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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 5 -
All About Cybercrime

Note:  This is a literature review prepared by a non-lawyer and this research may not be construed as legal advice.  If you are seeking legal advice of qualified attorneys, consult your local Bar Association, not my web pages.

For more details on jurisdiction, check these pages.

Real-World Case: Cyber-libel and Tortuous Interference

In the Pets Warehouse Message Board libel case, there is an excellent example of a web-based allegation.  The facts of the case are recited here:

On May 15, 2001, according to court documents, XXX, a computer scientist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, posted a message that made a blunt recommendation:

"Thinking of buying plants from Pet Warehouse? Don't."

He went on to detail his gripes about the company's customer service, based on what he said was a delayed shipment of plants he'd ordered.

In classic Net slambook fashion, other members of the list responded to XXX's messages by sharing their own experiences with Pets Warehouse. One post on May 22, 2001, as recorded in court documents, quotes YYY, sloganeering: "Remember petSWEARhouse, buy their plants and you'll be swearing!"

The owner of Pets Warehouse felt that he was violated and served the mailing list owners and participants with a $15,000,000 lawsuit for libel and defamation.  From the court papers:

Defendants have conspired to, and have joined together into an illegal agreement to, intentionally injure the business and goodwill of by a variety of tortious and other unlawful acts.

Each member of the illegal conspiracy has economic incentives for their actions, all of which are at the expense of Robert Novak and Pets Warehouse mark

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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