Like journalists for traditional mediums such as newspapers, bloggers are also vulnerable in terms of becoming a target of lawsuits as a means of inhibiting their ability to cover important stories.
Recently, I became the target of a $3.5 million lawsuit from a large U.S.-based company.
Even though my research is sound – with corresponding reference links provided as a part of each post, as well as being able to confirm the truth and accuracy of my information through reliable “inside” the company sources (whistleblowers), and those with direct knowledge from the general business community, the company still employed litigious tactics in an attempt to silence me. It should be noted that despite providing them with every opportunity to come forward and share their side of the story, executives from the company have and continue to, refuse my request for an interview.
Here are the links to my two most recent articles regarding this story. As you will note, the information I received from company insiders, includes a number of audio excerpts in which the company CFO and CEO confirm the accuracy of my coverage.
· A Material Change at SciQuest – https://procureinsights.wordpress.com/2015/09/06/a-material-change-at-sciquest-by-jon-hansen/
· Further Review of SciQuest video reveals contradictions that raise more questions – https://procureinsights.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/further-review-of-sciquest-video-reveals-contradictions-that-raise-more-questions-by-jon-hansen/
Despite the overwhelming evidence verifying both the thoroughness and truthfulness of my coverage, this US company has sued me for liable in Ontario, Canada, even though neither the company nor myself have any ties to the Province.
The reason they are doing this is to try and take advantage of Canada’s plaintiff friendly laws thereby shifting the onus from them providing proof of their claim, to me defending my information including the provision of the names of my sources. This last point is particularly disconcerting in that the individuals who have come forward, have done so with great courage and with the expectation that their identities would remain unknown.
As a result, this company’s action is a direct threat to free speech and fair and open coverage of an important story that has far reaching implications. Especially in those instances when US taxpayer dollars are involved.
Unlike newspaper journalists, as an independent blogger I neither have the financial nor legal resources to respond to this action. The costs will range between $50,000 and $100,000 personally.
For this reason, I am seeking your financial support for a Bloggers Defence Fund.
Why Is This Fund Important?
Freedom of speech and freedom of the press are key tenets of an open and accountable society.
If for no other reason than having the financial resources, companies can shut down stories that they view as being unfavorable, then where does this leave us as a society?
The quest for truth will then be replaced by the fear of reprisal, and justice will be governed by the financial means of those who can afford it.
What Happens With Any Extra Funds?
While the above is an estimate of the costs associated with responding to this action, in the event that funds remain in the account after this specific matter has been dealt with, these funds will be used to support the defence of bloggers who have been subjected to similar legal tactics.
Furthermore, a monthly accounting will be posted for everyone in which the actual legal expenses and related costs associated with responding to this as well as future actions, will be clearly outlined for public viewing.
Every amount helps, so please click the following link to make your donation (which can be done anonymously) to this worthy cause: https://www.gofundme.com/bloggerfund