Tianneman Square." "No we didn't. That's libel. Welcome to prison."

          You need to write your laws, not just for the present, but also so t

          • by ultranova (717540) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:26PM (#31115260)

            That sounds good in theory and might even work for awhile, until you get yourself some future president who resembles Mao Tse Tung. Said future president will define anything he doesn't like as "false" and imprison you. For example: "The communists killed hundreds in Tianneman Square." "No we didn't. That's libel. Welcome to prison."

            Mussolini, Mao... Do you have any argument that doesn't devolve into scaremongering?

            You need to write your laws, not just for the present, but also so they cannot be abused by future tyrants. Libel/slander laws can and have been abused by governments to silence citizens.

            A tyrant will simply rewrite/re-interpret the laws to his advantage.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Reziac (43301) *

              That's true, but why provide the ammunition that makes it easier for a potential tyrant to achieve his goals? at least make him work for it!

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by theaveng (1243528)

              Mussolini, Mao... Do you have any argument that doesn't devolve into scaremongering?

              Don't know about him, but I do.

              President Adams used libel laws in the 1790s to jail American newsmen, including Ben Franklin's cousin (who died in prison). President Wilson used both libel and slander laws to imprison anyone who spoke-out against the war, or his administration in general (including suffragette Alice Paul). These laws shouldn't be on the books, because they have been used by past leaders to effectively nullify the first amendment during their terms.

            • by theaveng (1243528)

              A tyrant will simply rewrite/re-interpret the laws to his advantage.

              That's true but having the Slander/Libel Law on the books legitimizes the tyrant-president's acts ("I'm just enforcing the laws as written."). It makes him look innocent - even noble - in the eyes of the citizens.

              Not having the laws on the books means the president must first ask permission from Congress first, and that adds delay, and also the possibility that Congress will not pass the law at all. It limits his power.

              AND if he acts unilaterally without first passing the law, then he can be impeached f

          • That sounds good in theory and might even work for awhile, until you get yourself some future president who resembles Mao Tse Tung. Said future president will define anything he doesn't like as "false" and imprison you.

            As is often the case in these discussions, if you reach that stage, you have bigger problems. The correct solution to those problems typically involves a wall, the causes of the problems, a firing squad, and a subsequent overhaul of government by the people as a whole, just as it has done throughout history.

            Meanwhile, there is little point discussing any legal system on the assumption that some all-powerful dictator will eventually abuse it. Anyone with that much power can ignore/rewrite the law anyway.

            For

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Reziac (43301) *
            This cannot be repeated too often:

            "You should not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harm it would cause if improperly administered."
            -- Lyndon Johnson, 36th President of the U.S.

          • by malkavian (9512)

            The "You're allowed to say anything with no legal recourse" works nicely until the head of governement turns round and says you've done a lot of really bad things, fiddle with children and animals, and you're plotting to blow things up.
            Of course, it's a lie. However, try telling that to the vigilante mob that turns up at your door baying for blood, as you have no legal recourse.
            Everything needs balances to make sure fair play is taken into account. When one side takes it too far, the other needs to react;

        • Saying patently false things about someone that you know are false *should* be a crime, IMO, even if our interpretation of the law has gone too far.

          Well, in Germany, it is a crime. And the judge decides how to interpret law.
          Is that that different from US/UK rules?

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            If you can prove what you said was factual then it is an absolute defense against any slander or libel claim in the US, as I understand it that's not an absolute defense in other countries.

            • by Smauler (915644)

              IANAL - The UK laws on libel are that the truth trumps all, with quite a few exceptions.

              There are injunctions to protect crime victim's privacy (which I agree with to some degree; if I was sexually abused or raped I would think I'd have the right not to have the entire country know the details).

              There are laws on privacy and laws on public interest, and neither actually takes precedence over each other. It's basically up to a judge to decide... meh.

              However, there is a growing trend of "super-injunctions", w

        • by TheLink (130905)
          > Saying patently false things about someone that you know are false *should* be a crime, IMO, even if our interpretation of the law has gone too far.

