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Re: [APD] Libel, opinions, fears, and falsehoods
Hmppph. A *lot* of caution whould be used when making
claims about products -- truth matters.
Further, a lot of liberty should be exercised when stating
opinions or discussing products and personal expereinces
When one clearly states that one is giving an opinion, it
is nototirously difficult for someone else to prove that
you are knowingly uttering a falsehood, which is a
condition for proving libel. It's very hard to prove that
a person's opinion is not what she or he says it is.
No one *should* be fearful of stating opinions. Also, no
one *should* be making unsupportable empirical claims about
Yet, even if one does not state an opinon nor make any
claim at all, that does not protect one from being sued. It
might protect one ultimately from an unfavorable judgement
but not from being sued. A statement doesn't have to be
*interepreted* as libel for a suit to be pressed. A person
can simply lie about the whole matter and file suit.
When sued, one is generally obliged to settle or defend --
unlike the situation with a schoolyard bully where one has
sometimes has an option to just walk away.
--- Steve Pushak <teban at powersonic_bc.ca> wrote:
> I would urge a little caution when reviewing any
> commercial product before
> stating that "such & such" a claim can't be so. Our
> understanding of the
> facts of science are imperfect so there might be a way
> that something could
> be done but simply unpreviously discovered. When
> discussing a product, if
> you make some statement of fact that could be interpreted
> as libel, and if
> there has been damage to the reputation of that product,
> you may be obliged
> to defend that statement legally.
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