Fuck GE Healthcare ad the Brits in general

GE Healthcare has a medicine which they market under the name of Omniscan. Danish physician noted that it might have some serious consequences for kidney patients and put forward his findings with a short presentation in Oxford. For which GE Healthcare is suing him for libel and defamation. (GE Healthcare Seemingly Tries To Intimidate And Silence A Critic Of Its Omniscan Product). Fuck GE Healthcare for that. But fuck Britain even more for their idiot defamation laws whereby a person is considered guilty unless proven otherwise, which through the EU now extends to countries outside Britain. So a Danish journalist or author publishing in Denmark things that in Denmark are perfectly legal now have to worry that some idiot in London might be insulted. That’s fucked up. And while we’re at it: Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy so called, is a twat.

Or maybe some educated person in London finds it offensive. I don’t understand your point- if the proof is there that the substance is harmful won’t the facts come out?

Your title is confusing. Do you want to fuck Brits in general, or our laws? Or do you believe they’re the same thing?

FWIR, the Simon Singh case seems to be seen as a test case for libel laws in this country. It’s being presided over by three of the highest judges in the land (the judges who will make up the Supreme Court, IIRC), and a judge at a preliminary hearing for the case said he couldn’t understand why anybody had brought suit (or words to that effect). It seems the courts are now beginning to change their opinions on libel law under public and ministerial pressure.

Though I agree. Libel laws as they stand in the UK are an affront to freedom of speech. If I had my way, the legal concept of libel would be abolished altogether: it serves only the rich, as they’re the only ones who can afford the ridiculous amount of time and money needed to win a libel case. Fuck them.

**Capt. Ridley’s Shooting Party ** fucks dogs. On the front page of the Daily Mail. Free speech? Not that our libel laws are great or anything, but do you really want libel abolished completely?

With the medicine? No the information will not necessarily come out if it is illegal or involves a substantial financial risk to make a note of it. At least not as quickly.

The Brits in general are responsible for the laws of Brit-land. But you can fuck up your place to your heart’s content as much as I care, as long as it doesn’t involve me – which it now seem to be doing through the EU. So this is a combined BritEU pit. I don’t want Danish authors or journalist worrying about fucked up British laws when publishing articles in Danish media or when publishing on the Internet.

You might be interested in looking at the website of the Libel Reform campaign, which is attempting to change English libel law.


They do mention a case there where a Danish newspaper wrote some nasty articles about an Icelandic bank, and the bank sued them in London. The London court gave them jurisdiction to do so, because some of the articles had been translated and posted on the newspaper’s English language website, and also because the chairman of the bank had a house in England.

Also, just to mention, English libel judgments are not enforceable in New York State. This came about thanks to a libel case brought after an American journalist, Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote a book called “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Funded and How to Stop It.” The book claims that the two main sources of terrorist funding are the illegal drug trade, and contributions from wealthy Arab businessmen. The book was published in the United States. It was not published at all in Great Britain.

One of the people that the book claims helped to fund al Qaeda was Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz. Mr. Mahfouz took offense at this. If he had sued her for libel in the United States, it likely wouldn’t have succeeded, because one of the principles in American law is that if a public figure sues for libel, he must prove that any false statements made must be made with actual malice…that the person writing the false statement either knew that the statement was false or that he wrote it with reckless disregard for its accuracy.

Mr. Mahfouz brought charges in the English courts, because, while the book wasn’t published in England at all, 23 copies were bought in the UK from online booksellers. Ehrenfeld didn’t even bother to show up or contest the lawsuit, and, in a summary ruling, the court found her liable for £110,000.

Meanwhile, Ehrenfeld filed a lawsuit against Mahfouz in the New York State courts, attempting to get a judgment saying that, regardless of what the English court decided, she wouldn’t have to pay him. She saw unsuccessful in bringing suit, because Mahfouz successfully argued, in a piece of delicious irony, that, as he was not a US citizen, and the events that she was suing for didn’t happen in New York State, the New York State court didn’t have any jurisdiction.

While she wasn’t successful in the lawsuit, the publicity it brought about caused the New York State Legislature to pass “Rachel’s Law”, saying that New York State courts have jurisdiction over cases where New York residents or publishers are sued elsewhere for libel, and that judgments against New York residents or publishers for libel by foreign courts aren’t enforceable, unless those courts offer at least the same protections that New York State law and the US Constitution do. Similar laws have been passed in other states, and the US Congress is considering a similar law.

We also don’t want to ban Islam in this country. I guess that makes us doubly unpopular to Danes!

