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Old 6th January 2013, 09:00 AM   #1
KDLarsen
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Harrit sues paper for defamation

Only found a Danish version of the story, but evidently Niels Harrit doesn't like being called a crackpot and likened to a holocaust denier. So he has decided to sue Weekendavisen (a weekly newspaper with slightly more depth to their stories) over a story brought by the paper, because apparently it's an insult to his professional reputation

The background story of the article involves The Royal Library hosting an exhibition on the Armenian genocide, in which they decided to include a "counter-exhibition" from the Turkish embassy, and the writer then asks what else to expect: "A creationist poster in our highest places of learning? Why not invite Niels Harrit and the other crackpots from the 9/11-sceptics' environment? What about the Holocaust denial environment?".

Story in Danish can be found here, I'll see if any of the English-language medias pick it up: http://epn.dk/medier/aviser/article4971404.ece

Edit: The story also has a comment from Harrit about how Weekendavisen refuses to accept 9/11 conspiracy articles, and how he has enough rejected articles to poster his wall by now.

Last edited by KDLarsen; 6th January 2013 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 6th January 2013, 02:50 PM   #2
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Insult to his professional reputation as a crackpot and 9/11 denier? Whats the problem here..
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Old 6th January 2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cjnewson88 View Post
Whats the problem here..
The problem is that's not the reputation which he will put to the court if it gets there.
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Old 6th January 2013, 04:50 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
The problem is that's not the reputation which he will put to the court if it gets there.
It does give Dr. Harrit the opportunity to defend the legitimacy of his views in court.

MM
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Old 6th January 2013, 05:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Miragememories View Post
It does give Dr. Harrit the opportunity to defend the legitimacy of his views in court.
Just like Kevin Ryan's lawsuit did!
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Old 6th January 2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Miragememories View Post
It does give Dr. Harrit the opportunity to defend the legitimacy of his views in court.

MM
I think it would be imprudent legal tactics if his objective in taking it to court is so that he wins the defamation action.

I am not familiar with Danish Law but judged by the relevant law regimes coming from the English Common Law tradition - i.e. UK, most US, Ca, Au etc he would be advised to limit consideration to his established reputation as a professional scientist and avoiding his 9/11 "sideline" activities.

The basic legal points being:
a) Defamation is an action in tort which seeks to recover "damages" for "injury" - in this case injury to reputation and "damages" is the technical name for the sum of money awarded as recompense for the injury.
b) The quantum of "damages" depends on assessment of the extent of injury.
c) His reputation as a professional is valued by factors such as what salary he could attract in the field. So if the defamation has reduced his "hire value" for a period of time reduction in hire value multiplied by time would be key factors plus some allowance for "pain and suffering".
d) There is no job market for 9/11 Nut Scientists whether or not you accept that title. Only one full time paid job that I am aware of and that one held by R Gage.
e) So even if he demonstrated that his reputation in that arena - 9/11 Nuttery - had been damaged the quantum of damages would be miniscule is any. Verdicts of "Proven but of no value" are established in defamation history - with peppercorn or token $1 awards being granted.
f)Contrast if he can limit court consideration to his historic career in science he could well establish a case for loss of income and prestige in that arena.
g) Introducing 9/11 woo into the objective evidence reviewing climate of a court case would be imprudent because adding nonsense to sound science will only reduce his credibility.
h) If he was ill advised and introduced his 9/11 activities into court he would leave them fully exposed to cross examination and counter claim. And they would not stand up to rigorous testing.

So, if the objective is to win the defamation action he would be advised to avoid bringing his 9/11 activities into the legal action.

HOWEVER
The obvious alternative objective is to give him a platform to gain publicity for his 9/11 activities. Then none of the forgoing legal advice applies.

No matter how the case runs he would be free to represent it with whatever mix of honesty and deception he chooses. And his audience ceases to be the hard thinking objectivity of Judge and Courtroom - replaced by the gullible target for 9/11 woo.

All legal aspects then become means to his end.

I expect that Harrit is quite capable of selecting his objective. We can sit back and see which one it is.

