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Comment: Truthful libel? (Score 5, Insightful) 301

by spellraiser (#27184529) Attached to: Libel Suits OK Even If Libel Is Truthful

By its very definition, libel is always untruthful.

In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Slander refers to a malicious, false and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images.

Semantics aside, here is the actual explanation for the ruling:

Noonan appealed to a three-member panel for the First Circuit, which initially upheld the ruling by Lasker. But last month it reversed itself on the libel claim, saying Noonan could pursue that part of his lawsuit because of a relatively obscure 1902 [Massachusetts] law.

The law says truth is a defense against libel unless the plaintiff can show "actual malice" by the person publishing the statement.

In ordinary discussions of First Amendment law, "actual malice" refers to the standard established in the landmark 1964 US Supreme Court decision in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.

In that context, it means a plaintiff who is a public figure can win a libel suit only after proving that a journalist knew a published statement was false or acted in reckless disregard for the truth.

But in the Massachusetts law cited by the appeals court, "actual malice" means "malevolent intent or ill will," said the panel. Noonan might be able to persuade a jury that the company demonstrated ill will; Baitler had never referred to a fired employee by name in a mass e-mail before, and jurors might conclude he "singled out Noonan in order to humiliate him," the court wrote.

So we're talking about:

1) A state law.

2) A ruling that simply allows the guy to sue; it's not a final verdict by any means.

3) A very specific instance, that will eventually be settled in court anyway, as per 2).

So, I don't think this is anything for journalists to get overly anxious over, in truth.

It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Pentagon considered building a 'gay bomb'->

Submitted by
nicobn writes "Soldiers more interested in engaging sexual activities than fighting ? Interestingly enough, this is an idea coming from US Airforce's Wright lab. From the article: "A Berkeley watchdog organization that tracks military spending said it uncovered a strange U.S. military proposal to create a hormone bomb that could purportedly turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting.""
Link to Original Source

+ - OpenOffice Virus Found in Use->

Submitted by
eldavojohn writes "Remember the 'SB/Badbunny-A' virus that wasn't in the wild yet? Well, according to Symantec, it is and it's not caring what platform you're running. The respective behaviors of the designated worm in the wild: "On Windows systems, it drops a file called drop.bad which is moved to the system.ini in the user's mIRC folder, while executing the Javascript virus badbunny.js that replicates to other files in the folder. On Apple Mac systems, the worm drops one of two Ruby script viruses in files called badbunny.rb and badbunnya.rb. On Linux systems, the worm drops both badbunny.py as an XChat script and badbunny.pl as a Perl virus.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Church of England Chastises Sony->

Submitted by
eldavojohn writes "The game "Resistance: Fall of Man" has been called sick & sacreligious by the Church of England due to a point in the game in which rival gunmen kill hundreds inside Manchester cathedral. The Church of England said that Sony did not ask for permission to use the cathedral in their game and demanded an apology. The bishop of Manchester is quoted as saying, "It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem. For a global manufacturer to recreate one of our great cathedrals with photorealistic quality and then encourage people to have gunbattles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible." A representative for Sony said a formal letter of apology will be sent Monday."
Link to Original Source

+ - "Puddles" of Water Sighted on Mars->

Submitted by
eldavojohn writes "Further reinforcing the theory of a wet Mars, NewScientist is reporting on what appear to be water puddles in newly taken images from the Mars rover. While these results are controversial, the assumption for these blue 'puddles' to be water rely on engineers measuring the uniform smoothness of the surface of them & also in their analysis of apparent opaqueness whereby in some areas they claim to see pebbles underneath the surface of the blue areas. Truly water resisting the temptation to evaporate off the face of Mars or merely an anomaly of stereophotography gone wrong? We'll have to wait and see as the "Face on Mars" has taught us not to trust your eyes when viewing the red planet."
Link to Original Source
The Courts

TorrentSpy Ordered By Judge to Become MPAA Spy 372

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the watching-the-watchmen dept.
PC Guy writes "TorrentSpy, one of the world's largest BitTorrent sites, has been ordered by a federal judge to monitor its users. They are asked to keep detailed logs of their activities which must then be handed over to the MPAA. Ira Rothken, TorrentSpy's attorney responded to the news by stating: 'It is likely that TorrentSpy would turn off access to the U.S. before tracking its users. If this order were allowed to stand, it would mean that Web sites can be required by discovery judges to track what their users do even if their privacy policy says otherwise.'"
The Courts

+ - Decrypting DVDs to be legalized in Finland/EU

Submitted by
Lasse writes "Finland has one of the hardest implementations of the EUCD copyright directive, and it is now being tested in the Finnish Court. Basically the law currently criminalizes decryption and bypassing of copy protection mechanisms. It also bans the distribution of decryption tools, and even organized debate of copy protection decryption. On the 25th of May the District Court of Helsinki ruled that decrypting the CSS protection, which is used on almost every DVD video disc, is not a criminal act.

The Court had some valid arguments in their decision, as they did not see the CSS as an effective copy protection mechanics, due to the fact that decryption tools are so widely available for the public. This ruling may have some interesting side effects, as Blu-ray and HD-DVD decryption tools become more widely available, then they cant be considered as effective protection mechanisms either?

http://www.bitburners.com/The_News/Lawsuits_and_Le gal_Issues/Decrypting_DVDs_to_be_legalized_in_Finl and%10European_Union?/"

+ - Linux Volume Encryption: TrueCrypt vs DM_Crypt

Submitted by
michuk writes "Encrypting your data is the key to mobile security. PolishLinux.org has a couple of tutorials comparing DM_Crypt with TrueCrypt — two programs that can save your life when your computer gets lost or stolen. Find the differences between these two and encrypt your disk now! Tip: DM_Crypt better integrates with Linux kernel, but TrueCrypt works on Windows as well."

+ - Announcing Sony PSP Java client

Submitted by
DickyDick1969 writes "Announcing the first PSP Graphic Java client. Ever wanted to play those mobile java games on your Sony PSP, or develop in your favorite OO language on your handheld? Now you can!!, based on the KVM and Java J2ME midp reference implementation I created PeeJay MIDP. With PeeJay you can enjoy mobile games amd other MIDP 2.0 complient J2ME applets (midlets) on your PSP. This first alpha version you can download for free at http://www.pimpware.org/ also home of the famous video PSP streamer PiMPStreamer!"

+ - How "Hot" is Your Code?

Submitted by charpointer
charpointer (1095221) writes """Computer Science researchers at Virginia Tech have set their sights on determining software "hotness". In 2006, Prof. Kirk W. Cameron, director of the SCAPE Laboratory and an Associate Professor at VT, began a project to determine just how much heat software produces. Prof. Cameron and student Hari K. Pyla designed a software tool called Tempest (for Temperature Estimator) that creates a thermal profile of an application and correlates temperatures obtained from thermal sensors in the system to source code." Tempest can be freely downloaded for non-commercial use at http://scape.cs.vt.edu/?q=node/7 or at http://sourceforge.net./ For more information read http://www.hpcwire.com/hpc/1582393.html or http://www.cs.vt.edu/whatsnews/how_hot_is_your_cod e__2.html"

"It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us in trouble. It's the things we know that ain't so." -- Artemus Ward aka Charles Farrar Brown