          It shouldn't be allowed in Iceland even if they go through with the haven thing.

          Because if everyone can say anything in Iceland and actually do, most of the world might stop listening, and not just due to censorship, but because of poor signal to noise ratios.

          Then the whole thing becomes worth a lot less, or even worthless.
        • by dargaud (518470)

          Saying patently false things about someone that you know are false *should* be a crime, IMO

          I wholly agree, be it related to libel, or pundit talk shows that make up 'statistics' on the spot. If you are using public airwave, there should be an obligation not to lie (good faith disclaimer, etc), and get fined or even lose your broadcast license otherwise. I mean, it's a lot more important than seeing half a tit for a split second, no ?

      • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:08PM (#31114020)

        I concur. Free speech should mean exactly that. You own your mouth, and nobody else should be able to muzzle it under any circumstances (unless you are inside their house or other private domain).

        So large companies can station people with bullhorns outside our restaurant to tell people the food inside is poisonous in order to drive you out of business? And The day before the election a news channel can run stories that are complete lies, including saying anything (for example McCain is dead and a vote for him is now going to elect Palin)? And so on the sly I can hire someone to call all the patients of a physician and tell them he's a child molester and rapes his patients in order to drum up business for my competing practice? After all he might hear about it eventually. Can I lie about the ingredients list on food I sell? How about crowded theaters? Is it now legal for me to scream about a fire or guy with a gun in order to start a panic and get people trampled to death?

        I disagree with your assertion. Libel and slander and other laws that restrict free speech in the name of the public good are fairly necessary. They serve a purpose. We just need to be very conservative in our changes to these types of laws and in the creation of new laws.

        • by mhajicek (1582795)

          And The day before the election a news channel can run stories that are complete lies

          You mean they don't?

      • Slander/libel laws shouldn't even exist. If you don't like what somebody is saying about you, then [...] tell those frakkers to "put up (evidence) or shut up".

        And that will of course work, right?

        If someone keeps calling you a child raping, baby eating monster, they should of course be entitled to do so, and your only recourse should be to say "nu uh!". Especially if the name caller is someone rich enough to say ... buy ads in TV, radio, print and online, so that everyone you know and will come into contact

        • >>>If someone keeps calling you a child raping, baby eating monster, they should of course be entitled to do so, and your only recourse should be to say "nu uh!".

          Well having dealt with this in the past (a certain person claimed I was a pedophile because my family goes to topless beaches), I simply responded to his accusation with the same sentence again-and-again. "That's interesting. Please provide evidence to back-up your claim." "You're a pedophile!"
          "That's interesting. Please

          • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:30PM (#31115316)

            Again, that works if it's a small voice claiming it.

            Now throw in a few tens of millions in advertising time, and you have absolutely no way of making that kind of voice go away.

            • If somebody cares enough to spends tens of millions to attack me verbally, then I must be an important person (like a president or other leaders). Which means I'll have approximately equivalent resources at my disposal to fight back, and demand the idiot provide evidence, or else shut up.

              • and demand the idiot provide evidence, or else shut up.

                And if he doesn't do either, you'll do what, exactly? Take him to court for defamation?

      • Let me explain how libel and slander laws work in the UK. Basically, you don't have to prove squat. You say, "This big meanie said something I don't like. Yes it's true, and it didn't actually cause me any monetary damages, but I don't like it. Make him stop." And if you have enough money, it's very likely the courts will make him stop.

        Now, here in the US we do things a little differently. To prove libel or slander you need to prove three things: first, the offending statement has to be false. If someone sa

        • So, if I say, your grandma makes the worst pies in the world, unless your grandma is in the pastry business or enters lots of baking contests, more than likely I haven't actually hurt anything more than her feelings

          Quality of life is built on feelings. People have suffered great physical trauma, but recovered to lead happy and fulfilling lives. People have lost every penny they own, but recovered to lead happy and fulfilling lives. People who suffer damage to their reputation, their sense of honour, their self-confidence... these things cause scars for life, and the victims may never fully recover.