Last edited by ozeco41; 6th January 2013 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 6th January 2013, 05:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KDLarsen View Post
Only found a Danish version of the story, but evidently Niels Harrit doesn't like being called a crackpot and likened to a holocaust denier. So he has decided to sue Weekendavisen (a weekly newspaper with slightly more depth to their stories) over a story brought by the paper, because apparently it's an insult to his professional reputation

The background story of the article involves The Royal Library hosting an exhibition on the Armenian genocide, in which they decided to include a "counter-exhibition" from the Turkish embassy, and the writer then asks what else to expect: "A creationist poster in our highest places of learning? Why not invite Niels Harrit and the other crackpots from the 9/11-sceptics' environment? What about the Holocaust denial environment?".

Story in Danish can be found here, I'll see if any of the English-language medias pick it up: http://epn.dk/medier/aviser/article4971404.ece

Edit: The story also has a comment from Harrit about how Weekendavisen refuses to accept 9/11 conspiracy articles, and how he has enough rejected articles to poster his wall by now.
According to the Google translation of the linked article the reporter called him a 'freak' and a 'fool'

Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
I think it would be imprudent legal tactics if his objective in taking it to court is so that he wins the defamation action.

[...]


HOWEVER
The obvious alternative objective is to give him a platform to gain publicity for his 9/11 activities. Then none of the forgoing legal advice applies.

No matter how the case runs he would be free to represent it with whatever mix of honesty and deception he chooses. And his audience ceases to be the hard thinking objectivity of Judge and Courtroom - replaced by the gullible target for 9/11 woo.

All legal aspects then become means to his end.

I expect that Harrit is quite capable of selecting his objective. We can sit back and see which one it is.
I had the same impression, he wants to bring attention to his cause.
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Old 6th January 2013, 06:09 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Miragememories View Post
It does give Dr. Harrit the opportunity to defend the legitimacy of his views in court.

MM
How so?

Can you explain the case objectives, court procedings and the legal strategy that would give rise to such an opportunity?
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Old 6th January 2013, 06:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
How so?

Can you explain the case objectives, court procedings and the legal strategy that would give rise to such an opportunity?
Good idea Oystein.

Such an explanation would give me the opportunity to compare the Danish legal processing of an action in defamation with the Common Law processes.
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Old 6th January 2013, 06:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
I think it would be imprudent legal tactics if his objective in taking it to court is so that he wins the defamation action.

I am not familiar with Danish Law but judged by the relevant law regimes coming from the English Common Law tradition - i.e. UK, most US, Ca, Au etc he would be advised to limit consideration to his established reputation as a professional scientist and avoiding his 9/11 "sideline" activities.

The basic legal points being:
a) Defamation is an action in tort which seeks to recover "damages" for "injury" - in this case injury to reputation and "damages" is the technical name for the sum of money awarded as recompense for the injury.
...
Wiki says:
Quote:
"Defamation ... is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual ... a negative or inferior image. ... In Common Law it is usually a requirement that this claim be false
...
In Denmark, libel is a crime, as defined by Article 267 of the Danish Criminal Code, with a penalty of up to six months in prison or a fine, with proceedings initiated by the victim. ..."
Question is whether, under Danish law, the communication would have to be false in order to qualify as libel. A document linked by Wiki has some detail, but does not touch upon the "false?" question:
Quote:
Section 267 of the Danish Criminal Code concerns libel and provides sanctions for the violation of the personal honour of another citizen by offensive words or conduct or by making or spreading allegations of an act likely to discredit him in the esteem of his fellow citizens. Such acts are sanctioned with a fine or imprisonment not exceeding 4 months. The punishment may be increased to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months. Proceedings are initiated by the victim.
Note however that there is no word on Civil Code in the Denmark on defamation! In most civil law countries (and I presume Denmark is one of those - correct me if I am wrong!) defamation and libel are "predominantly a criminal offence. Private law suits for damages ... are relatively unusual".

Perhaps KDLarsen can help us with the basics of Danish law?

Last edited by Oystein; 6th January 2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 6th January 2013, 06:48 PM   #11
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Beat me to the research Oystein. I paused to get lunch. (12:30 Monday here)

Interesting that:
a) it is criminal law; AND
b) That it looks like a citizen can initiate an action in criminal jurisdiction.