I can live with it.

Wow. Talk of a non sequitur. Also are you sure you aren’t confusing Denmark for the Netherlands, a common mistake for some people living further abroad but you don’t seem to be too bright a fellow, so who knows and it is Wilders who have suggested banning the Koran (but not seriously I think).

The reason I bring it up now, is that there is a movement by the Liberal Group in the EU parliament to have the protection of non-British EU citizens against specifically British libel laws put down as an EU law or principle. A subject they plan to take up at the coming parliament session in Strasbourg, and question European Commissioner of Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding about.

But it is true that Saudi billionaire activists have tried to convict Danish newspapers in courts of law in London, Riyadh and Jordan on account of some cartoons featuring Muhammed. I’m sure you live quite easily with blasphemy laws. But keep them to yourself.

Also, while you may live with it, it might have served your interests to have been made aware of the business trouble with Icelandic banks before they went bankrupt and left you with billions in losses. And you could, if you had read the Danish newspaper that was dragged to a court in London and ruled to pay 100,000 pounds in damages + court expenses, etc. to the Icelandic Kauthing Bank, for articles detailing the doubtful business strategies that was the basis for that bank – which went bankrupt a little year later. Of course you might be excused because the articles were published in Danish in a Danish newspaper not sold in Britain. But since it is now apparently illegal to publish articles with unfavorable analyses of business practices in Britain, I rather think you should chalk the losses of that one up as collateral damage of your libel laws and eat the expenses yourself. You can live with it.

I was just taking umbrage at your slight on the British people. If you want to blame someone then blame the newspapers for their provocative and libellous headlines or the lawmakers for overreacting. Do you think the average Dane knows are cares more about their legal system then the Brits to theirs? I doubt it. I completely agree with your general point that British libel laws should only apply to our own country, though I do think if you’re going to defame someone then you better be able to prove it in a court of law. I understand why you’re pissed and I despise blasphemy laws too… I just got distracted by your dick hanging out.

And yes, I made an unforgivable mistake and confused the politics of Denmark and the Netherlands. Mea culpa. Sue me.

Wow. Truly, we have a wonderful clas act here ladies and gentlement.

Yeah. My chances of actually contesting a libel case in this country is effectively nil. If the Daily Mail printed that, I have no effective remedy. Where the hell am I going to find the hundreds of thousands of pounds (at least) to bring suit, nor the many hours of wasted time needed faffing around with a court system routed in the 16th century? Answer: I’m not. Like I said, libel laws serve only to protect the rich, everybody else is already denied their protection. Get rid of the whole mess.

Under British law, he could. And you’d have to pay.

Yeah, our libel laws are pretty terrible, especially as regards ability for seemingly almost entirely unrelated situations to be brought up under the British system. And in general the extent to which it’s a matter of guilty until proven innocent is pretty concerning. Sorry about that.

What is your alternative?

If you made a negative comment about someone then you should be prepared to prove it.

Okay, let’s say that you’ve made a negative comment and you can prove it. In the United States, the truth is an absolute defense against slander and libel claims. This is not the case in England.

First of my alternative is that your libel laws only apply to material that has been primarily published in Britain, and not for instance to Danish newspapers printed in Copenhagen in the Danish language. It’s not just Danes that should worry about being forced to defend themselves in a court of law in London. Members of any of the 27 EU countries can be dragged in front of a court of law in any of the 26 other countries, having to defend himself against laws he has no say in and he had no clue knew existed. When we combine the small quirks that exists the legal system of all the countries – GB (where you are guilty until proven innocent), Greece (Cartoonist faces Greek jail for blasphemy), Poland (that probably have some laws against advocating abortion), Denmark (illegal to insult the royal family), Finland, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. – then we get very little freedom of speech indeed. How would you feel about having to prove your innocent in Bucharest for an article in the Guardian or risk paying millions in damages?

Secondly, if someone thinks another person has made a negative comment about him - that is untrue and amount to serious defamation - then that person should be prepared to prove it. I don’t know why you think you need to reverse the burden of proof. That a man is innocent until proven guilty is a fairly central principle of all legal theory, that, as far as I know, applies in all other 26 EU countries – and the USA, and probably the rest of the civilized world. But not in Britain. And the way the newspapers describe it here, then it is only enough to say that your feelings have been hurt – weather the statements that allegedly hurt your feelings were true or if they were meant to hurt your feelings – all that is of a minor importance.

No. If I make a negative comment about someone, *they *should be prepared to prove that I’m lying.

My free speech trumps their right to be offended.