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Why we have to be careful what we say

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ManlyBacker, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Unbelievable, but this is how comments made on sites like this can be blown right out of proportion. I don't agree with the action taken by Gauci but it shows that we all need to be a bit careful.

    Storm boss threatens to sue club fan
    Mark Hawthorne

    THE Melbourne Storm fiasco has taken a new twist. The club's chief executive, Ron Gauci, is threatening to sue a tram driver for defamation over comments he posted on social networking websites during last year's salary cap scandal.

    Mr Gauci, who was appointed chief executive of the NRL club in July last year, has sought compensation and an apology from the Storm fan, Jamie Koo, 28, for posting comments on websites describing Mr Gauci as ''a News Ltd puppet'' and ''in the exact mould of John Hartigan himself''.

    Mr Hartigan is chief executive of News Ltd, which owns the Melbourne Storm. Mr Gauci apparently finds being called ''in the exact mould'' of his boss defamatory. According to a legal letter, the comments have caused Mr Gauci ''distress, embarrassment and humiliation''.

    The spat between the tram driver and the Storm boss dates back to Mr Koo's eviction from an NRL match against Cronulla in August last year for displaying anti-News Ltd banners.

    Mr Gauci told the media Mr Koo had been evicted from the match for abusive behaviour. He responded by uploading a video to the sports website madfan.com.au, in which he said Mr Gauci's allegation was ''totally and utterly false'' and ''rubbish''.

    According to Mr Gauci's lawyers, Mr Koo defamed their client by suggesting he was a liar.

    In a letter sent to Mr Koo last October Mr Gauci's lawyers say the remarks are ''seriously defamatory'' and suggest that Mr Gauci ''is not acting in a professional manner, is not carrying out his duties as CEO, is a bully and is not fit for the office that he holds''.

    Mr Gauci's lawyers sent Mr Koo a deed of undertaking to sign last week. They want the tram driver to agree, in writing, not to publish or republish any more statements about their client.

    Mr Koo has been given until tomorrow to agree to the terms.

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/storm-boss-threatens-to-sue-club-fan-20110119-19wnw.html
     
  2. Fluffy

    Fluffy Well-Known Member

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    Surely if he is saying being a liar is defametory and that his turn of events are "true" then he is calling the fan a liar and defaming him?

    1 of them has to be.
     
  3. WAMF

    WAMF Well-Known Member

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    you hurt my feelings :( .... see you in court ;D
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    It's just bluster.  That case won;t hold up, but Gauci is relying on sending the bloke broke with legal costs to shut him up.  Nothing short of material bullying really.
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

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    this is what some of the storm fans are saying about it..



    Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:36 am
    Posts: 51
    Location: Western Sydney
      Watch what you say!
    THE Melbourne Storm fiasco has taken a new twist, with club chief executive Ron Gauci threatening to sue a tram driver for defamation over comments he posted on social networking websites during last year's salary cap scandal.

    Mr Gauci, appointed CEO of the National Rugby League club in July last year, has sought compensation and an apology from 28-year-old Melbourne Storm fan Jamie Koo, of Sunbury.

    Mr Koo posted comments on websites describing Mr Gauci as ''a News Ltd puppet'' and ''in the exact mould of John Hartigan himself''.

    Mr Hartigan is the chief executive of News Ltd, which owns the Melbourne Storm.

    According to a legal letter obtained by The Age, the comments have caused Mr Gauci ''distress, embarrassment and humiliation''.

    The spat between the tram driver and the Storm boss dates back to Mr Koo's eviction from a NRL match against Cronulla in August last year.

    As reported in The Age at the time, Mr Koo was evicted for displaying anti-News Ltd banners at the match, including one that read: ''We support our players and staff, not News Ltd.''

    Mr Gauci later told media that Mr Koo, who has been a member of the Storm since its admission to the NRL in 1998, was evicted from the match for abusive behaviour.

    Mr Koo responded by uploading a video to the sports website madfan.com.au. In the video he said Mr Gauci's allegation that he was evicted for being abusive was ''totally and utterly false'' and ''rubbish''.

    According to Mr Gauci's lawyers, Mr Koo defamed their client in the video by suggesting he is a liar.

    In the video, Mr Koo also states: ''I honestly don't think he [Gauci] is the independent man that he claims. He is a very loyal man to his employer, who are News Ltd.''

    Mr Koo added: ''I'm not going to be scared off by these bully boy tactics which are typical of News Ltd.''

    Many Melbourne Storm fans migrated to the madfan website last year amid claims that comments critical of News Ltd were not being allowed on forums on the club's official website.

    The fans claimed that News Ltd was denying their freedom of speech.