Both those are different to Common Law traditions where UK, US, AU have all drifted apart somewhat but the foundations of English common Law still setting the framework. Defamation is civil and citizens can but rarely do initiate criminal jurisdiction actions.

I didn't touch on the true or false aspect. Truth of a statement was always a strong defence under English law - cannot recall whether it was sure defence or not. Changes in Australian law have weakened it significantly as a defence - the claim rests on injury to the victim which results from the publication of the defamatory matter. So a true fact not made public could cause injury if published and the offence is in the publishing. Makes sense even though it has far reaching implications.

A side issue the distinctions between "slander" and "libel' have been abolished under AU law - both now dealt with as defamation.

as for the rest:
Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Wiki says:

Question is whether, under Danish law, the communication would have to be false in order to qualify as libel. A document linked by Wiki has some detail, but does not touch upon the "false?" question:

Note however that there is no word on Civil Code in the Denmark on defamation! In most civil law countries (and I presume Denmark is one of those - correct me if I am wrong!) defamation and libel are "predominantly a criminal offence. Private law suits for damages ... are relatively unusual".

Perhaps KDLarsen can help us with the basics of Danish law?
I'm effectively as much a layman here as you are - so I won't pursue the legal niceties any further. We could have a Danish lawyer come along and show me my errors.....
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Old 6th January 2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Miragememories View Post
It does give Dr. Harrit the opportunity to defend the legitimacy of his views in court.

MM
Teh very venue for settling scientific differences.


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Old 6th January 2013, 08:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Question is whether, under Danish law, the communication would have to be false in order to qualify as libel.
The communication cannot be evaluated as true or false. It is an opinion statement. The author of the piece of is making a statement about an entirely different topic (the idea of a "rebuttal" to an exhibition on the Armenian Genocide) by comparing it to well-known examples of poor scholarship. In any nation that values freedom of the press, it is well within the range of fair comment.

This is just a Chilling Effect lawsuit. Harrit's butthurt that he's been equated with crackpots, and he's going to drag the newspaper into court so they don't do it again.
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Old 6th January 2013, 09:48 PM   #14
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so, more legaltainment pending?
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Old 6th January 2013, 11:42 PM   #15
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I often compare the "truthers" v "truth" situation with the "creationists" v "evolution" argument.

In both situations one side has all the evidence - the other side has nothing.

There is a thread here trying to compare the "best arguments" from both sides of the "truth" discussion. Just as with creationism/evolution it is a false comparison. There is no "truther" argument - no truther "side". BTW that is their own strategic mistake of basing their claim on technical falsehoods such as CD at WTC. Easily disproved in an objective forum. So I would like to see a "truther case" before a US Federal court rather than a Danish one.

Have you read the transcript and judgement for Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that one is "Intelligent Design v Evolution" tried in the US federal Jurisdiction. Well worthy of a read if you want to see people of the level and style of truthers confronted in the hard objective setting of a court room with cross examination. Simply put 9/11 truth nonsense would be destroyed if anyone tried to defend it in a court scene. It is the last thing any intelligent truthers would want. (Did I just write "intelligent truther" - sorry about the oxymoron )

The big difference however is that imposition of religion is covered by the First Amendment - Lying for 9/11 Truth is not. My knowledge of US Constitution Law is not good enough to go any deeper.

But the big shock to the truther clowns we see around here is that in a Court setting they would not get away with most of the nonsense we allow them to post on this forum. Circling and evasions would put them at risk of "Contempt of Court" and lying would be readily exposed. IIRC that happened with at least one of the religious witnesses in Kitzmiller.

Last edited by ozeco41; 7th January 2013 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 6th January 2013, 11:54 PM   #16
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Lol, I just googled Neills Harrit holocaust.

It looks like he is a victim of his own making. I think he must have got in with the wrong crowd
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Old 7th January 2013, 02:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Triterope View Post
The communication cannot be evaluated as true or false. It is an opinion statement. The author of the piece of is making a statement about an entirely different topic (the idea of a "rebuttal" to an exhibition on the Armenian Genocide) by comparing it to well-known examples of poor scholarship. In any nation that values freedom of the press, it is well within the range of fair comment.

