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Topic: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-06 08:38:12 and read 11386 times.

The Aviation Herald, a site many of us love and frequently link to on airliners.net, is under legal threat from an unnamed airline, most likely an Ireland-based low cost carrier:
The Aviation Herald

The threat seems to be related to the recent refusal of the Aviation Herald to remove a report of a B-738 descending below minimum height, citing a report by the official authorities of the country in question:
discussion of the incident on airliners.net

Please give your support to the Aviation Herald.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: phishphan70
Posted 2012-12-06 09:01:44 and read 11285 times.

I guess we should all watch the comments on this thread as well if a certain un-named airline is going off on a legal binge. I, and I assume most of those that will read this, whole-heartedly support the objective, accurate, and thorough job done by the Av Herald.
Good luck squashing this baseless legal action.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: captainmeeerkat
Posted 2012-12-06 09:08:44 and read 11258 times.

As a contributor to the other site also, please can I also ask that the airline not be named here.

The AvHerald, along with airliners.net, are my two most visited websites.

I have been a staunch defender of theis airline's business model, their success and safety record, as well as giving them the benefit of the doubt when ill-informed moaners complain about their practices. I have defended them on numerous aviation sites in relation to some incidents when others were too quick to judge.

However, if they are trying to stifle free speech and stop the ordinary public from commenting about them, I will very quickly become an enemy of this company.

Safety culture only works in an arena of openness and mutual communication. We can't let idiot posters destroy this.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: nclmedic
Posted 2012-12-06 09:24:29 and read 11128 times.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
As a contributor to the other site also, please can I also ask that the airline not be named here.

Completely second you on this one - probably best not to allow any row to spill over in this direction!

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
Safety culture only works in an arena of openness and mutual communication. We can't let idiot posters destroy this.

And again, I couldn't agree more. If wanted to live in a society that buried safety concerns in the ground, and penalised those who raised them, I'd move to North Korea.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Plainplane
Posted 2012-12-06 09:32:20 and read 11052 times.

Regardless of all the stuff always going on with them I always held a neutral opinion in the whole for/against the "you know what airline" arguments. Now this, officially makes me hates the "you know what" airline.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: capri
Posted 2012-12-06 10:07:51 and read 10911 times.

As far I am concerned, I boycotted that airline since 2007. the worst people to deal with on customer level issues, they overcharge for anything and everything.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: something
Posted 2012-12-06 10:13:15 and read 10880 times.

If even the slightest suspicion arises that a low cost carrier saves on maintenance/safety, their business could be ruined over night. Both, Ryanair and EasyJet have become established enough that a crash would ruin neither company but the backlash this would have on their businesses would be much greater than what LH or BA would experience in the exact same situation.

It is all too understandable that Ryanair therefore, has a greater than average interest in having any negative press concerning their safety removed.

The question is now how legitimate Ryanair's request to have the particular news item on the avherald.com removed. If the account given on the website is factually inaccurate or even erroneous, Ryanair may prosecute the website for libel. If, however, the BFU report and the avherald's representation of said is correct, Ryanair has no legal recourse against the website.
BFU reports in Germany are public domain and the BFU itself is an objective, state-owned investigation bureau. It seems unlikely that their report is partial or even inaccurate. The avherald may use information provided by the BFU, but has to distinguish between what the BFU states, and what their own interpretation of this data is.

It would be the discretion of a judge whether the avherald.com gave a factual account based on the BFU findings, or if its account contained elements of personal interpretation (any assessment, appraisal, opinions etc.) that could skew public perception of the incident at hand.

In either way, Ryanair is doing something unbelievably risky here. ''The cover up is always worse than the crime''. It almost doesn't matter what the actual situation was. If some tabloid like the German ''Bild'' is printing a headline that ''Ryanair close to crash - And now they're hiding it'', their reputation is ruined. Why can't they just put a press release on their website stating what exactly happened (and why) and that every report to the contrary are false?

