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Smith v ADVFN Plc; QBD 13 Mar 2008

References: [2008] EWHC 577 (QB)
Links: Bailii
Coram: Mackay J
Ratio 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 need to be written to extract the information sought, and that that might cost many thousands of pounds. The respondent were ordered to provide the applicant with the name, address and e-mail address of each avatar together with the IP number for the avatar at the time of each alleged defamatory posting.
This case cites:

  • 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 – Totalise Plc v The Motley Fool Limited and Interative Investor Limited (2) CA (Times 10-Jan-02, Gazette 27-Feb-02, Bailii, [2001] EWCA Civ 1897, [2002] 1 WLR 2450, [2002] EMLR 358, [2003] 2 All ER 872, [2002] FSR 50, [2002] CP Rep 22, [2002] EMLR 20, [2002] 1 WLR 1233, [2002] Masons CLR 3)
    The respondent operated a web site which contained a chat room. Defamatory remarks were made by a third party through the chat room, and the claimant sought details of the identity of the poster. The respondent refused to do so without a court . .
  • Cited – Mitsui & Co Ltd v Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd ChD (Bailii, [2005] EWHC 625 (Ch), Times 18-May-05, [2005] 3 All ER 511)
    Mitsui sought disclosure of documents from a third party under the rules in Norwich Pharmacal.
    Held: Such relief was available ‘where the claimant requires the disclosure of crucial information in order to be able to bring its claim or where . .
  • Cited – Sheffield Wednesday Football Club Ltd and others v Hargreaves QBD (Bailii, [2007] EWHC 2375 (QB))
    The defendant operated a web forum in which posters posted defamatory messages about the claimants. The claimants sought an order disclosing the contact details of the members of the forum. The owner of the forum said he had undertaken not to . .

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

  • Appeal from – Smith v ADVFN Plc CA (Bailii, [2008] EWCA Civ 518)
    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 . .
  • See Also – Nigel Smith v M QBD (Bailii, [2008] EWHC 1250 (QB))
    The claimants sought disclosure of material which would lead to the identification of people who had made postings to a forum on the internet.
    Held: The court had aready imposed a stay on the issuing of further proceedings, yet the claimant . .
  • 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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