This is just a Chilling Effect lawsuit. Harrit's butthurt that he's been equated with crackpots, and he's going to drag the newspaper into court so they don't do it again.
That's my understanding of it. In the article he's quoted as "looking forward to see how they intend to prove that (he's) a fool", and that he's demanding a right to reply to the allegations.

Presumably the latter ties in with his complaint that the newspaper refuses to accept 9/11-CT related submissions.
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Old 7th January 2013, 02:47 PM   #18
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Under Common Law a fundamental tenet of tort in defamation is that a person is not entitled to a false reputation. That is, regardless of what points the defendant raises in defense of his reputation, the question of a person's reputation for purposes of defamation is not solely a product of how he wishes to present himself at some time and place; it instead the sum total of all that he has done to attract attention. Hence the plaintiff can surely acknowledge that the defendant has accomplished some things legitimately, then go on to point out all the other things the defendant has done in the public eye which contribute to his overall public reputation.

So Harrit can meekly point to his career as an academic scientist, chemist, and what-not to say that he has enjoyed a certain reputation as a serious scientist, which has been damaged by others calling him a freak. But then the plaintiff can just as easily point out that Harrit has sought publicity for his views on 9/11 and has made many public statements about "no planes," about "nano-thermite," and all his other conspiracy-related views. And his reputation, for the purposes of determining defamation, is the sum total of all that. Someone who specifically distances himself from his colleagues and who purposely offers a minority view and calls attention to himself for it in an international forum is expected to have a thick skin and to expect some criticism. People cannot style themselves as mavericks and then complain when they are treated as such. If one has specifically cultivated that image, he may not suddenly claim a different (false) image in court. Defamation does not allow him to enjoy that; one must endure the criticism that one's public actions may merit.
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Old 7th January 2013, 02:50 PM   #19
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Crossed in posting - outdated

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Old 7th January 2013, 02:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Under Common Law a fundamental tenet of tort in defamation is that a person is not entitled to a false reputation. That is, regardless of what points the defendant raises in defense of his reputation, the question of a person's reputation for purposes of defamation is not solely a product of how he wishes to present himself at some time and place; it instead the sum total of all that he has done to attract attention.
It's not a Common Law jurisdiction BUT the general principles will probably be similar.

My post crossed with yours - my point simply put being that he has to a large extent made his own bed by raising his profile in a crazy arena.
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Old 7th January 2013, 03:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
It's not a Common Law jurisdiction BUT the general principles will probably be similar.

My post crossed with yours - my point simply put being that he has to a large extent made his own bed by raising his profile in a crazy arena.
Yes, I'm sorry, that was essentially my point. While Danish law undoubtedly differs from Common Law, I'm relying on the wisdom of the seminal tome The Law of Torts, which was written early enough to encompass not only English Common Law but the general legal theory of defamation throughout the civilized world.

As you say, Harrit has largely made his own bed and it is up to him now to lay in it. It is too late for him to adopt a false reputation as a respectable scientist free of harmful controversy.

Merely rendering a low opinion of someone does not generally defame him, except that under Danish law certain protected classes similar to those in the United States are entitled not to be defamed according to the properties of the protected class. However matters of pure opinion such as "fool" or "freak" would probably not be actionable.

While it is one possible defense against defamation to prove that the allegations made are true, it is not the best or only defense. As stated, opinions are generally not actionable because they are not allegations of fact. I may think you a fool and you may think me a fool and we may publish those opinions, but others are free to form their own opinions. Hence defamation does not generally arise. It arises from allegations of fact, that a reasonable person would be likely to believe and would serve to cause that reasonable person to form his own low opinion of me. To present my own judgment and ask you to accept it is not defamatory. To feed you false information that would entice you to judge inappropriately, is defamatory.

