Sunday, November 28, 2010

Don't Mess with Rob Day

Rob Day, better known as Canadian Cynic, finally got tired of the malicious defamations posted by Patrick “Patsy” Ross on his blog The Nexus of Assholery. The result was an $85,000 judgment in Rob's favour—$10,000 in legal costs and $75,000 in punitive damages [Another Mudfish Beached]. Let's hope Patsy pays up before the police have to come knocking on his door.
This is one way to deal with bloggers and trolls who step over the line. Another way is to press criminal charges against those who post serious threats. I think the second way is better, if it's an option, and I'm looking forward to the time when some of the mentally deranged trolls are locked away in an institution without a computer. There are a few such trolls who may soon be getting a visit from the cops.


  1. It seems the police do not always take threats seriously. There is a deranged troll near Montreal who is known to the police and complaints have not resulted in action.

  2. Prof. Moran,

    linking to a page you dislike actually adds your credibility to its page rank - unless you add the nofollow tag.

    Cheers, DR

  3. I think Patrick Ross is pretty disgusting character but I also think that libel laws are for cowardly pussies. One day, when the shoe is on the other foot, you will not like it so much.

  4. DK, for the shoe to be on the other foot, doesn't there have to be actual libel?

  5. No, not really. People who sue for libel tend to call anything they don't like a libel.

  6. two comments

    first @ DK. Sure people can call anything they don't like "libel", but to win a case the court has to agree that it was a libel. In this case, the court did.

    Secondly, in response to Professor Moran's original post, it doesn't seem to me as if the court awarded $75,000 in punitive damages, as that specific term was not used. Rather, it appears to have awarded what the legal system refers to as "general" damages, which are an amount chosen by the court based upon the degree of offensiveness of the remarks, how widespread the libel was circulated etc.

    I could be wrong, but this is my opinion. In libel actions the court tends to award general damages upon proof of libel, special damages if specific economic loss can be proven, and punitive damages only if general and special damages are inadequate to indicate the court's disapproval of the defendant's conduct.

  7. In this case, there we allegations that the defendant was accusing cc of being a pedophile in the blog posts. I think most people would consider that sort of accusation in a public forum to be libel.