Forums: Index > Village Dump > Serious Legal Problem
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I thought Benoit Mandelbrot was a major problem but don't know much law, so didn't think it was illegal. So I asked Alden Loveshade who's done legal cases for libel. He helped with one for me even though he didn't mention that, for my protection, I guess. He said it was in a gray area, and could be illegal. No offense, Alden, but I didn't want to do anything radical until I checked with Wikia staff.

I checked, and we have a serious legal problem. There was some legal thing in the EU that sites like Wikia are not responsible for their content and America has the same thing. Guess who they say has legal responsibility? We do. A staff member told me, "We allow parody (even if in bad taste!) as long as the content is not outside our Terms of Use. The contributors are responsible for the content of the articles." If it violates Terms of Use, which Alden and I both feel this article does, we're legally responsible! That means the authors and admins could get sued!

I'm not taking a chance, so I'm quick deleting it. If anybody puts it back up, because I'm both an admin and will have edited it, I'd be legally responsible. So if somebody puts it back, don't restore my edit, and remove me as admin. One article's not worth getting sued over. AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) 17:28, October 28, 2018 (UTC)

That staff statement kind of sounds like a "We like Uncyclopedia we really do but we know nothing about any of their articles so sue them not us" statement. Double plus not good. Compassrose Serjeant-at-Law A.L.??? (legal consultations)  19:06, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
I didn't mention you were the subject of one of the libel cases because that's attorney-client privilege. And no, I'm not an attorney-at-law, but I play one on the Internet. Compassrose Serjeant-at-Law A.L.??? (legal consultations)  19:09, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
I think deleting the article was an overreaction Miley Spears. If Wikia/Fandom ever received a complaint, they can tell us if there is an issue with the article and we take it from there.--LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 19:31, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
If it's a Terms of Use (ToU) issue, any admin can and should remove it, by my understanding. Miley, you might want to cite the specific violation of ToU. Compassrose Queen's Counsel A.L.??? (legal consultations)  19:44, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
All right, found it. Again, I'm not an attorney-at-law, but I have handled legal cases as someone's attorney. It could be argued that Miley jumped the gun in terms of American law, but, hey, better safe than sorry. Especially because as soon as a discussion begins that shows the people in charge are aware of the possibility of libel, that could be considered initial "notification." That could mean the potential suers could bypass the usual complaint stage and go directly to lawsuit. They could possibly sue the article's authors and any Wikipedia admin who expressed an awareness of the issue without having to give any warning.
Libeling the dead is defined as illegal in some American states (such as Texas), but successful prosecution is unlikely. But here's a bigger problem: Benoit Mandelbrot had dual French and American citizenship. Unless it's changed recently, libeling the dead, especially recently dead, is illegal in France. And, according to what I found, American citizens can be prosecuted for violating French libel law. Wikia/Fandom is international, this wiki and thus this article are available in France, so yes, this violated Wikia's ToU and could have been prosecuted. I have spoken, so fear my judgement. Compassrose Queen's Counsel A.L.??? (legal consultations)  21:27, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
Minor nitpick, but I don't see any edit by you. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 23:28 28 October 2018
Storm+teacup=Typhoon Tea. We seem to be twisting our collective knickers. If Mandelbrot was to google his name and come across this website it will be our Barbra Streisand moment. Let's go back to The Way We Were. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 23:42, October 28, 2018 (UTC)
There's a site that's trying just that. It's called "The Fork." Compassrose IC Rabbi A.L.??? (shmuesn) 
Something I should have checked. Mandelbrot is dead. So...what's the big deal???--LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 09:18, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
I have made a couple of minor edits. To be frank, the article is uneven and a bit scattershot but the legal issues are non-existent. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 11:17, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
Something you should have checked--the discussion above? I know he's dead--that's been in the discussion since the beginning. I know enough about American libel law to know this could be a legal issue. Unless you're an expert on French libel laws.... AdminBadge King of the Internet Alden Loveshade??? (royal court)  15:49, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
So as Mandelbrot is dead, who is going to 'sue us'? The dead can't sue. The article is obviously absurd and could not be mistaken for anything that is actually real. It's hosted here in Uncyclopedia, a site that openly says it is a home of misinformation. I can't imagine any lawyer anywhere would take this on, even in France. It would be funny if they tried. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 17:01, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
