p2pnet.net news:- Wayne Crookes, the Green Party of Canada's ex-financier, is in effect trying to sue the Net.
He's going after the Wikiedia, Google and openpolitics.ca, a Toronto site, claiming he's, "suffered an immense amount of frustration and emotional distress" over postings on Google's Blogspot.com, within an entry under his name in Wikipedia, and on openpolitics.ca, run up by Michael Pilling [right], an Ontario and federal Green Party activist.
Some 15 others may also have been targeted by Crookes, I understand.
"Mr Crookes seems to be trying to unwrite history and I don't think that's fair for the people of this country," Pilling told p2pnet. "He was a central figure in the growth of the Green Party. His actions were highly controversial and if we have freedom of speech in this country, people should be allowed to talk about them."
The lawsuit against Google was filed in British Columbia Supreme Court on April 16, says the Globe and Mail, going on:
It states that last summer, six anonymous defendants put libellous comments on Blogspot's The Green Compost Heap under passages labelled 'Wayne Crookes' and the 'Gang of Crookes.' Wayne Crookes, a Vancouver businessman and Green organizer, is suing three Internet sites for libel.
The suit against Wikipedia was filed on April 17. In this case, an article on Mr. Crookes written under the pseudonym of 'Indyperson' repeated some of the comments that appeared on The Green Compost Heap. The lawsuit against openpolitics.ca was made in May, 2006, and stems from postings in early 2005.
"I resent very much irresponsible statements made very recklessly. I'm determined that the people who have acted so irresponsibly will find that there are consequences," The Globe and Mail has Crookes saying. "I hope that the outcome is that people will realize they have obligations and that they will be forced to accept responsibility for their actions. The larger the organization, the greater the expectation that they will be held accountable for their actions."
Pilling found himself on the receiving end of a libel suit after a contributor posted an article on openpolitics.ca about then Green Party financier Crookes, who later claimed parts of the posting disparaged him and were untrue.
Pilling edited it, only to have the reader repost the content shortly afterwards and when Crookes objected again, Pilling explained how Crookes could use the site to contribute his own point of view.
"Democracy requires open debate. The purpose of my site is to give everyone an opportunity to express their position, and hope people start listening to each other," said Pilling at the time. "Instead, I was served with a lawsuit."
According to the Globe and Mail, Dermod Travis, a former communications director for the Green Party who's Crookes' spokesman, said the defendants "chose not to respond appropriately when put on notice that they [had] crossed a line".
"The American headquarters of both Google and Wikipedia declined to comment as they had not yet been served with the writ," says the story.
"Until 2003 the Party had little capacity to organize itself between elections, and as late as 2000 the party had no persistent infrastructure, and was based out of the same office as the Green Party of Ontario," says the Wikipedia.
"It received substantial loans from Wayne Crookes, a BC businessman who had previously also made large donations to the Green Party of British Columbia. Crookes has launched a lawsuit against Google, Wikipedia and the Canadian political blog site Openpolitics.ca for allowing supposedly libelous statements to be made about him."