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Old 11-08-2009, 03:26 PM   #1
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Libel threat to force US papers (& Ebooks/Websites) out of Britain

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle6908079.ece

American newspapers and magazines may stop selling copies in Britain and block access to their websites because of our draconian libel laws.

An article that would be regarded as free speech in America under its constitution’s first amendment becomes actionable in the High Court in London once it is deemed to have been published here, however small the readership.

Such is the UK’s reputation as a world centre for “libel tourism” that newspapers are considering whether it is still worth sending a few hundred copies to British subscribers or for sale in hotels.

...The arrival of electronic books is causing publishers a new headache. Last week, more than a decade after it was first published, The Royals, the original version of Kitty Kelley’s coruscating book about the royal family, was made available as an electronic book — except if you live in Britain.

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of The Bookseller, said: “We are missing out in Britain. The law of libel has become a rich man’s muzzle. It is causing an insidious kind of self-censorship, which results in flimsier books being published in the UK.”

Alan Samson, the publisher at Weidenfeld and Nicolson, said: You have to weigh up whether it is worth all the time clearing investigative books legally when you know that there are people out there circling.”
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Old 11-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #2
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...The arrival of electronic books is causing publishers a new headache. Last week, more than a decade after it was first published, The Royals, the original version of Kitty Kelley’s coruscating book about the royal family, was made available as an electronic book — except if you live in Britain.
Well there's lots of treeware format copies available in the UK:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Royals-Kitty.../dp/0446517127

so I wouldn't worry too much.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:04 PM   #3
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I'm not worried, I think US publishers/websites should restrict access to their material in the UK. Seems like every few months you hear about some Saudi going to the UK to sue an American over a book critical of Islam.
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Old 11-08-2009, 04:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kosst Amojan View Post
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle6908079.ece

American newspapers and magazines may stop selling copies in Britain and block access to their websites because of our draconian libel laws.

An article that would be regarded as free speech in America under its constitution’s first amendment becomes actionable in the High Court in London once it is deemed to have been published here, however small the readership.

Such is the UK’s reputation as a world centre for “libel tourism” that newspapers are considering whether it is still worth sending a few hundred copies to British subscribers or for sale in hotels.

...The arrival of electronic books is causing publishers a new headache. Last week, more than a decade after it was first published, The Royals, the original version of Kitty Kelley’s coruscating book about the royal family, was made available as an electronic book — except if you live in Britain.

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of The Bookseller, said: “We are missing out in Britain. The law of libel has become a rich man’s muzzle. It is causing an insidious kind of self-censorship, which results in flimsier books being published in the UK.”

Alan Samson, the publisher at Weidenfeld and Nicolson, said: You have to weigh up whether it is worth all the time clearing investigative books legally when you know that there are people out there circling.”
I would submit that a far BETTER reason for pulling out of the UK market is to establish and enforce a boycott of everything British until such time as the UK government removes radio talk-show host Michael Savage from the 'Banned from Britain' list. I've read his book on his current experiences - including all the FOI'd documents from the various ministries which paint a rather grim picture of the evil and incompetence within those ministries.

Derek
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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In the UK we have laws against discriminating against homosexual people, Roman Catholic people and Muslim people. We also recognise that Autism is a genuine condition.
If Mr Savage cares to express his opinions so strongly that our home secretary decides that they are "hate speech" and denies him entry to the UK, then I'm sure that you are welcome to keep him, since you appreciate him so much.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael...e_(commentator)
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
I would submit that a far BETTER reason for pulling out of the UK market is to establish and enforce a boycott of everything British until such time as the UK government removes radio talk-show host Michael Savage from the 'Banned from Britain' list. I've read his book on his current experiences - including all the FOI'd documents from the various ministries which paint a rather grim picture of the evil and incompetence within those ministries.

Derek
Well, we do have our own idiots thanks - no need for us to import any more.

I don't really know much about that case, but if that is really the kind of thing that's going to lead to wholesale trade embargos, then I guess we will end up with nobody trading with anybody. You'd be hard pressed to find any country that hadn't done something of that level of annoyance surely?
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:10 PM   #7
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Thanks to the internet there will always be ways around materials not being available due to such legal restrictions. The examples they gave discussing libel/slander is a bit strange, if the material is accurate they should feel confident in publishing it, if it's not don't publish it.

This might stop shoddy publishers publishing innacurate tabloid drivel, which may not be a bad thing.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bilbo1967 View Post
Well, we do have our own idiots thanks - no need for us to import any more.
LOL

Hard to argue with that. Can we trade whatever idiot you happen to have for Glenn Beck? He can't be worse..
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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LOL

Hard to argue with that. Can we trade whatever idiot you happen to have for Glenn Beck? He can't be worse..
As long as we can keep Jon Stewart.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:16 PM   #10
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i wish france would ban people like Michael Savage, if that wikipedia article is accurate. but i guess we'd have to start with LePen, and since he's already here that makes it trickier. i'm rather tempted to go and buy a few british products right now to show my support.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bilbo1967 View Post
Well, we do have our own idiots thanks - no need for us to import any more.

I don't really know much about that case, but if that is really the kind of thing that's going to lead to wholesale trade embargos, then I guess we will end up with nobody trading with anybody. You'd be hard pressed to find any country that hadn't done something of that level of annoyance surely?
True, but *most* countries which have shown their incompetence to that level fall into the category of state-supported-terrorism centers. And having listened to MS for years, including the years used in generating the out-of-context quotes, I can state that the quoting has been done specifically to lie to the British people in order to pretend that the banned list isn't targeting Muslims.

BTW, to those who say that MS is anti-Muslim or even anti-autism, you've never really listened to what he has to say, have you?

And if the US libel laws are so draconian, then I guess Jacqui Smith and the Home Office had better darned well watch out because MS is going to end up owning a large portion of the UK.

Derek
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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I don't know anything about Michael Savage, but I'm all for free speech and no censorship *whatsoever*.

However, I'm also all for consequences, so if someone acts like a jackass, they should be prepared for whatever they bring on themselves.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:28 PM   #13
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True, but *most* countries which have shown their incompetence to that level fall into the category of state-supported-terrorism centers. Derek
You are notorious on this forum for anti-French sentiments, and now are adding the UK to your list.

This is an international forum. I wonder whether you have ever thought of the effect of your words on non US members?
Many people will read them and think one or more of the following:

(i) all Americans are total idiots (which would be a regrettable and extremely inaccurate generalisation).
(ii) Americans are unable to understand political cultures other than their own. (I don't believe this is true.)
(iii) American Imperialism knows no bounds. (I hope this isn't true either)
(iv) Delphid says some things that betray an extremely limited and provincial attitude. (Judge for yourself.)
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:37 PM   #14
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The UK has basically become Orwell's 1984. There's a camera on practically every lamp post.

Anyway, yes the libel laws seem insane, but there's no reason for the average Americans to really care. And I guess with the internet age, the average UK resident can get ahold of anything too sensitive to publish there anyway.
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Old 11-08-2009, 05:39 PM   #15
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Two words: Simon Singh.

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http://discovermagazine.com/search?S...x=0&Submit.y=0
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