Even if their strategy proves successful, the stakes for what they can possibly gain here seem disproportionally high. The average flyer doesn't care much about a ''near miss'', especially not in the long run. A company that goes to great lengths to make things disappear though, is an impression that is bound to last.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2012-12-06 15:18:06 and read 10373 times.

Quoting enginebird (Thread starter):
The threat seems to be related to the recent refusal of the Aviation Herald to remove a report of a B-738 descending below minimum height

When I read the excerpt from the legal demand, it said it was comments to the report, not the report itself that was questionable. If the comments were libelous, then of course they should be removed. If not, then the AvHerald has every right to let the comments stand.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: BlueBus
Posted 2012-12-06 18:14:30 and read 10115 times.

I don't get it... why not name the airline? Let people make their own overall judgements of the carrier.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: mandala499
Posted 2012-12-06 21:38:51 and read 9955 times.

Quoting phishphan70 (Reply 1):
I, and I assume most of those that will read this, whole-heartedly support the objective, accurate, and thorough job done by the Av Herald.
Good luck squashing this baseless legal action.

Accurate is subjective. The attitude of the primary author there, is in some instances, despicably 'against criticism', even when providing corrections to errors (based on AvHerald's policy of only using 'official data', which in some countries, official data is often erroneous and regulatory approved 3rd party data is more accurate... unfortunately, AvHerald would buy none of that... well, not after deletion of a lot of comments). However, we understand that nothing is perfect. I do not find it the most accurate, but I find it as the one-stop place to look for accident/incident information.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
I have been a staunch defender of theis airline's business model, their success and safety record, as well as giving them the benefit of the doubt when ill-informed moaners complain about their practices. I have defended them on numerous aviation sites in relation to some incidents when others were too quick to judge.

Ryanair does have it's army of haters... at least we can look beyond the hate and see the reality.

Quoting something (Reply 6):
The question is now how legitimate Ryanair's request to have the particular news item on the avherald.com removed.

Errr... it is the comments by the users who prompted Ryanair to threaten legal action against AvHerald unless those comments are removed... they are not requesting the news article to be removed.

I personally support Ryanair's request to ask for AvHerald to remove those 'unwarranted comments', sites like AvHerald, and other aviation sites, do not need to foster those 'unwarranted comments', they belong in the tabloids or A.net's rival I nicknamed "aviation fight club" (where the forum is just... supposedly filled with professionals but the stuff written there are just VICIOUS and full of hate)... Ryanair might actually be doing AvHerald a favour... HOWEVER, if Ryanair then continues to ask for the incident article to be removed, or begin to regularly harass AvHerald to ask for objective items to be removed, then, I guess we'd all join the army of O'Leary haters...    Best of luck to Simon!

Mandala499

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: kaitak
Posted 2012-12-06 22:37:27 and read 9847 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 9):
I personally support Ryanair's request to ask for AvHerald to remove those 'unwarranted comments', sites like AvHerald, and other aviation sites, do not need to foster those 'unwarranted comments', they belong in the tabloids or A.net's rival I nicknamed "aviation fight club" (where the forum is just... supposedly filled with professionals but the stuff written there are just VICIOUS and full of hate)... Ryanair might actually be doing AvHerald a favour...

I agree; the problem with the AH is that although it's an excellent resource, there's no registration necessary and anyone can use any name to post anything. Hopefully they'll change that now and in that sense, FR is certainly doing AH a favour. It's a very useful sight and I'd hate to see it go.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: BrouAviation
Posted 2012-12-06 22:57:33 and read 9806 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 9):
Ryanair does have it's army of haters... at least we can look beyond the hate and see the reality.

Oh no, you said it out loud! MOL is going to kill us all.

Seriously, take a break and relax people. This airline deserves the publicity it gets. And what happened to the "there's no such thing as bad publicity?" mantra MOL has been using for years?

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-06 23:03:55 and read 9785 times.

Does Simon have an account on here?