          If all your law protects against is physical harm or direct financial loss, then your law is a mockery, written in the int

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by spun (1352)

            You misunderstand. In a libel or slander suit in the US, it is up to you to prove to a jury that you were harmed. It is much easier to prove if you can show documented financial harm.

            Case one: You are a movie star, you have big box office numbers, someone says you have sex with fish, all of a sudden you can't draw an audience, cut and dried.

            Case two: you are some random guy. Someone says you have sex with fish. You've got nothing concrete to show the jury. Maybe they'll side with you, maybe not.

            Nobody is tu

            • Anyone can claim hurt feelings. Anyone can claim emotional damages. It's very easy to LIE about those kind of things. The US system is not blind to such claims, as you seem to imply, it is just harder to prove, which is fair and just.

              It's easy to make false accusations of rape as well, and relatively few rape cases result in a conviction for similar reasons. Does that mean we should legalise rape, because it's hard to prove lack of consent anyway?

              I guess what I'm getting at is that just because harm can't be objectively quantified by reduction to a dollar amount or some similar method, that does not imply that the harm is not real. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, and you can acknowledge the reality that someone was hurt

              • by spun (1352)

                Oh, I know what you are getting at. My point is, you need to convince a jury that you were harmed, and that is easier to do if the harm is measurable. Fair or not in any particular case, it is the only equitable procedure to follow for all cases.

                • My point is, you need to convince a jury that you were harmed, and that is easier to do if the harm is measurable.

                  True enough, and I have no problem with that. But from your earlier description, the requirements you advocate seem to be a lot stronger.

                  You said you the person making the defamatory claim must know that it is false and must make the claim with malicious intent. That suggests that destroying someone's career merely through gross negligence is fine, so that for example a newspaper would be perfectly entitled to report any old gossip from dubious sources that it didn't know to be false, with no responsibility

          • Losing an eye or losing your house is a hell of a lot worse than some randomer calling you mean names.

            Deal with it.
            and man up a little.

            Unless you lead a very sheltered life and never learned to deal with other people being unpleasant.
            Feelings are the absolute least serious kind of harm, verging on the trivial.

            People do work like that, and the law should be about the physical and financial world, not how life makes you feel.

            Toughen up and get over it pussy.

            • Losing an eye or losing your house is a hell of a lot worse than some randomer calling you mean names.

              That depends on the context. Someone calling you "mean names" that happen to imply socially unacceptable behaviour, in a public forum where you have no effective right to reply, can break families, destroy friendships, wreck careers... but under a US-style system as described by spun, unless you can link those things directly back to the comments concerned, prove malice, and quantify the damage caused in some meaningful way, it sounds like the law offers no protection from this.

              • exactly as it should otherwise say I call you mean names or say nasty things about you. They do no harm whatsoever but the next day you crash your car and fuck up at work and get fired.

                If there's no requirement to prove that the losses are in any way a result of the insult/statement then what's to stop you from blaming all your problems on me and extracting money for nothing?
                It would be utterly retarded to not require that there be a provable link back to the comments concerned.

                The law should not offer wild

                • A requirement to convince the court of a genuine causal link is perfectly reasonable. I have never argued otherwise, at least not deliberately; did something I wrote unintentionally imply this? However, an absolute requirement to quantify the damage caused by that link may not be so reasonable. You can acknowledge that a significant level of damage has been done without having to put a value on it to five significant figures.

                  Also, keep in mind that we are only talking about claims that are both untrue and w

                  • ok.
                    So if you say something, lets say I convince a class of local children that you pushed Santa Clause off your roof.
                    It's untrue(obviously)
                    It's maclicious.
                    And it may be credibly damaging if some of those kids egg your house.

