“He that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.” (Shakespeare)
As our lives move increasingly online, more and more of us will be subjected to the distress and damage of online attacks. Whether they are aimed at hurting us personally or at harming our businesses, they can take a substantial toll both materially and psychologically.
What can you do if you (or your business) falls victim? The good news is that in appropriate cases our courts will come to your rescue robustly and with speed, as evidenced by a recent High Court decision.
Before we discuss the facts and outcome of that case, let’s make a general note that as a victim of any defamation you have a choice of legal weapons available to you. A claim for damages can be highly effective but it is, as the Court here put it, a backward-looking remedy essentially suitable for redressing past defamation.
Where on the other hand you are being subjected to, or fear being subjected to, ongoing defamatory attacks, ask your lawyer about applying urgently for an interdict. As in the case we discuss below, it can provide powerful, quick and effective protection.
You could also try laying a criminal charge of crimen injuria (criminal impairment of another’s dignity) but perhaps don’t hold your breath on that one.
The end result, which is a vindication of the developer’s position and an expensive lesson in the law for the roofing contractor, will give much heart to other victims of this sort of harassment.
Bottom line for victims – don’t take social media defamation lying down!
Contact our Intellectual Property Law & IT Law professionals for assistance on 021 914-4020.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.