Quoting capri (Reply 5):
As far I am concerned, I boycotted that airline since 2007. the worst people to deal with on customer level issues, they overcharge for anything and everything.

Another thread bashing this airline, but honestly i don't know why they have customers still after all the crap they pull.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-07 00:11:43 and read 9699 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):

When I read the excerpt from the legal demand, it said it was comments to the report, not the report itself that was questionable.

The Aviation Herald is probably unable to patrol all comments to each of its articles. Just as we have seen many less-than-objective comments on certain airlines, aircraft manufactureres etc. on airliners.net...

The legal action threatened seems to be at least partly motivated by the airline's unsuccessful demand to have the following report removed, although it is based on the official report of the state-owned authorities:
report about a plane descending below minimum height

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AR385
Posted 2012-12-07 01:05:49 and read 9614 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 12):
Does Simon have an account on here?

Yes he does. And he probably monitors many of the forums.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: ltbewr
Posted 2012-12-07 04:44:24 and read 8862 times.

As as Paralegal/Legal Assistant for over 30 years, I am aware of corporate confidentiality and have had to sign numerous agreements to hold confidential internal documents and their contents of a client corporation and of the attorney-client privilege as well as information as to my employing firm under the pain of civil and criminal liability, loss of employment and ruin of my reputation even if a 'whistle blower'. Whoever released this internal information of Ryanair probably violated their work contract and any confidentiality agreements they have with them and will be fired and face penalties.

The second issue here is libel and slander vs. the news media. I am not sure which country AvHerald is based under, indeed if incorporated in the UK or most EU countries, unlike the USA where there is strong press protections from libel and slander, it may be possible for Ryanair to sue AvHerald for libel/slander with the publication of such internal materials.

Most likely AvHerald will have to go to a subscription model to pay for moderation to keep out materials that may get it into legal trouble. Sadly too, it will damage it's ability to offer open and honest disclosures of potentially dangerous incidents involving the airline industry.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: xdlx
Posted 2012-12-07 05:26:31 and read 8480 times.

Ryanair is doing it to themselves..... the public light is on them....!

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: steffenbn
Posted 2012-12-07 06:53:42 and read 7774 times.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 2):
As a contributor to the other site also, please can I also ask that the airline not be named here.

What happend to this guys request?

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: SepulTALLICA
Posted 2012-12-07 07:52:25 and read 7275 times.

Well judging by Update 3 on the AV Herald, O'Leary and his ambulance-chaser goons have given Simon until 17h30 UTC to come grovelling and apologizing. For what its worth, don't let them get to you Simon!

But seriously, why is O'Leary all butthurt now? He's renowned for his patronizing attitude towards Ryanair passengers and now that others take cheap shots at him, he gets all pissed?

Oh and some of those zingers against Ryanair were actually rather lulzy.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: spoon84
Posted 2012-12-07 08:25:22 and read 6994 times.

Everyone knows which airline we are talking about, I don't understand why we should not talk about them, anyway i'm not going to write it here.
I support 100% Avherald, it's not really possible that a company like this, is going to check what people (correct or not) is writting about them, so are they checking all the forum in the world???

I think that they got a lot of good marketing because people is talking with them, but act like that to a website that was always fair on analyze the incidents that involved them, I think it's not very fair, as we say, they should close an eye.

I remember another report about them about the short of fuel in Spain some months ago and as far as I remember, Simon explained so well, that after a while everyone started to comment in a constructive way and not only negative comments, they should remember this wonderful work done by Avherald.

http://avherald.com/h?article=454af355&opt=0

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AR385
Posted 2012-12-07 10:13:48 and read 6718 times.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 15):
I am not sure which country AvHerald is based under, indeed if incorporated in the UK or most EU countries, unlike the USA where there is strong press protections from libel and slander,

I believe it´s based out of Austria.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-12-07 10:28:17 and read 6657 times.

Quoting SepulTALLICA (Reply 18):
But seriously, why is O'Leary all butthurt now?

