Monday, 31 August 2009 05:24

Chinese site renews threat to sue UK blogger in Australia

Lawyers in New South Wales, acting on behalf of the Chinese owners of massive multiplayer online game Evony, have reiterated their threats of legal action to a British blogger, for allegedly making remarks defamatory of the firm.

On August 27, iTWire reported that the law firm Warren McKeon Dickson had sent a letter dated August 25 to Bruce Everiss, a former marketer for the games industry, threatening him with legal action because he had allegedly made defamatory remarks about Evony in articles written for his blog.

If any case is filed, it would be traversing the same path as Gutnick v Dow Jones in the early 2000s when Melbourne-based mining magnate Joseph Gutnick sued Dow Jones, a US-based company, in Victoria over material that was later judged to be defamatory.

There is one difference in this case: Gutnick could claim defamation as he is a resident of Melbourne. Evony has no presence in Australia and it is not clear who has been affected here by the remarks made by Everiss.

It appears that Everiss has replied to the August 25 letter but not to the satisfaction of Warren McKeon Dickson which, in the second letter dated August 27, also refers to Everiss's posting of the first letter as being "a comprehensive and discourteous refusal of our invitation that you make an offer of amends."

Everiss has posted both letters on his website.

The first letter had given Everiss a deadline of August 28 to confirm that he is the author of the articles, or else identify the author and asked for the names of all those involved in publication of the articles.

In that letter, the lawyers had demanded that he confirm by August 28 that he wrote blog entries on The Chaos Engine, a games industry forum, under a certain name, and provide the names of all involved in the publication of these entries, which the lawyers claim defame their client.

Going by the second letter, Everiss does not appear to have complied with the lawyers' demands.

The British newspaper, The Guardian, which carried an article critical of Evony recently, has also received a legal complaint from the company.

Warren McKeon Dickson has been contacted for comment. An email sent to Everiss elicited the reply that he is on vacation for two weeks.


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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