The question of truth is not whether Harrit's claims are true, but whether the defendant's claims (i.e., those in defamation) are true. As the product of the defendant's judgment, and not matters of objectively scrutable fact, they are inherently neither true nor false. Harrit's public statements may be perfectly true, but the plaintiff's judgment may not be swayed by them. Creationists call skeptics all manner of vile names and render all manner of public judgment against them, regardless of the truth of the skeptics' statements. So long as the Creationists merely render opinions and refrain from offering statements of putatively credible fact, they do not defame.
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Old 7th January 2013, 04:27 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
The question of truth is not whether Harrit's claims are true, but whether the defendant's claims (i.e., those in defamation) are true. As the product of the defendant's judgment, and not matters of objectively scrutable fact, they are inherently neither true nor false. Harrit's public statements may be perfectly true, but the plaintiff's judgment may not be swayed by them. Creationists call skeptics all manner of vile names and render all manner of public judgment against them, regardless of the truth of the skeptics' statements. So long as the Creationists merely render opinions and refrain from offering statements of putatively credible fact, they do not defame.
So it would be defamation if the writer had called Harrit "a fool and sexual abuser of small puppies. I know this to be true!", but not simply a fool.
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Old 7th January 2013, 05:06 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jaydeehess View Post
So it would be defamation if the writer had called Harrit "a fool and sexual abuser of small puppies. I know this to be true!", but not simply a fool.
Under Common Law yes, the offending statement would need to contain a putatively credible allegation of fact. But it has been appropriately belabored that Danish criminal law is not the same as the law of torts in England. To wit, the relevant section of the Danish criminal code reads in part (in official translation):

Quote:
Anybody who offends another person's honor by insulting words or actions or by stating or disseminating charges, that are suitable for reducing the insulted person in the esteem of fellow citizens, will be punished by fine or ordinary imprisonment.
For those who read Danish:

Quote:
267. Den, som krænker en andens ære ved fornærmelige ord eller handlinger eller ved at fremsætte eller udbrede sigtelser for et forhold, der er egnet til at nedsætte den fornærmede i medborgeres agtelse, straffes med bøde eller fængsel indtil 4 måneder.
In any case, it seems to cast a much broader net, so much so that English Common Law may be largely irrelevant to help us understand the merit of the case.

"Insulting" and "offensive" seem to be the qualifying English adjectives attempting to render the original Danish sentiment, but subsequent sections indicate that the truth of the statement may bear on whether they are considered insulting or offensive. Incidentally Denmark appears to be one of the countries in which proving the truth of the statement does not entirely let you off the hook for defamation, and which allows penalties even for defamation of deceased persons. These are interesting only in letting us know the severity of the crime under Danish law. Mitigating this is the "public interest" clause, which would seem to favor the role of a newspaper.
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Old 7th January 2013, 05:38 PM   #24
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Meanwhile I have been motivated to check the Aussie situation - which also is not relevant to Danish Law.

Background is that as a qualified civil engineer from way back (1965) I studied law in 2001-5 as a "Mature Age Student" - I could prove "age" and "student" - "mature" being questionable.

So in responding to this thread I didn't open the books just made general comments from memory.

I'm now part way through a learned paper giving the history of Aussie Defamation law from about 1800 till today.

It is naturally a lot more complicated than the simple summary. And what was State Law up till 2005 came under a federal unification of law style of act in 2006. We have several of those - e.g. the Evidence Act. Problem is that the States still retain their own flavours...no compulsion to use he Federal common acts.

...the role of "truth" in criminal libel versus civil defamation actions has been different and a tortuous path of statutory reform since 1830. Even I cannot go back that far

BUT it is all specific to AU, not relevant to Denmark or Harrit.

So I will leave the topic alone. Unless I get out of "lazy poster mood" and try to research and think Danish Style law... and Jay is way ahead of me in that...

Better still point me to an engineering thread....

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Old 8th January 2013, 05:37 AM   #25
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IANAL, but usually you have to have been wrongfully accused of a criminal act to win a case like this.
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Old 8th January 2013, 06:35 AM   #26
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Harrit is using this to promote his views on 9/11. Here's the lawsuit, google translated : http://translate.google.com/translat...tivity&act=url
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Old 8th January 2013, 07:00 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
Harrit is using this to promote his views on 9/11. Here's the lawsuit, google translated : http://translate.google.com/translat...tivity&act=url
We should not take the English translation as accurate. In that translation Harrit claims he has been called a "fool" but in his alleged facts he says it was "idiot" - that would lose him the case. HOWEVER it appears that the difference is not in the Danish. it seems to me that the words used are "tosser" and "tosse" respectively - someone with knowledge of Danish may care to check.
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Old 8th January 2013, 07:27 AM   #28
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"Tosse" in common use is probably more like "loonie" in English.