                    So you have no problem with being required to prove that the egging is credibly linked to my claims that you pushed santa clause off a roof but if you then sue me for 500,000 dollars damages rather than the fifty bucks it cost to clean the egg off you don't think you should also have to

                    • I'm sorry, but you and I appear to be in different conversations. Where have I ever even suggested that something like what you wrote would be reasonable, or that I would support arbitrarily high damages in cases where exact quantification was unrealistic?

                    • I refer to your earlier post.

                      but under a US-style system as described by spun, unless you can link those things directly back to the comments concerned, prove malice, and quantify the damage caused in some meaningful way, it sounds like the law offers no protection from this.

                      You claimed that it was somehow unreasonable to have to show these 3 things:
                      1: That there be a provable link between the comments and whatever effect/consequence/harm you claim to have suffered.
                      2: That it be possible to prove malice.
                      3: That the damage be quantified in some meaningful way.

                      so let me get this straight:
                      You don't actually have a problem with requiring people to prove that the harm is in fact a direct result of whatever was said.
                      You don't seem to have a problem with q

                    • My objection (in this part of the wider discussion going on) is to the implication that if you can't measure the loss, you can't be penalised at all. Some losses can obviously be significant, yet you can't possibly know their true value, so a court awarding damages would have to make a reasonable judgement; consider someone who has probably lost a lucrative career, yet whose earnings for the next 30 years clearly aren't known precisely. Some damages simply don't have a dollar amount attached, but if the jus

                    • Given that people can sue for lost earnings when they lose legs, eyes, hands etc or suffer some other kind of serious damage I don't think assiging an approximate cash value is unexplored teritory.
                      These aren't magical things which can't be quantified.
                      Sure you can't say "it's worth 53,062 dollars and 45 cent" with certainty but courts approximate damages all the time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by QuantumRiff (120817)

        And when a large company claims aspirin cures cancer? and they sell aspirin as a cancer remedy? Thats just free speech. Or when Toyota says they have the best, most reliable gas pedals in the industry.

      • by Weezul (52464)

        Not exactly. Libel laws just need the burden of proof to rest upon the plaintiff and very strong anti-SLAPP laws. If you sue for libel, you best prove the libeler is lying, or you face massive fines and damages. U.K. libel laws are totally fucked because the burden of proof rests squarely upon the libeler.

        Iceland's proposed laws would supposedly make Icelandic citizens untouchable by British libel, well that's fine by me. A few companies relocating their press offices to Iceland won't significantly disr

  • Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jawn98685 (687784) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:30AM (#31113412)
    Get it?
    No, seriously, I mean it is cool that the notion of a free press could be so powerful that an entire nation could be moved to enshrine it in law, thereby creating a beacon of truth for the rest of the world, or a thorn in their side, depending on what got posted. [sigh...] I remember when the United States was something like that.
    • by nomadic (141991)
      Despite all the chic pessimism, when it comes to free speech laws the US still has a very free press. Not that there aren't several other areas in the Constitution that are under attack, but speech is still free.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bsDaemon (87307)
        We have a free press in the sense that there is very little government control over what gets printed. However, in the sense that most print and tv news outlets are owned by major conglomerates who have them present a more-or-less unified message. Clearly, the Internet lowers that barrier to entry and helps create a more even playing field, but on the flip-side of that is the problem of too many cooks in the kitchen, more than a handful of whom are kooks who may be a detriment to your argument by virtue o
      • Except during an election.

      • Re:Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:59AM (#31113876) Homepage
        Careful now: did you check you were in a Free Speech Zone [wikipedia.org] before you wrote that?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nomadic (141991)
          Careful now: did you check you were in a Free Speech Zone before you wrote that?

          Before I wrote that I actually did think up the worst anti-free-speech activity by the government I could think of, and the Free Speech Zone issue is what I came up with. Then I thought how that compares to being dragged through courts in libel actions, and decided that as bad as the FSZ is, in the grand scheme of things it's not really up there on the speech suppression scale.
        • by Reziac (43301) *

          Perhaps not coincidentally, those Zones greatly resemble an, um, "urban renewal project".