Because, as was mentioned way up thread, O'Leary knows (like all LCC's) that he's more exposed to even the hint of safety shenanigans than almost any other Western airline on earth. Factually inaccurate statements re: Ryanair safety will go straight to his bottom line.

Quoting spoon84 (Reply 19):
it's not really possible that a company like this, is going to check what people (correct or not) is writting about them, so are they checking all the forum in the world???

Most large public-facing companies use automated systems to troll the web for any mention of their name (usually along with other keywords). "They" aren't checking all the forums in the world, but they're using technology to crawl pretty much the entire internet and then "they" look at the highlights.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: KL911
Posted 2012-12-07 10:46:28 and read 6612 times.

Quoting capri (Reply 5):
As far I am concerned, I boycotted that airline since 2007. the worst people to deal with on customer level issues, they overcharge for anything and everything.

So what? let them overcharge, as long as the total fare is still lower then anyone else I fly with them. And the only customer service you need and can expect for 5 euro tickets is a friendly crew and extensive bob menu on board.

Quoting xdlx (Reply 16):
Ryanair is doing it to themselves..... the public light is on them....!

Public? Normal pax are not reading the AH website..  
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 21):
Because, as was mentioned way up thread, O'Leary knows (like all LCC's) that he's more exposed to even the hint of safety shenanigans than almost any other Western airline on earth.

It is therefor actually one of the safest airlines in the world.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: captainmeeerkat
Posted 2012-12-07 10:55:56 and read 6588 times.

Quoting KL911 (Reply 22):
Public? Normal pax are not reading the AH website..

No but 100,000s visit the site every month and tell family, friends, colleagues etc etc- it spreads. Especially gossip like this.

FR relies on publicity for cheap marketing. Flashy and brash statements capture the imagination and it's talked about. In this instance, the talk will be quite negative.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: KL911
Posted 2012-12-07 11:33:27 and read 6536 times.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 23):
No but 100,000s visit the site every month and tell family, friends, colleagues etc etc- it spreads. Especially gossip like this.

FR relies on publicity for cheap marketing. Flashy and brash statements capture the imagination and it's talked about. In this instance, the talk will be quite negative.

True, I visit the site a lot, and the FR bashing is unbelievable there. It is a website about safety, not customer service, but all bashers there claim to know all kind of safety faults at FR. Which of course are total nonsense.

If it was my company I would do the same to and probably I would even sue those people telling lies and damaging the company.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: eicvd
Posted 2012-12-07 12:26:03 and read 6628 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 12):
but honestly i don't know why they have customers still after all the crap they pull.


Well I have never had a bad flight with them, I guess many millions of people have had the same treatment as me. Could be a reason why they have customers still?      

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-07 12:50:28 and read 6562 times.

Quoting eicvd (Reply 25):
Well I have never had a bad flight with them, I guess many millions of people have had the same treatment as me. Could be a reason why they have customers still?

Well I guess if they give good customer service for the product they give, I guess that explains it.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: BrouAviation
Posted 2012-12-07 14:04:01 and read 6611 times.

Quoting steffenbn (Reply 17):
What happend to this guys request?

Something called freedom of speech?

Quoting KL911 (Reply 24):
but all bashers there claim to know all kind of safety faults at Ryanair. Which of course are total nonsense.

Well, of course you should know, because as a passenger who flies them regularly and seems to defend them at all costs no matter how ridiculous you look, you are the first person we should ask about Ryanair's safety faults. I am not saying Ryanair does have problems (or doesn't) with regards to flight safety, but really, who are you to judge?

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 26):

Well I guess if they give good customer service for the product they give, I guess that explains it.

They don't. But that's an entirely other discussion.

I hope AH stands strong and doesn't let those stubborn ****s mess with them.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: mandala499
Posted 2012-12-07 14:14:42 and read 6654 times.

Oh, update 3 is nice... shows that AvHerald gets a taste of it's own medicine... So, I get email, discuss it in public, and he throws a fit (it wasn't marked private and confidential). So, he gets an email from Ryanair, and he throws it out in the open, and complain about Ryanair's reaction.   