The Danish definition is:

1. Someone not in their right mind or retarded.

1.a Someone who behaves stupidly, carelessly, crazy or erratically.
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Old 8th January 2013, 07:57 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Hercules Rockefeller View Post
Harrit is using this to promote his views on 9/11. Here's the lawsuit, google translated : http://translate.google.com/translat...tivity&act=url
Oh Geebuz H. Kryst, he is a loonie! He really thinks the court will ask the journalists to debunk Harrit's twoofie claims. Hahaha.

I could have understood if he felt insulted because he was Godwined, as being likened to Nazis is among the prime insults here in central Europe, far worse than being called a loonie. But that is not his beef...
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Old 8th January 2013, 08:08 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Oh Geebuz H. Kryst, he is a loonie!
Careful, he'll sue ya'!

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Old 8th January 2013, 09:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Oh Geebuz H. Kryst, he is a loonie!
Yes.

Quote:
He really thinks the court will ask the journalists to debunk Harrit's twoofie claims. Hahaha.
That's not quite what I'm getting from the complaint. Granted, machine translation from Danish is rudimentary at best. But it seems that his case is, "I'm a scientist with a distinguished career. I don't deserve to be called a tosse for my 9/11 conspiracy beliefs because they're legitimate." In other words, yes he may want to turn the trial into a showcase for his conspiracy claims, but that doesn't mean that's where the point of law will hang nor the defense the defendants may decide to mount.

For example, the defendants may point out that 9/11 conspiracy theorists are widely regarded in the public mind as nut cases and cranks, and that to reflect that characterization in their own writings is not libelous in the sense that it doesn't reduce his esteem in the public mind any more than it already is.

They could also point out that since 9/11 conspiracism has no place in mainstream science, except occasionally to refute it, that Harrit's conscious decision to participate it in is what has affected his reputation as a mainstream scientist -- not merely a newspaper's reporting of it. There is a provision in criminal law that says if the plaintiff's actions have warranted the comment, the defendant is not as liable -- tosse is as tosse does.

None of that would really depend on whether Harrit's claims, or the Truther movement in general, has any legitimate merit. If one publicly engages in behavior that engenders widespread ridicule from the general public (including taking a distinctly minority opinion on a controversial subject), one can't easily single out a lone perpetrator and say that he alone has harmed one's reputation.

Quote:
But that is not his beef...
It kind of is. The complain mentions being lumped in with Creationists and Holocaust deniers, which he says is deleterious to his reputation as a serious scientist. It's clear he believes his 9/11 rants are serious science while those other things are not, and so he has been unfairly reduced in the esteem of his peers.
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:28 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
it seems to me that the words used are "tosser" and "tosse" respectively - someone with knowledge of Danish may care to check.



Guys we're missing a great opportunity here! We could insult him in two languages simultaneously! "That tosser is so tosser!"
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:42 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by ozeco41 View Post
We should not take the English translation as accurate. In that translation Harrit claims he has been called a "fool" but in his alleged facts he says it was "idiot" - that would lose him the case. HOWEVER it appears that the difference is not in the Danish. it seems to me that the words used are "tosser" and "tosse" respectively - someone with knowledge of Danish may care to check.
Tosse = One fool

Tosser = fools (more than one "tosse")

Tosse can be translated in several ways, for instance fool or idiot.

A “Village idiot” is a “landsbytosse” in Danish, and if there is more than one of them: “landsbytosser”
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Old 8th January 2013, 11:14 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Josarhus View Post
Tosse can be translated in several ways, for instance fool or idiot.
How about "crackpot" or "conspiracy theorist?"

Quote:
...if there is more than one of them: “landsbytosser”
I.e., Washington DC.
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Old 8th January 2013, 11:24 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
That's not quite what I'm getting from the complaint. Granted, machine translation from Danish is rudimentary at best. But it seems that his case is, "I'm a scientist with a distinguished career. I don't deserve to be called a tosse for my 9/11 conspiracy beliefs because they're legitimate." In other words, yes he may want to turn the trial into a showcase for his conspiracy claims, but that doesn't mean that's where the point of law will hang nor the defense the defendants may decide to mount.

