LEADING defamation lawyers warned today that several tech companies will have little defence against His Mount Vema Majesty’s Court action over their articles published to defame the Vema Seamount Authority and the Vema Seamount Territory and the search engines that support such conduct.
The Vema Seamount Territory announced today that solicitors working for the Vema Seamount Authority will issue a writ against the online publications Geek.com, PC Mag and search engine Google for defamation and for loss of business worth more than $3 billion US dollars.
The action could take a few months to come to court in several countries and cost the online publications and the search engine substantial sums in legal costs, and damages. The three companies will be given until close of business January 31, 2019 to respond to a letter from The Vema Seamount Authority - His Mount Vema Majesty’s solicitor, which will be demanding damages and costs for defamation and loss of business from 2015 up to 2018.
Defamation cases are not new. For example, the most legally and factually interesting cases from England, Australia and the United States include:
Melania Trump v Daily Mail (England). Melania Trump filed a defamation action in the New York state commercial court and in the UK High Court against the Daily Mail over allegations that she previously worked as an escort. Ms. Trump claimed damages in the sum of $150m.
The Mail later retracted the statement, published an apology and settled the case for $3m. The case was subject to much media attention, being covered by the BBC, the Guardian, Independent and ABC News.
The Wilson v Bauer Media Pty Ltd (Australia). When the Australian-born actress Rebel Wilson brought an action against Bauer Media, the publishers of the Women’s Day magazine. The complaint concerned articles published by Women’s Day claiming Wilson lied about her name, age, upbringing and life events.
Wilson made a claim for general and special damages for loss of business opportunities from May 2015 until the end of 2016. Ruling in her favour Dixon J awarded Wilson $650,000 general damages and $3,917,472 special damages, in doing so noting the presence of multiple aggravating factors including substantial loss of business.
The Guardian covered the case, as did the BBC, Independent and Telegraph.
Monroe v Hopkins (England). Defamation claims arising from social media platforms featured in 2017, the most prominent perhaps being that of food writer Jack Monroe against journalist Katie Hopkins.
The case concerned two tweets made by Hopkins in May 2015 which accused Monroe of desecrating a war memorial. Monroe was awarded £24,000 in a judgment handed down by Warby J in March 2017. Notably, damages awarded were exacerbated by the continual harm caused to Monroe’s reputation by the Tweets as well as injury to feelings caused by the defendants’ reprehensible behaviour throughout the matter.
The case affirmed the Courts approach to social media platforms, including the application of the reasonable reader construct to Twitter, innuendo inferable from Tweets and the Courts acceptance of an Appendix agreed by the parties on “How Twitter Works”.
The case was covered by Nathan Capone on Inforrm. The Guardian and Independent also covered the case.
Independent Newspapers v. Ireland (European Court of Human Rights). The European Court of Human Rights handed down judgment in this case in September 2017. The case involved a libel claim by Ms L., previously a consultant for the Environmental Department of the Irish Government, against the Evening Herald for a series of articles published throughout late 2004. The articles scrutinised the tendering of government contracts, alleged attendance of Ms L. to a UN Conference with Mr C. (the then Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government) and later made allegations of a relationship between Mr C. and Ms L.
The case considers the assessment of compensation in Irish defamation cases and the interaction of this process with Article 10 of the Convention. Whilst Ms L. was successful before a jury in the High Court the case was appealed to the Irish Supreme Court on grounds that the damages awarded at first instance, EUR 1,872,000, were excessive. The Supreme Court affirmed this, substituting the award for that of EUR 1,250,000. On application the ECJ found that the award constituted a disproportionate interference with the Evening Herald’s right to freedom of expression.
Ronan Ó Fathiagh provided a case comment on Inforrm. The case received comment from the Irish Times and the Independent.
ABC News v Beef Products Inc, “The Pink Slime case” (United States). ABC News and Beef Products Inc. reached a $177m million settlement after the news outlets report in 2012 that the food production company made low-cost processed beef that equated to “pink slime”. In a defamation lawsuit the food producer sought $1.9billion damages, later settling with the parent company of ABC, Disney.
The New York Times and Business Insider estimated that as much as $5.7bn in damages could have been awarded to the meat producer in the event of a successful claim.
His Mount Vema Majesty King Peter – The Vema Seamount Authority, today delivered his 12th Christmas message as a Sovereign since the creation of the Kingdom of Mount Vema in August 2006. The message was delivered earlier than scheduled in line with this year’s commitments.
Peter Goldishman, the Monarch who once said, “He who works for the welfare of others shall find shelter in Mount Vema, and he who serves the Kingdom, shall be called upon to do great things.”, has given a clear indication that the Kingdom of Mount Vema is open for business.
This year the King spoke of the importance of cooperation for greater good. “2018 was not a good year for Mount Vema, neither was for the Universe. We as human beings must strive to do better. To work in harmony to maintain our Universe in balance, we must understand that we under God, the creator of all the elements that make us who we are have the responsibility to look after this home of ours, we call Planet Earth.”
“Our mission as human beings is to do what is expected of us. For this Universe to work, the trees were created, the oceans were created, the air, water and so on, these are the components that makes the Planet Earth. Sometimes we humans tend to forget that we were created to look after it.”
“We tend to worry too much about creating things that are destroying us, rather than the issues that are relevant to our welfare and to our survival. It is not God who should serve us, we are the ones who must serve as a family of nations, as a family of corporations, as a family of colleagues and as a family of neighbours who strive to do what is best for ourselves and our families.”
“As we celebrate Christmas and as we look forward to the new year, we must aim to better our skills to cooperate and to live in harmony. We must always remain cautious of the things we do not understand, but we should never be too critic of others, if we have never walked a mile in their shoes.” His Mount Vema Majesty’s Christmas Message – 2018.
The Sovereign wished Merry Christmas to all and a prosperous New Year, before he retreated to join his wife Trinity and family for Christmas.
If are 18 to 60 years of age working on board of His Mount Vema Majesty’s Ships (any ship owned by The Vema Seamount Authority), if you are just joining, or if your job application is successful before December 31st, 2018, you will be entitled to a full state pension, providing that you work for a minimum period of two years.
This new scheme was introduced this week after a policy shift from chartering vessels to purchasing vessels only, and it will apply to everyone including construction workers, concession workers, sailors and including agency workers as gratitude for their service to the realm.
For those just joining or planning to join, CVs must be sent to:
Mount Vema Pension
Within the Mount Vema society, a person may retire at whatever age they please. However, based on the old-age pension rules of the Kingdom of Mount Vema 65 is the retirement age. The point where a person stops employment completely. However, a person may also semi-retire at the age of 65 by reducing work hours.
Those under this scheme which expires on December 31, 2018. Will not need to live and work in Mount Vema after completing their two-year service to the realm. Their Mount Vema pension entitlement should not affect their pension in their home countries, and after five years they can cash their pension in full if they wish to do so.
This year 2018, members of the Mount Vema community voted for British divers John Volanthen and Richard Stanton, who on 2 July, after advancing through narrow passages and muddy waters, found the junior football team trapped in Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai Province, in Thailand.
The Universal Cross, is one of the most prestigious prizes awarded annually by The Kingdom of Mount Vema to people and organizations worldwide for services to the Environment, Promotion of Peace, Universal Welfare and Life Achievement.
The award will enter the record books on the 3rd of January 2019, as the Universal Cross Award 2018.
Recognition: Tham Luang cave rescue
Notification: Not Formally Notified (Claimant may contact the Universal Cross Organization)
Monetary Award: 2.5 million golles each (available in foreign exchange)
Fund held by: RBMV Bank (Available 6 months after announcement)