The CBC on Net Libel Chill

The National featured a lengthy report on Internet libel last night focusing on the Zeke’s Gallery and Crookes’ cases.  The story, which did an excellent job of highlighting the core issues, has posted by on YouTube.  I’m featured in the piece and wrote about these concerns earlier this year.


  1. Joseph Thornley says:
    You final quote in the last minute of the piece really established what is at stake. Well said.

  2. Entirely agree with both Michael’s comments and with the tone of the piece generally. There are obviously huge gaps in the way our legal framework currently approaches the Internet, and it would be an awful shame if some of the best manifestations of Internet participation were damaged as a result.

    All the same, I’m glad neither the report, or Michael personally, are advocating the kind of wild west free-for-all that some Internet advocates seem to promote. Libel is real in some cases, and certainly occurs on-line. The response from those who have been sued in this case (feelings of helplessness, persecution, fear) sound to me almost verbatim like the feelings experiences by true victims of libel or slander. We absolutely need a working legal framework that balances freedom with responsibility, but we won’t achieve that by abandoning either.

  3. never heard ……
    Never Heard of Wayne Crookes before till I saw this

    I find the whole thing IANAL is more politcal then anything else based on what I read here

    [ link ]

    and other links i tracked down. and most of the remarks were not that bad …… sometimes its best just to look the other way.

    The only thing this realy has done is made Wayne Crooks a L…….g…….st…….k.. of the internet.
    and gave him a world stage to act on.

    Hope his case fails my turn now 😛

    Realy a sad state of affairs that needs to be sorted out or this
    will keep….. wash rinse repeat as often as nessesary

    My 2 Watts

  4. Mr.
    I think the law should be changed as to not make people linking to a site that is libel. I personally believe that they should very definitions of slander. The reason why if this allowed to continue it could endanger freedom of speech and our democratic foundations. In Singapore, the former PM Lee Kuen Yew have sued his political opponents for slander to the point of bankruptcy. A very effective and legal method of silencing critics. Given the existing laws in Canada, it could happen here also.

    Basically what the Lee Kuen Yew and Wayne Crookes are using their money to bully people who don’t have the money to defend themselves. I know there are some people who are going to say, this is Canada and not Singapore. But the fact both cases have deal with someone who is a politician or person associated with a political party.

    Given what MP say during question time and the existing law, I am surprised 50% of them are not in jail for slander. The common law system we have in Canada is based on precedent. Just because the law says the person can be sued and could be put in jail for 2-3 years for slander if convicted, does not mean it is going to happen. Frankly speaking Wayne Crookes is wasting tax payer’s money by launching this absurd lawsuit.

  5. Wayne has proven himself not to be a bully, but a man who controls people with his money.

  6. It seems the CBC has requested that the video be removed from youtube. Unfortunate.