For example, the defendants may point out that 9/11 conspiracy theorists are widely regarded in the public mind as nut cases and cranks, ...
[...]
None of that would really depend on whether Harrit's claims, or the Truther movement in general, has any legitimate merit. If one publicly engages in behavior that engenders widespread ridicule from the general public (including taking a distinctly minority opinion on a controversial subject), one can't easily single out a lone perpetrator and say that he alone has harmed one's reputation.
You point out what the defense should argue, and you are right, and it would not depend on whether Harrit's claims on 9/11 have merit or not.

But that is not what Harrit's complaint has in mind. In the "facts" he states in his complains, it is obviously important to him that the question whether or not being called "tosse" is justified hinges on the "fact" that Harrit "put forward a number of scientific arguments for which neither the defendant nor anyone else has been able to refute"

This to me seems to indicate that Harrit wants to convince the court that his arguments have not been refuted. If the court were to go along with that claim and evaluate it, it would amount to asking the defendants if the claim is true, and if they disagree, to show cause. As you point out, that is not likely the way the case is going to go - neither the judges nor the defendants will be interested in debunking 9/11 CTs. And that's why Harrit is indeed a tosse - it is tåbelig, idiotisk to hope that he would get a platform to defend da twoof

Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
It kind of is. The complain mentions being lumped in with Creationists and Holocaust deniers, which he says is deleterious to his reputation as a serious scientist. It's clear he believes his 9/11 rants are serious science while those other things are not, and so he has been unfairly reduced in the esteem of his peers.
But it only mentions it, and doesn't elaborate.


By the way, I like this bit of the claim:
Originally Posted by Harrit
Weekendavisen ordered to publish the judgment incl. premises in the same place as the ball was brought.
Yes, I do hope they get to publish the judgement - which undoubtedly will be that Harrit may be called a tosse for making idiotisk twoofy claims
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:13 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
How about "crackpot" or "conspiracy theorist?"



I.e., Washington DC.
Also works fine
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:32 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Josarhus View Post
if there is more than one of them: “landsbytosser”
Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
I.e., Washington DC.
Forget the Tea, lets organize the Seasbytossem Party and do it to the whole lot of em.
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Old 8th January 2013, 12:46 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Guys we're missing a great opportunity here! We could insult him in two languages simultaneously! "That tosser is so tosser!"
I chose to avoid that excursion into colloquial English usage - "tosser" is in common UK AU usage but I wasn't sure about US.



.... or with Germans who learned as students in the US.
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Old 8th January 2013, 08:05 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
Oh Geebuz H. Kryst, he is a loonie! He really thinks the court will ask the journalists to debunk Harrit's twoofie claims. Hahaha.
Some of the "birthers" here in the USA had a similar strategy. They thought birther Donald Trump should accuse the person in charge of Hawaii's vital records of being a member of a criminal conspiracy, and invite her to sue him for defamation. Presto - DISCOVERY! And the court would have to grant Trump access to all of Obama's personal records so he could defend himself in court.

Great strategy , but for some reason, Trump hasn't gone for it.
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Old 8th January 2013, 10:24 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
For example, the defendants may point out that 9/11 conspiracy theorists are widely regarded in the public mind as nut cases and cranks, and that to reflect that characterization in their own writings is not libelous in the sense that it doesn't reduce his esteem in the public mind any more than it already is.
Yeah, that'll work.


Quote:
They could also point out that since 9/11 conspiracism has no place in mainstream science, except occasionally to refute it, that Harrit's conscious decision to participate it in is what has affected his reputation as a mainstream scientist -- not merely a newspaper's reporting of it. There is a provision in criminal law that says if the plaintiff's actions have warranted the comment, the defendant is not as liable -- tosse is as tosse does.
Criminal law?


Quote:
None of that would really depend on whether Harrit's claims, or the Truther movement in general, has any legitimate merit. If one publicly engages in behavior that engenders widespread ridicule from the general public (including taking a distinctly minority opinion on a controversial subject), one can't easily single out a lone perpetrator and say that he alone has harmed one's reputation.
Um, yes he can. Where did you study law, JayUtah? I heartily encourage you to volunteer your services to the defendants, lol.
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Last edited by ergo; 8th January 2013 at 10:26 PM.
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