    Between September 17 and October 19 last year Mr Koo also posted several comments on the ''Storm Man'' fan page on the Facebook website. Included in those comments was one that likened Mr Gauci to Mr Hartigan.

    On Facebook, Mr Koo also wrote that Mr Gauci ''is having his strings pulled by Mr Hartigan'', ''is a puppet'' and is News Ltd's ''fresh-faced assassin''.

    In October last year Mr Koo received a letter from the firm Stephens Lawyers and Consultants, acting for Mr Gauci.

    In the letter, lawyer Julian Stephens states that Mr Koo's remarks are ''seriously defamatory'' and that Mr Koo's remarks suggest Mr Gauci ''is not acting in a professional manner, is not carrying out his duties as CEO, is a bully and is not fit for the office that he holds''.

    The letter demands that Mr Koo publish an apology on the websites, that he offers compensation to Mr Gauci for damages, and that Mr Koo gives a written undertaking not to publish any more material.

    A mediation meeting between the parties was held at the office of Melbourne Storm on November 17 last year. It was attended by Mr Gauci and his legal team and by Mr Koo and his brother, Inspector Richard Koo of Victoria Police.

    Inspector Koo is a former police prosecutor and a senior member of the legal and corporate policy unit of the Victoria Police.

    Mr Gauci's lawyers last week sent Mr Koo a deed of undertaking to sign. They want the tram driver to agree, in writing, not to publish or republish any more statements regarding their client.

    In return, Mr Gauci says he will not begin legal proceedings against Mr Koo.

    Mr Koo has been given until tomorrow to agree to the terms of that deed.

    Mr Koo told The Age yesterday that he had not done anything wrong.

    ''I cannot apologise for something I did not do,'' Mr Koo said. ''I will not be signing the deed.''

    Mr Gauci was not available for comment.

    http://www.smh.com.au/rugby-league/l...119-19wmr.html

    _________________
    “The day that God invented Rugby League he didn’t do anything else but sit around and feel good.” - Supercoach Jack Gibson


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:40 pm   

    sallymay
    Thunderstorm



    Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:09 am
    Posts: 970
      Re: Watch what you say!
    to be completly honest and i think the guy is nice and really kool but he kind of deserves to be in trouble cause he never gave Mr Gouchi a chance


    the first time i met Gouchi i knew he was real and wanted to help the storm and not work against then

    anyway thats just my opinion you dont have to agree with me


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:55 pm   

    onlooker
    Squall



    Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:36 am
    Posts: 51
    Location: Western Sydney
      Re: Watch what you say!
     
    sallymay wrote:
    to be completly honest and i think the guy is nice and really kool but he kind of deserves to be in trouble cause he never gave Mr Gouchi a chance


    the first time i met Gouchi i knew he was real and wanted to help the storm and not work against then

    anyway thats just my opinion you dont have to agree with me 
     



    I think the guy is an idiot. He has got himself into a lot of trouble over something that should never have gone this far, just because of fixed ideas and a that a relentless personal attack on the Storm CEO.

    Good on the Storm for taking legal action, it may stop defamatory comments on social site including forums and the like.

    _________________
    “The day that God invented Rugby League he didn’t do anything else but sit around and feel good.” - Supercoach Jack Gibson


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:15 pm   

    bula
    Monsoon



    Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2005 2:07 pm
    Posts: 1676
    Location: Mt Druitt
      Re: Watch what you say!
    What's the big deal? I mean if someone called me my bosses puppet I'd say fair enough.


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:53 pm   

    Chip
    Squall


    Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:52 am
    Posts: 96
      Re: Watch what you say!
    Isn't it the same guy who was blathering on about being friends with a close family member of Gallop or Gauci (can't remember which). All his posts seem a bit over the top to me (slightly fanatical? obsessed?). I'm all for free speech etc but I don't know about how far you take it when it becomes personal. Might be a bit more to it than what's appeared in print. Was interested to read about his support person at the mediation. Thinks he's got the right / protection to say whatever he thinks - doesn't work that way...


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:51 pm   

    Michael :p
    Monsoon



    Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:34 am
    Posts: 1808
      Re: Watch what you say!
    Dont think this is the smartest move by the Storm....and now we know why the memberships are late  .


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:08 pm   

    Diehard_Storm
    Hail Storm


    Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:28 am
    Posts: 315
      Re: Watch what you say!
    Whilst I dont agree with all things said, and the manner said - I am surprised the Storm are resorting to bullying fans - and threatening legal action.

    The best thing for Gauci and co to do, is to bloody well get on with sorting out memberships, sponsors and focus on getting on with playing footy.

