Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Football star" screwed by his lawyers

Jesus wept. If I were a famous footballer with an injunction to stop people publishing my name in relation to an affair I would hope that my lawyers would not be foolish enough to advise me to sue Twitter Inc but it seems some lawyers are as been well reported.

Of course, the lawsuit will mean money for them whether they win or lose, so it's in their interests, yet, perversely it seems to me me at least those are the only interests they're really serving, and they're certainly not serving their client to the standard he has served his team-mates with the ball over the year.

As TechCrunch noted quite astutely about suing Twitter Inc in the Washington Post,
Oh yes. They [the lawyers] are going there.
You see, the clue is in the "Inc". Twitter is not, as most will know, a business based in the UK but is actually based in the US.

That is significant for one major reason. The "football star" has just made a two-bit story about himself global, and attacked a business in a nation where freedom of the press and speech is enshrined into the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

We're talking about a nation where the "press" has been defined (Lovell v. City of Griffin as "every sort of publication which affords a vehicle of information and opinion" (that would cover Twitter Inc), and also where for written words to be libel they must be false (New York Times v. Sullivan).

It is now just a matter of time I would've thought before the footballer is being named widely as suing Twitter Inc in US media - at which his injunction will become utterly worthless. And let's be fair, do he and his lawyers really believe they can overturn the First Amendment?

Seriously, the "football star" is either a complete idiot who believes he can win (possibly), or he's a complete idiot that has been convinced by a bunch of lawyers that he can win against a US entity with no UK presence.

Of course, there might be an argument to be made that Twitter Inc is being sued in a UK court which means the US Constitutional arguments are irrelevant. But even if they are, what happens if they were to win against Twitter Inc? Can a business based in San Francisco be compelled to pay damages? Unlikely.

All that is going to happen is his name will be plastered across media that UK courts have no control over. The exact opposite of what he wants. Even if the UK courts come down on his side he loses - and all because he didn't like people talking about him in what is essentially a cacophony of noise akin to a busy pub on a Friday night.

Note: Comment moderation is on. Everyone knows his name but posting it in the comments won't get through.

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