I guess what comes around goes around again in different ways. (I wonder if someone in Austria still thinks a website not giving access to no-referrer requests as illegal by law universally... *yawn*)

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AR385
Posted 2012-12-07 14:18:44 and read 6591 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 28):
shows that AvHerald gets a taste of it's own medicine
Quoting mandala499 (Reply 28):
I guess what comes around goes around again in different ways. (I wonder if someone in Austria still thinks a website not giving access to no-referrer requests as illegal by law universally

Oh come on Mandala499, be nice now.  

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Stratofish
Posted 2012-12-08 13:48:38 and read 5997 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 28):

I am greatly shocked to read such a statement from such a well respected user that's been around here for so long and normally offers quality contributions to the forum.

Quoting KL911 (Reply 24):
If it was my company I would do the same to and probably I would even sue those people telling lies and damaging the company.

The damage is minimal, if at all. And if there were reasons to tell stuff about your company then we jolly well shall be allowed to do so.


Av Herald really stands the moral ground in this issue. Yes some of their poster are annoying but it cannot be responsibility of the site to not post confidential material.

The distorted views of right or wrong of some users is alarming and the crooks of FR have sunk to a new low. Will be interesting to see how the story develops on monday when the attorneys of both sides start working again.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-08 20:18:26 and read 5716 times.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 30):
Quoting KL911 (Reply 24):
If it was my company I would do the same to and probably I would even sue those people telling lies and damaging the company.

The damage is minimal, if at all. And if there were reasons to tell stuff about your company then we jolly well shall be allowed to do so.

If this was my company, I would do everything possible to change company policy so that such issues never happen again. This company is acting like spoiled brats after they hear negative things about them.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2012-12-08 20:44:09 and read 5684 times.

I don't have anything against the airline under discussion, but online discussion forums are under freedom of speech. While the airline should have a right to have certain posts removed, where is the line drawn? It quickly becomes a slippery slope. Do we want all of our A vs. B discussions banned?

I tend to be pro the airline in question. But legitimate discussion must be allowed.

Quoting Plainplane (Reply 4):

Regardless of all the stuff always going on with them I always held a neutral opinion in the whole for/against the "you know what airline" arguments. Now this, officially makes me hates the "you know what" airline.

I don't hate... but I'm always going to side with freedom of speech. Oh, I'll call out a.net posts I find wrong, but that is my freedom of speech. (You won't find me demanding non-rude posts be removed.)

Quoting something (Reply 6):
It is all too understandable that Ryanair therefore, has a greater than average interest in having any negative press concerning their safety removed.

The question is now how legitimate Ryanair's request to have the particular news item on the avherald.com removed.

It is also a question of freedom of press and freedom of speech.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
If the comments were libelous, then of course they should be removed.

Where is the line drawn? I've seen enough comments here on a.net that would shut down the site. But posters tend to retort said comments. Sometimes the moderators must step in... but where is the line drawn on discussion?

There needs to be a means for legitimate 'whistleblowing' to occur. For every bit of real whistleblowing, there will be a number of posts that are disgruntled noise. That has to just be accepted.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 23):
FR relies on publicity for cheap marketing. Flashy and brash statements capture the imagination and it's talked about. In this instance, the talk will be quite negative.

Agreed. But they do not control the media. There needs to be some latitude for freedom of the press.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 30):
And if there were reasons to tell stuff about your company then we jolly well shall be allowed to do so.

Exactly. No company is perfect. This isn't North Korea where no criticism of the leadership is allowed.


Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2012-12-08 21:14:44 and read 5654 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 32):
Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
If the comments were libelous, then of course they should be removed.

Where is the line drawn? I've seen enough comments here on a.net that would shut down the site. But posters tend to retort said comments. Sometimes the moderators must step in... but where is the line drawn on discussion?