      • No it isn't, not by a hell of a long row of apple trees. If you can't afford the ink, then you aren't going to be heard. The 'media' is so controlling in their quest to get paid for every second of A/V, or square inch of paper, that the only place to be heard is what is often called mom & pop radio in the small towns. Getting a word in edgewise on a radio station with more than a kilowatt of AM, or 3kw ERP of FM, is only done as part of the 'public service' stuff they might do, like running a radio f

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by VShael (62735)

      I remember when the United States was something like that.

      I remember when people thought the United States was something like that.
      I can't remember it ever being the case though.

    • About that beacon of truth:
      1. Who defines “truth”? The admins? The Icelandic government? You?
      2. The US can still bomb the shit out of Iceland in a matter of days.
      3. ...
      4. FAIL. ;)

      I remember when the United States was something like that.

      You mean, you remember when you still believed their lies?
      Well, there was a time when I believed my government too... ;)

    • by inviolet (797804)

      No, seriously, I mean it is cool that the notion of a free press could be so powerful that an entire nation could be moved to enshrine it in law, thereby creating a beacon of truth for the rest of the world, or a thorn in their side, depending on what got posted. [sigh...] I remember when the United States was something like that.

      It's a trap.

      Seriously. Iceland is broke, and this is a get-rich-quick scheme: once you have a reputation for being an irrepressible beacon of truth, you can charge an enormous su

  • Fantastic! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238)

    A British opponent of the idea (and supporter of the UK's draconian libel laws) is quoted: "The provisions allowing defendants to counter-sue 'libel tourists' in their home courts could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comment written — and uploaded — at home."

    As a US citizen, I'm looking forward to it.

    • by Gonoff (88518)

      It doesn't sound too bad from the UK either. The one problem I see is the possible application of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

      How about them making sure it is not just another waf for the rich and powerful to keep the peasants quiet worldwide in case they are countersued in Iceland?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Al Dimond (792444)

        Does it matter if you're countersued in Iceland if you just don't go there?

        If someone sued me for libel in the UK I wouldn't bother responding -- I've never been there and don't plan on going, so there's really not much their government can do short of trying to get me extradited (seems unlikely for a civil case). As far as the "peasants" are concerned, unless those peasants need to do business in Iceland it probably won't affect them.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Gonoff (88518)

          We know now how much banks are international. Could some court in Iceland persuade an Icelandic subsidiary of my own bank to turn over what I "owed" following a court case?
          We might not think so, but finance looks very incestuous to me.

  • Talk at 26C3 (Score:2, Informative)

    by user1003 (816685)
    There has been a very interesting talk [events.ccc.de] about this (and other aspects of WikiLeaks) at 26C3.
  • Oh noes! (Score:5, Funny)

    by schmidt349 (690948) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:32AM (#31113452)

    But... but... if Iceland becomes a journalism haven, how will people file baseless libel suits in British courts?!! Everyone who says homeopathy and chiropractic are junk sciences will be able to just get away with it!

    • Considering the US's reaction to Britain's lax libel laws, I have a feeling this won't be a problem that much longer, whether Iceland becomes a journalism haven or not.

    • Re:Oh noes! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nanoakron (234907) on Friday February 12, 2010 @12:03PM (#31113932)

      Something that hasn't hit the journalistic radar yet:

      Jack Straw MP (UK Justice Secretary) announced in the house this Tuesday that he will be undertaking a serious review of Britain's libel laws in light of the fact that Britain is often viewed as a 'libel haven' (paraphrasing) for overseas corporations.

      This won't be likely to result in new legislation before the end of this Parliament (likely to be April-May 2010), but at least it will put the issue on the agenda for the next one.

      -Nano.

      (Yes, I watch the Parliament channel...)