    I've personally not read anything that would seriously cause 'distress, embarrassment and humiliation' to the CEO - but maybe I'm on the wrong sites. Either he needs to toughen up or get used to it. There's a lot of groundwork he needs to make it. Get some runs on the board Mr Gauci and you'll find supporters falling into line.

    Threatening them with lawsuits aint a great way to endear you to the Storm faithful.


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:27 pm   

    storming
    Squall


    Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:58 am
    Posts: 68
      Re: Watch what you say!
    my opinion is its 1 guy speaking his mind, get over it! there is plenty of worse things said in the world and media than that, and taking it as far as legal threats is ridiculous.

    it was a bad year for the club and fans and things are going to be said! when your the new CEO of a damaged club i think you have bigger things to worry about than 1 mans comments on forums.


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:56 pm   

    Michael :p
    Monsoon



    Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:34 am
    Posts: 1808
      Re: Watch what you say!
    Jamie was leading the pack as far as trying to get another version of events out there. Its no co-incidence they are going after him.


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:05 pm   

    Crooner
    Squall


    Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 5:40 am
    Posts: 76
    Location: Warneet, Victoria
      Re: Watch what you say!
    **** Gauci had better never attend an away game, he will be sueing the whole stadium.
    I think this is pathetic of the Storms new CEO.


    Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:11 pm   
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  6. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan 2016 Tipping Competitor

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  7. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

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    Looks exactly like that to me. Could happen to anyone unfortunately.
     
  8. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Bullying only works if the victim has something to lose.  Ask the St Kilda Schoolgirl how effective bullying is when one is an itinerant. 
     
  9. SeaEagleRock8

    SeaEagleRock8 Sea Eagle Lach Staff Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    What would happen if the tram driver started having a go at our cab driver? Would they call lawyers or a fire engine?
    [hr]Post  automatically merged: [time]1295558369[/time][hr]
    Hey I just made 2000 posts!
     
  10. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    what a PR nightmare
     
  11. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

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    yeah lucky our forum doesnt have any wankers in it Dan :)
     
  12. lsz

    lsz Well-Known Member Staff Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Sure fire way to get even more fans off side
     
  13. Jatz Crackers

    Jatz Crackers Moderator Staff Member

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    Mr Koo needs to write a simple letter to Gauci explaining that he intends to represent himself if legal action proceeds and has already begun compiling a witness list for the defense.

    Reverse the financial tactical threat.
     
  14. Rusty

    Rusty Well-Known Member

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    What a load of garbage.

    This is why we need our rights codified. Our right to freedom of speech should not be threatened by someone else simply because they have more money then us. And make no mistake that is what is happening here. The storm are simply bullying a guy without the cash to fight back into submission and sending a clear signal that if you don't have the money to back yourself don't open your mouth.

    This is disgusting behavior of the highest order. This is worse and I mean this, worse then anything that the storm have ever done before. Everything that have done in the past has affected RL, which is a game I love. This however is a gross misuse of power (The power of money) used to bully and stand-over someone of lesser resources.

    This strikes at the very core of what It means to live in a free country. And I am not being too melodramatic here, this may be but one example but if we have to live life afraid that what we say publicly may get us sued, then we will all stop talking about anyone or anything with the money to sue us.

    It is two tiered justice, and creates a system where only the rich have the right to free speech.

    The solution for companies like the storm in a situation like this are threefold :

    1. Ignore the comment, yes its distasteful, but frankly it will sink into obscurity and no one will remember it in a week. Who trusts what they read on a social network anyway, certainly not with out supporting evidence.

    2. Refute the comment, show facts and prove it was wrong. Enter into a debate, back yourself with evidence.

    3. Deny the comment, and say how disgusting it is. Not everything can be proven to be false, but the public are smart and they will not take the word of one guy without evidence.

    And before anyone laughs this off and says that surely it isn't such a big deal, that it is after all a one off, and that free speech is not really threatened. Remember firstly we live in a democratic system where the primary yardstick for our position on rights is precedent, and secondly that these things are always started with one small incident.

    Ask the Greeks if they thought the first 30million in debt was going to lead to the financial collapse of their nation. Or for that matter who thought carrying shampoo in a bottle onto a plane was a right? No one, and yet now in the US you can be subjected to full body rub downs simply based on the whim of an enforcement officer. These things all start somewhere.

    This is exactly the reason I had a problem with Rudds apology to the stolen generation. Not because I disagreed with the apology, far from it - I think it is one of the most appropriate things we have done as a nation. I disliked the precedent it set of a PM speaking from parliament and forcing every child in every school across the country to sit and watch. The apology had no special legal standing, it was simply a political statement made by the leader of the government in the house. What stands between us and another PM using the same precedent?
     

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