I don't know how you went from libelous comments to discussion using a quote from my post. Of course discussion should be protected free speech. Libelous comments are simply that, libelous. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-09 01:49:01 and read 5458 times.

All of FR's emails to the Aviation Herald can now be read in full there.
So we can all form our own opinion of the story...

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: mandala499
Posted 2012-12-09 02:15:10 and read 5396 times.

Quoting AR385 (Reply 29):
Oh come on Mandala499, be nice now.

Well, I have to side with Ryanair on this one...
It's not about Ryanair trying to impose censorship... it's only about asking to remove some defamatory comments.
And not surprisingly, it got twisted... and the way it got twisted is somehow, very very familiar...   

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 30):
I am greatly shocked to read such a statement from such a well respected user that's been around here for so long and normally offers quality contributions to the forum.

Feel free to read http://www.indoflyer.net/forum/fb.asp?m=567804 and form your own conclusion.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-09 02:34:21 and read 5330 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 35):
It's not about Ryanair trying to impose censorship... it's only about asking to remove some defamatory comments.

Well, FR only demanded the removal of comments for the first time, right after the Aviation Herald had refused to remove a fact-based story about an FR plane descending below minimum height... Anybody smelling fish?

Re censorship: There is a fine and fuzzy line between (attempted) censorship and the demand of deletion of comments unilaterally defined as "defamatory".

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: LJ
Posted 2012-12-09 02:35:29 and read 5333 times.

I wonder how stupid FR can be. The comments on AvHerald have much more content than the average news article about near crashes, yet FR choses to sue AvHerald. Or is FR going to sue any news outlet which contain comments which it doesn't like? I fos, it will have a lot to do the coming months.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 23):
FR relies on publicity for cheap marketing. Flashy and brash statements capture the imagination and it's talked about. In this instance, the talk will be quite negative.

However, what FR is currently doing doesn't help FRs image either. The media will make this a David vs Goliath story if it gets picked up by the news outlets, and this is usually not good for the Goliath in question. This doesn't mean that FR should accept everything, but is this worth the fight?

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-09 03:16:30 and read 5248 times.

Quoting enginebird (Reply 36):
However, what FR is currently doing doesn't help FRs image either. The media will make this a David vs Goliath story if it gets picked up by the news outlets, and this is usually not good for the Goliath in question

Exactly. The story is now on spiegel.de, and other news outlets have started to pick it up as well:
spiegel.de (sorry, in German only)

The headlines are a lot less factual than on the AvH, claiming a near crash, and the comments under the spiegel.de report are much worse and potentially "defamatory" than the AvH-comments FR wanted removed. What is FR going to do now, sue all of the news outlets quoting the report by the BFU (Germany's official authority for the investigation of aviation "accidents")?

Keep the popcorn handy...

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Stratofish
Posted 2012-12-09 04:23:26 and read 5145 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 35):
It's not about Ryanair trying to impose censorship... it's only about asking to remove some defamatory comments.

To me (and many others) they ARE trying to impose censorship. Also, by definition defamation is when someone actively publishes allegations that he or she knows are not true with the goal of harming someone else. I regard many of the comments made at the AvHerald as stupid but to ask the site to impose censorship because of that is ... trying to impose censorship and it smells very fishy.


Quoting mandala499 (Reply 35):
Feel free to read http://www.indoflyer.net/forum/fb.asp?m=567804 and form your own conclusion.

All I can read and understand is one harshly worded post by Simon where he complains about some script that forum uses. I can understand if you criticize the foul language but I don't really see the connection to this case.

It is okay to criticize, but trying to silence critical voices is simply not, regardless if the person in question is a nice fellow or is throwing a stink from time to time.

And although I don't like to say it: FR has survived so many "shitstorms", they will survive this one unharmed just as they did in the past  

EDIT:
Ok, so he threw a larger stink. Still, personal antipathy is not warrented in the current case and after all he didn't threaten to sue the forum.

[Edited 2012-12-09 04:33:20]

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: ltbewr
Posted 2012-12-09 04:57:27 and read 5077 times.

