Monday, April 14, 2008

Win this one first

Having worked in the advertising business for more years than I care to remember, I often make the mistake of assuming my career bestowed upon me some kind of magickal immunity to the vile power of marketing buzz. Others may be taken in by the Noise! Noise! Noise!, but oohhhh noooooo, not me, never me.

Wrong-o, and as recently as last week it was proven once again. Along with a lot of other blogospheric nosy parkers, my attention was recently commandeered by all the noise being generated around a certain libel suit. After familiarizing myself in an elementary way with the Five Ws of the thing, I concluded that the case against one of the respondents was weak to the point of unfairness, and quite possibly a threat to the rest of us.

Not much change in the weather on that front. However, in the course of all this I was slapped upside the head by the reality of a related and even more threatening issue that I had thought was already dead: the libel action against Section 15's Mark Francis. Mark was sued for libel because he unknowingly (get this!) linked to a site that in turn linked to a third site that had published allegedly libelous material. A link to a link to alleged libel was enough to get this guy's unknowing ass sued. If anyone thinks that the deal one of the Warman respondents is getting is a touch raw, the deal Mark Francis is getting is so raw that it's still running around barking and squealing like a hyena in heat.

Although it was initially tossed out of the BC Supreme Court, there are appeals and other assorted litigious bullshit, and it could still end badly. Most significantly, the decision in Mark's case will be made long before the lawyers for the Warman respondents even get their shoelaces tied. The Section 15 case will set the precedent -- if Mark loses, anyone after him is done like dinner and truly toasted. This should be of extreme interest to anyone supporting the bloggers named in the Warman suit last week.

Zorpheus has blogged extensively and outrageously about Mark's plight and Right Blogistan's underwhelming response to it, especially given that it could save the asses of some of their own. Read Zorph and get mad, then go visit Mark. You know what to do after that. (But just in case you're not sure...)

UPDATE: Please see Mark's comment here for more info on his situation.