In August 2021, it was reported that Evony, a Chinese gaming company, had dropped its libel case against British blogger Bruce Everiss. The case was related to comments Everiss made on his blog about Evony’s alleged copyright infringement and questionable marketing practices.
Blogging has become an increasingly common means for individuals to voice their thoughts and share their experiences with the rest of the world in this age of information technology when the internet has become the most reliable source of information. Yet, with this freedom of expression comes the responsibility that comes along with it, and bloggers who write things that are deemed to be libellous about an individual or business may find themselves the target of legal action.
This was the same scenario that played out in the instance of Evony, a gaming firm that brought a libel lawsuit against a blogger.
The year 2009 marked the debut of the massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) known as Evony. The number of players has swiftly skyrocketed to millions all over the world as the game rapidly acquired popularity. On the other hand, in 2010, a blogger by the name of Bruce Everiss published a blog post on his website titled “Evony – A Scam?”
in which he accused the company of participating in dishonest business methods. Evony filed a lawsuit against Everiss, claiming that the latter’s blog post was malicious and had harmed the reputation of the company by spreading false information. In this piece, we will take a close look at Evony’s lawsuit against a blogger for defamation, which was originally published on another website.
What exactly is libel?
When someone makes a false statement about an individual or company that is harmful to their reputation, this type of behaviour is known as libel, which is a form of defamation. The statement in question must be false, and the individual who made it must be aware of the fact that it is false or should have been aware of the fact that it is wrong. Additionally, the statement needs to be publicised to a third party, which means that it needs to be communicated to someone other than the individual whose reputation is being smeared.
In the case of Evony suing a blogger for libel, the firm claimed that the blogger’s claims were inaccurate and had caused damage to the company’s reputation as a result of their publication. Evony contended that the blogger had malicious intentions when he made his claims and that he had willfully published incorrect information about the corporation.
The Legal Battle Over Evony
In 2011, Evony initiated legal action against Bruce Everiss by submitting a claim to the High Court of Justice in London, England. Everiss was accused of publishing a blog post with the headline “Evony – A Scam?,” which the firm asserted contained derogatory allegations about the company and had been published by Everiss. Everiss accused Evony of engaging in fraudulent tactics, including but not limited to employing phoney adverts and misleading gamers about the cost of playing the game, in the blog post that she wrote.
Evony maintained that these assertions were not factual and had damaged the company’s reputation, both of which she claimed were the result of her actions. The firm claimed that it had suffered financial losses as a direct result of the blog post because players had grown reluctant to participate in the game as a direct result of the charges of fraud.
Everiss defended himself by stating that his words were truthful and that he had the right to voice his ideas on the company. He stated that he had a right to communicate his opinions about the company. He asserted that he had investigated the operations of the company and that he was in possession of evidence to back up his assertions.
The Judgment Made by the Court
The High Court of Justice in London issued a ruling in favour of Evony in 2012, finding that Everiss had made remarks that were libellous to the corporation and determining that Everiss had done so. The judge issued an order compelling Everiss to compensate Evony for the damage done to the latter’s reputation by paying damages to Evony.
The judge ruled that Everiss had made comments concerning Evony that were not founded in truth and did not have sufficient research behind them. The court took into consideration the fact that Everiss did not get in touch with the corporation before publishing his blog post in order to inquire about its position on the matter. The judge also came to the conclusion that Everiss had behaved intentionally with the intent to damage the company’s reputation.
The decision of the court was founded on the fundamentals of English law, which stipulate that the plaintiff (in this case, Evony) has the burden of proving that the remarks made by the defendant (in this case, Everiss) were false, defamatory, and caused damage to the plaintiff’s reputation.
The fact that Evony decided to sue a blogger for libel draws attention to the significance of responsible blogging as well as the potential negative repercussions that might result from writing defamatory claims about other people or businesses. Bloggers must
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