  • Badly Needed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:40AM (#31113552) Homepage
    Before the financial crash in Iceland there was only one investigative journalism program in the media called "Kompás" (Icelandic for "Compass")

    Of course, after the banks crashed, they started digging and produced a program about the events that led to the crash.
    Unfortunately, when the episode was ready, but just before it aired, the media company controlled by "Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson", decided to cancel the Program because of "Financial reasons", even though this was one of the most popular programs in Iceland.

    The episode on the events leading up to the bank crash, made by Iceland's best known investigative journalists, has still not been aired.

  • The main goal with the proposal is to task the government with finding ways to strengthen freedoms of expression and information in Iceland, as well as providing strong protections for sources and whistleblowers.

    Before you rewrite all your laws and start to upset other countries like the Brits, tossing a half million at them [wikileaks.org] so they can finally come out of questionable status and my links to their site stop returning a 404 [wikileaks.org].

    That'd be a really good start and pretty much pocket change for a government. Wikileaks seemed to be operating just fine where ever their servers were located. Offer them asylum only if they need it.

    Even better than that would be an IMMI award given out yearly to the whistleblowingest

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:56AM (#31113824) Homepage

    The primary issue that this raises is that of Sovereignty: the absolute inviolate right of a Nation to enact its own laws within its own borders.

    It is essential that Sovereignty be restored, world-wide. That means that the United States must cease and desist from interfering in and initiating interference in other countries. Such as by terminating the one-way "extradition treaty" which has been abused so badly. Such as by not committing crimes by invading foreign countries without good justification or even any evidence, on "pre-emptive" pretexts.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday February 12, 2010 @11:57AM (#31113844)
    The tighter you gripped, the more it slipped away. The grip is so tight here now that you've dropped the soap.

    Prepare for a shafting.

    (I have no idea where I was going with this.)
  • A British opponent of the idea (and supporter of the UK's draconian libel laws) is quoted: "The provisions allowing defendants to counter-sue 'libel tourists' in their home courts could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comment written -- and uploaded -- at home."

    That is supposed to be a persuasive argument against Icelanders passing the law?!? That Icelanders would be less susceptible to being sued abroad under laws they have not enacted and have no reas

  • A British opponent of the idea (and supporter of the UK's draconian libel laws) is quoted: "The provisions allowing defendants to counter-sue 'libel tourists' in their home courts could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comment written — and uploaded — at home."

    Indeed.

    And the downside?

  • The quote

    "The provisions allowing defendants to counter-sue 'libel tourists' in their home courts could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comment written -- and uploaded -- at home."

    shows a truly startling ignorance. If some British prat decides to start badmouthing me (or some other Canadian) in England, I'm trying to imagine what possible train of thought would lead them to think that if I was going to sue them, I'd sue them here, where the alleged o

  • by RomulusNR (29439) on Friday February 12, 2010 @01:30PM (#31115314) Homepage

    could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comments written

    It's a word! It's a claim! No, it's FreeSpeechMan!

    Whatever will we do when Iceland is overrun with people with the power to say whatever they want?

    Freedom Of Speech -- It's Scary!

  • "I'm going to try TO teach you decent grammar."

    It's not two separate actions. "And" would make sense in a case like, "I'm going to sing and dance".

    • by Petrushka (815171)

      "I'm going to try TO teach you decent grammar."

      It's not two separate actions.

      It can be.

      Not in your way of thinking, perhaps; I'm willing to admit that there may be people who never distinguish the ideas of trial and success. But "trying and doing" a task is both coherent and has a very strong linguistic heritage.

      • by AP31R0N (723649)

        Thinking isn't involved. It's seeing that the writer used the word 'and' where they should have used 'to'. It's the wrong word.

        Do you have an example that doesn't involve changing the subject? The subject is "try and $verb". Their may be cases where "try and" can be together in a sentence that would be fine... but this is none of those cases.

        Coherent? How is "try and" coherent when they are clearly using the wrong word? Just because people can work around the bug doesn't make it right.

        Its "heritage" do

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

Working...