This is another example of a growing conflict of corporations and governments vs. people's need and right to know.

Corporations and governments are becoming more aggressive in going after the news and other media, including using civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions to prevent the disclosure of information that can be embarrassing or hurt financial deals, disclosure how much money executives make, environmental damage, dangers to the public. Over the last 2 years or so, we have seen 'wikileaks' pretty much put out of business for their uncensored disclosures that disclosed corporate and governmental secrets. Corporate owned media also is under financial pressures to not hurt the corpoartions that provide their revenues. Of course, some 'whistleblowing' can include information that may be out of context, incorrect, protected by attorney-client privilege, disclose proprietary information that can be used by competitors.

I am quite sure MOL didn't want this internal corporate information on this incident disclosed not only to protect his business, but also to make sure that the governmental airline safety agency involved does their job. It would be better for all to have those agencies reach their conclusions that would then be publicly released in their full context including possible errors of ATC, mechanical/electronic errors or others and the possibility that his pilots that were involved were not in the wrong.

Considering the huge number of flights of Ryanair, they are bound to have incidents. So far they have had an excellent safety record, far better than a number of large airlines around the world. There is the intense and polarizing opinions of many here at airliners.net, at AvHerald, uncensored social media sites and elsewhere of MOL and Ryanair as to their business practices that may encourage looking for any way to bash them and some to defend ultra cheap fares to not their individual benefits, and the general economic benefit allowing people to afford to travel.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: scarebus03
Posted 2012-12-09 09:35:47 and read 4872 times.

I know that the Airline in question has been targeting other websites in relation to what is posted by 'anonymous' users so there seems to be a campaign by the Airline internet wide particularly with respect to forums.
It appears to me that the Airline in question has a problem with its own policy with regards to employees posting on the internet. I agree with most of the above as said Airline is rising to new heights of paranoia.

Remember none of us are anonymous so be careful what you post.

Brgds

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: captainmeeerkat
Posted 2012-12-09 11:08:53 and read 4761 times.

Quoting LJ (Reply 37):
However, what FR is currently doing doesn't help FRs image either. The media will make this a David vs Goliath story if it gets picked up by the news outlets, and this is usually not good for the Goliath in question. This doesn't mean that FR should accept everything, but is this worth the fight?
Quoting enginebird (Reply 38):
Exactly.

My point exactly. This is negative press for them - it actually draws more attention to the incident that they are trying to keep a little bit more quiet.

As usual, the media will blow it way out of reality. An incident becomes a chaotic fight for survival - the German paper is already a fine example. This is not what FR needs. As mentioned above numerous times - they rely on a very good public safety record.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: YTZ
Posted 2012-12-09 11:21:18 and read 4732 times.

I sincerely hope this story gets picked up by the mainstream media.

Nothing against FR. I just don't like corporations trying to stifle freedom of speech.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: KL911
Posted 2012-12-09 11:27:15 and read 4711 times.

Quoting YTZ (Reply 43):
I sincerely hope this story gets picked up by the mainstream media.

Nothing against FR. I just don't like corporations trying to stifle freedom of speech.

It has nothing to with freedom of speech. On AvH are a few people who are deliberately telling lies and damaging FR doing so. This has been going on for quite a while. Since indeed a lot of people are reading that website it is the same as showing an add on TV damaging your competitor by telling lies about its safety.

Thinking about it, there are a few diehard FR haters here too, might be the same persons, who knows. Most of those have not even flown FR in the last 10 years but claim to know it all. I fly them about 30 to 40 times a year so I think my experience is more believable then that nonsense quoted at that website.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: captainmeeerkat
Posted 2012-12-09 11:34:34 and read 4685 times.

Quoting KL911 (Reply 44):
It has nothing to with freedom of speech. On AvH are a few people who are deliberately telling lies and damaging FR doing so. This has been going on for quite a while. Since indeed a lot of people are reading that website it is the same as showing an add on TV damaging your competitor by telling lies about its safety.