So you feel having this article is worth taking a chance on getting sued? Not me. I said I'm not taking that chance and I would leave if the article was put back. I've been in lots of controversies because of important things I believe in. I don't believe in insulting the recently dead, possibly hurting his friends and family, and putting myself in legal trouble for an article that's not very good anyway. That's not a cause I believe in.
After I asked them about it, Wikia staff gave me a disclaimer that they're not legally responsible for anything on Uncyclopedia. Don't you think that's a clue? Alden has done libel cases. He handled one for me and we won. He did one for himself and he won. Don't you get he just might know more about libel laws than you do? I guess not.
If you're going to leave it, at least show some consideration for the authors who don't even know about this. Remove the record of their edits and leave only your own. Otherwise you're saying you're willing to put other people at risk. If you care about other people, you need to tell all the admins too, whether they're active or not.
I like Uncyclopedia very much. But not enough to get sued for doing something I believe is wrong. Goodbye. AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) 18:27, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
I don't think Uncyclopedia is well-known enough that we'd actually get sued (of course I'm not a legal expert, so don't listen to me), but we've now lost Miley over this and I don't think that was worth it. I don't remember what I liked about the article either. Actually I thought you said you wanted your admin rights removed, but same idea. ❦ Llwy-ar-lawr talkcontribs • 20:45 29 October 2018
When Wikia have received messages as regards the articles here, we will receive a simple 'take down notice' or remove a trademark. That is always the first step. Since Wikia host this website, it's up to them to remove the article if legally required. I think the only article they have removed was the How To Commit Suicide which we were obliged to add a phone number at the bottom. In the end Wikia chose to remove it all together after I presume they received complaints. No one went after the actual writer(s) of the article. That is always Wikia's defence. They will remove an article from here if they receive authorised notification from someone. If anyone is still concerned, I am happy to remove, repaste and reinstall this article under my name if necessary. After all, I may want to write my own version of this article. I work in the media so I do know something about people getting upset about uses and publications. So no editor here is at risk and the information we supply to Wikia by way of a confidential user name/password cannot be passed on to another party. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 21:52, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
Page deleted to remove history and re-pasted by myself. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 22:00, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
I have asked for clarification from Wikia-Fandom as to the situation as I have understood from being active here for the last 10 years. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 22:38, October 29, 2018 (UTC)
Miley, I think you handled this very well. I do believe you're legally covered as you not only posted here, the edit record will show you deleted the article. If you do decide to return, I believe you're about as legally safe as you could be. But nicely done. AdminBadge King of the Internet Alden Loveshade??? (royal court)  00:13, October 30, 2018 (UTC)
After Miley talked to me about the then most recent stages of this discussion (yes, we know each other off of Uncyclopedia), I was all set to come on here and post another know-it-all, nasty rant. I had a really good one going, too.
But I come back here and am very disappointed to see Romartus is handling this in a helpful, professional manner. Damn, a waste of a nasty rant.
Thanks, Romartus, for handling this like you are. My respect for you just shot up. I'm going to contact Miley and tell her to come back here and thank you for acting like an admin should, or else I'll spank her. Actually, that might be fun too. Compassrose Queen's Counsel A.L.??? (legal consultations)  00:09, October 30, 2018 (UTC)
Hi Alden, can you contact me via email? I can be contacted at --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 09:57, October 30, 2018 (UTC)
Contact has been made. AdminBadge King of the Internet Alden Loveshade??? (royal court)  02:56, November 1, 2018 (UTC)
These indents are getting so small I'm going all the way. AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) 02:55, November 1, 2018 (UTC)

I see what Romartus did and I majorly thank you. I still don't like the article and still don't agree with putting it back. But that's an editor to editor thing. Romartus you took care of the legal issue for me so that was sweet. Really now I'm more worried about Romartus because he would take the heat for the whole thing! So I'll agree you handled this like a real admin. But that's just so Alden won't spank me. :) AdminBadge DAP Dame Pleb Com. Miley Spears (talk) 03:00, November 1, 2018 (UTC)

No excuse to spank Miley? Like the remaining cheese said when it was put back in the refrigerator, "Curses, foiled again!" Seriously, I'm glad things worked out.
As to the legal issue, Romartus I suggest you keep a record of what you sent to Wikia. If there is any issue, you will have evidence that you consulted with them to take care of it, so I think Romartus should be in the clear in the event anything does happen. Compassrose Queen's Counsel A.L.??? (legal consultations)  03:05, November 1, 2018 (UTC)
Will do. Meanwhile back on the farm...--LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 17:45, November 1, 2018 (UTC)