Don’t pay “Parking Charges”

The post originally located here has been removed due to a threat of legal action from lawyers acting on behalf of the “people” mentioned in it. More details, in a moment, but in the meantime I heartily recommend you visit one of the four mirrors listed below to view the document as it was published. These sites either have their own legal teams or their hosts (unlike mine) deemed the take-down order to be complete nonsense and ignored it:

OK, the whys and wherefores.

The issue I had was with [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them]. Their lawyers are M Law. I am hosted on a One&One server.

According to M Law I defamed [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them] in the post. They complained to One&One who, due to the fact that “as an ISP Provider, we have legal obligations in accordance with the Godfrey v Demon Internet Limited 1999 case law to ensure that all the defamatory posts have been removed, or litigation will be pursued against us not yourself.”

Do note that the major point here is “defamatory posts”. The post was not defamatory. At most it was allegedly defamatory. No judge had looked at the case, someone had simply complained that I had not put [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them] in a good light.

I will not make further comment about [company name removed so I don’t risk allegedly defaming them]. I will not make any statement about them. What I will say is that whatever I do say would be in the public interest as they are a company who many members of the public deal with regularly. The public is allowed to complain about poor service, or quality of goods. If they didn’t then every single reviewing website or publication would be impossible to publish. BBC‘s Watchdog and Which? magazine could not function.

This is what I believe would be the result had the alleged defamation claim been taken to court. Instead, both organisations seem to have jumped the gun and proclaimed me guilty without a trial.

However, it seems that One&One don’t grasp this and neither do M Law.

Further, I don’t want to lose my entire blog which was the threat laid against me if I didn’t remove the post by midday on 25th October 2010.

All of the above is stated fact, at least as far as I have been able to ascertain from the limited information supplied to me by both the solicitors involved and my web host, despite several requests for more detailed information.

I have not defamed anyone with any of the above text. I leave it to the reader to make their own judgement, research as they require and – for instance – do a Google for the relevant companies. I’m sure the evidence will be enough for you to make your own judgements.

It has been suggested by more than one quarter that, in fact, by making a claim that I was (without due process) guilty of defamation, I myself have been libelled. This is something I am investigating. After all, if a newspaper reports someone as a thief, for instance, before the case has gone to trial and a verdict found then the alleged offender can sue.

Incidentally, prior to the takedown order my blog post had been read approximately 40 times.

As of the post being replaced with this explanation, it had 427 hits. Plus the MSE mirror was over 280. And Shelli’s blog hits had trebled.

Several statements spring to mind, but the two choicest are:

OWN GOAL

and

SHOOTING YOURSELF IN THE FOOT.

So that’s why I can’t mention Parking Eye on here any more.

Whoops.

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13 thoughts on “Don’t pay “Parking Charges””

  1. The Daily Mail better watch out. Someone might demand they take that story down in case it defames the company levying the fines.

  2. Thanks, Dev! This post will be replaced in a few hours with an explanation of why it’s gone and where to view it elsewhere. Views have gone from 40 when the take-down was ordered to 405 this morning, plus 265 on Money Saving Expert.com’s forum and my friend’s blog traffic has trebled since she mirrored it.

    Way to go, Parking Eye!

  3. Oh Dear…

    I hope i didn’t write anything i shouldn’t have [img]http://www.jonrb.com/emoticons/angel3.gif[/img]

  4. At the end of the day, Jon, consumers and reviewers are protected from defamation cases by claiming “public interest”. That is, if the comment – regardless of how negative it is – is accurate and it is in the public interest to make such information known (such as reviewing a film, product, etc) then you can’t be charged with defamation.

    Sadly, [unnamed company’s] lawyers potentially, possibly, and maybe (this is of course conjecture on my part and not provable) assumed that 1&1 would be too chickenshit to bother to look this up and it seems they were correct. In my opinion.

    Also, abuse isn’t defamatory either, apparently. So I can say that Parking Eye are all a bunch of cunts. I just can’t say what they did that gives me that opinion. So, in other words I’m allowed an opinion with is non-provable one way or the other. But I can’t report exact actual fact to the general public as that’s (allegedly, even though it’s not in this case despite what their lawyers say) defamatory.

  5. I have been recieving a series of letters from UKPCS which is a perfectly receptacle company. I have been following a course of action recommended by PePiPoo’s consumer rights forum which you mention in your piece. I haven’t got scared yet but, if I do, I feel reassured that there are some people on there who know their stuff.
    To anybody stumbling on this blog as I did, stand up and be counted – you are not alone. Don’t even acknowledge their thieving letters. Go to one of those sites and be empowered.

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