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Actually, thank you for the responses. I was hoping you wouldn?t take my attempt at friendly and humorous conversation the wrong way. I appreciate the education on the topic, as well. :)
However, I?d like to ask a few questions on it, if you don?t mind? (Also - you?re right, it?s not the freedom of speech act I?m thinking, wasn?t it some form of ?decency act? ? I digress, though?)
For something to actually be considered libel, isn?t it required that the statement be untrue, damaging in a way that must be proven and actually knowingly false?
Proving damages would be hard? But putting that aside, proving what he is saying is not true (unless it?s just 100% false and they have recorded evidence of it) might be even harder if they don?t have proper records of past due balances, or properly recorded communications (i.e. email). And where is the line drawn with regards to him/her knowingly making statements that are not true? And wouldn?t it still alsol require a general purpose public figure, or a limited purpose public figure, to prove malice in the instance? I don?t think the company would qualify as a general or limited purpose public figure. That would pretty much apply to actors, performer and/or social activist types - or politicians. Not a service provider?
If he perceives it to be extortion, then it would be difficult to say that him claiming extortion is libel. The definition of extortion is the general practice of obtaining something, especially money, through the use of force or threats. In this case, the company is using the threat of disconnection as the force, and they are indeed attempting to collect money. So, if we take it from a literal definitive view of ?extortion,? the word, by definition, fits the scenario. It doesn?t imply wrong doing, really, and could be applicable to any and every service provider in existence today - even the pharmaceutical companies with regards to withholding medication that can save lives unless absurd amounts of money is paid. I?d say the entire world could be classified as extortionists if we go by the actual definition.
> On 17 Aug 2016, at 15:01, Valdis.Kletnieks at vt.edu wrote:
> On Wed, 17 Aug 2016 01:11:09 +0200, Jonathan Hall said:
>> And either way, defamation requires some form of punitive damage be proven in
>> order to act ually win that case.
> In addition to the other things already pointed out, punitive damage doesn't
> need to be proven.
> *Actual* damages have to be proven. Punitive damages are damages added
> as punishment, to make sure the responsible party learned their lesson.
> So fir instance, if a corporation's negligence results in a worker's death,
> his family may be awarded $5M in actual damages for the loss of their loved
> one - and then another $20 million in punitive damages, to make the corporation
> (and possibly the industry segment as a whole) take notice that sort of
> negligent behavior will not be tolerated....