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 Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation

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dtpollard
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PostSubject: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:05 am

This agent is going to court to fight information posted about her on various websites. This may be one to watch given the environment of the Internet.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6574477.html


Rooftop Diva – A Novel of Triumph After Katrina- ESSENCE bestseller
http://reviews.aalbc.com/rooftop_diva.htm
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http://www.therawreviewers.com/artman/publish/FoolsHeaven.shtml

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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:11 am

This will be an interesting case o follow DT--can we tell the truth, or do we have to couch it and hide what we really believe??
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:26 am

By the way, the 20 Worst Agents list orignally came from Miss Snark.
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 1:40 am

No way! That just makes it all the better Lin
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:02 am

That's actually according to her own "cease and desist" letter.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 7:58 am

At least BB does not hide behind a pseudonym. The case isn't about how good or bad an agent is but about how far are whistleblowers allowed to go. There's a big diference between warning the public about a scam agent and ruining someone's reputation. That's for the court to decide.

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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:21 pm

How could an agent "hide behind a pseudonym"? I guess I don' get it.

Well, if somebody is a scam agent and you tell people, it's hard to see a difference between that and "ruining their reputation".

It's kind of what whistleblowing is all about. IF somebody is worried about their reputation, they shouldn't run scams.

The law protects people from UNTRUE allegations. If something is true, you can state it publicly. Hard to see anything unfair with that.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:34 pm

Quote :
... Miss Snark is not anonymous. Miss Snark is pseudonymous. ...
Stating the truth does not allow anyone to use derogatory remarks. The court won't be deciding on who told the truth and will concentrate on who lied.

e.g.

If someone wrote that a company was swindling people by overcharging and this was true and proved to be true then the company has no grounds to sue.

If someone wrote that a company was swindling people by overcharging and this was true and proved to be true and also wrote that the company made claims which the company didn't in fact make, and could prove that they did not make any false claims, then the company could sue for libel. Not for the truth that was told but for the lies that were printed.

As far as this particular case is concerned, it would be in the best interests of the forum to watch from the sidelines and not post anything defamatory to any of the parties involved.

The law of libel:

http://martlet.ca/view.php?aid=38733&f_iid=9454

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Last edited by Shelagh on Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:59 am; edited 2 times in total
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:43 pm

This will be of interest to watch. It may save one of us from stepping too heavily on someone else's toes. I would suppose one could offer their own opinion as long as it was clear that it was an opinion, rather than actual fact. It would also probably depend heavily on how much actual damage occured. The law can be a slippery slope for those of us not schooled in it.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:49 pm

Hi Zada,

I posted a link after you posted that you might find interesting.

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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 4:51 pm

Thanks Shelagh, going there now.
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:00 pm

Excellent information, thank you Shelagh. I don't intend to be guilty of slander or libel, but that makes it clear how important facts and notes can be. And how easily one could be accused and found guilty!
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Jenny
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:08 pm

And the court's decision can be found here:

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080702/NEWS01/807020350/1004
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lin
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:36 pm

Quote :
Stating the truth does not allow anyone to use derogatory remarks.

Well, as a matter of fact, under United States it does.

And it only makes sense. Why should you not be able to state a fact because somebody wouldn't want you to?

Charles Manson planned a mass murder. Is it derogatory to say so? Is anything said a literarly agent more heinous than THAT?

Tryin to say that you can't state anything somebody doesn't want people to hear is (in addition to being against the freedom of speech principles most writers tend to subscribe to) a blank check for people to do all sorts of rotten things and not worry about anybody being warned about them.

By the way, whether something is derogatory is a matter of subjective taste. Whether something is "defamatory" is a legal matter.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Literary Agent Sues Sites for Ruining Her Reputation   Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:59 pm

Stop splitting hairs lin. Calling agents "dumb" because they adopt unethical business practices is derogatory and unacceptable. When people stoop to personal insults, they lose the argument and become worse than their targets.

Thanks for the link Jenny! It wouild seem that Judge Jamie S. Perri agreed that the comments on wikipedia were defamatiory and had they been made by a wikipedia employee, he would not have dismissed the case:

Quote :
While dismissing Bauer's complaint, Perri did not bar Bauer from filing an amended complaint against Wikimedia alleging it published its own, false and defamatory statements about her.

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