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Smith v ADVFN Plc; CA 15 Apr 2008

References: [2008] EWCA Civ 518
Links: Bailii
Coram: May, Moore-Bick LJJ
Ratio The claimant complained of defamation on internet bulletin boards. He made an application to require the forum operator to disclose IP addresses and other information about posters under a Norwich Pharmacal order. Further applications were made for the IP addresses of posters as postings were made. The court had limited the information to be provided and required the claimant to make a payment towards the costs of the proposed work.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. He still owed substantial sums in costs, and it would be wrong to expect the board operators to subsidise his claim.
This case cites:

  • Appeal from – Smith v ADVFN Plc QBD (Bailii, [2008] EWHC 577 (QB))
    Order re case management application. The claimant said he had been defamed on an internet forum run by the defendants, and sought orders for disclosure of the identities of the posters to the website. The operator said that special software might . .
  • Cited – Norwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL (lip, [1974] AC 133, [1973] 3 WLR 164, [1973] 2 All ER 943, Bailii, [1973] UKHL 6, [1974] RPC 101, [1973] FSR 365)
    The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
  • Cited – Norwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners CA ([1972] 2 All ER 813, [1972] RPC 743)
    The plaintiffs sought discovery of the names of patent infringers from the defendant third party, submitting that by analogy with trade mark and passing-off cases, the Customs could be ordered to give discovery of the names.
    Held: Buckley LJ . .
  • Cited – Upmann v Elkan ((1871) LR 12 Eq 140, 7 Ch App 130)
    If through no fault of his own a person gets mixed up in the tortious acts of others so as to facilitate their wrongdoing, he is not personally liable, but he does have a duty when called upon to disclose the identity of the wrongdoer. . .

(This list may be incomplete)
This case is cited by:

  • See Also – Smith v ADVFN Plc and others QBD (Bailii, [2008] EWHC 1797 (QB))
    The claimant had brought multiple actions in defamation against anonymous posters on an online forum. The claimant sought to lift the stay which had been imposed because of the number of actions. The claimant had not yet paid outstanding costs . .
  • See Also – Smith v ADVFN Plc and Others CA (Bailii, [2009] EWCA Civ 826)
    Application for leave to appeal . .

(This list may be incomplete)

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