Thinking about it, there are a few diehard FR haters here too, might be the same persons, who knows. Most of those have not even flown FR in the last 10 years but claim to know it all. I fly them about 30 to 40 times a year so I think my experience is more believable then that nonsense quoted at that website.

What is has to do with is a company trying to murky the water by detracting attention from an obviously serious incident, themselves giving false information contrary to the safetly regulator (BFU). It's the kettle calling the pot black in this instance kl911

Indeed, many hate FR and have no reason to do so expect idle gossip that they hear or one horror story in every million passengers. However, the same company is now ruining its mainly good reputation because of silliness. Freedom of speech or not, why have FR decided now to wade into the negative criticism against FR? Answer me that! There have been one million idiotic and negative, damning and defamatory comments posted on 100s of websites. Why now? A diversion perhaps from a serious incident?

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-09 11:38:35 and read 4682 times.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 42):
My point exactly. This is negative press for them - it actually draws more attention to the incident that they are trying to keep a little bit more quiet.

It has now even been taken up by Tagesschau (Germany's "channel 1" today's news) and its website tagesschau.de, one of the if not *the* most most trusted German news outlets and some people there comment along the lines of "don't risk your life and fly with unsafe low cost airlines like FR...". Probably not exactly what FR wanted:
Tagesschau

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: art
Posted 2012-12-09 11:46:40 and read 4643 times.

I don't see why the name of a company threatening legal action should not be mentioned. If Ryanair is doing so against AvHerald, that is what is happening.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 21):
Factually inaccurate statements re: Ryanair safety will go straight to his bottom line.

Yes, if statements made purport to be factual but are not so and are defamatory, I think the generally agreed principle is that the organ enabling publication (ie AvHerald) and the author of the falsehood(s) are at fault.

I think you are at liberty to publish falsehoods eg let's suppose there is a sports car called the Imagine. Well, you can say it has fantastic brakes if it does not. You can't say it has dangerously bad brakes if it does not.

Having just looked at the AvHerald site in the link, I see at least one comment that I would imagine to be defamatory.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: mandala499
Posted 2012-12-09 11:56:17 and read 4621 times.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 39):
All I can read and understand is one harshly worded post by Simon where he complains about some script that forum uses. I can understand if you criticize the foul language but I don't really see the connection to this case.

He demanded that the script blocking access from no-referer access, be blocked, claiming that it is illegal. Shows his 'attitude'.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 39):
It is okay to criticize, but trying to silence critical voices is simply not, regardless if the person in question is a nice fellow or is throwing a stink from time to time.

Well, guess what, your hero has silenced criticism and also corrections to erroneous data.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 39):
Still, personal antipathy is not warrented in the current case and after all he didn't threaten to sue the forum.

He's playing the victim... no he didn't threaten to sue that forum, but he did make threats if I remember correctly, in private correspondence... and he did not "enjoy" his "private complaints" being aired, because he deemed it confidential... well, him writing what he did on his site, basically shows his double standards.

Quoting LJ (Reply 37):
The media will make this a David vs Goliath story if it gets picked up by the news outlets, and this is usually not good for the Goliath in question. This doesn't mean that FR should accept everything, but is this worth the fight?

LOL! Yeah, unfortunately... the case in question isn't really a David vs Goliath, more of "the Godfather vs the small time equivalent".

Mandala499

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Braniff747SP
Posted 2012-12-09 12:57:11 and read 4530 times.

What happened to O'Leary's all-publicity-is-good-publicity mantra?

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-12-09 13:16:11 and read 4491 times.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 49):
What happened to O'Leary's all-publicity-is-good-publicity mantra?

I don't think that's actually his mantra...it's just what we infer by watching what he does. But, in fairness, all his oddball comments are about how Ryanair wants to make their operations cheaper, which is their entire brand so that makes sense. Nobody, least of all O'Leary, has an interest in Ryanair being unsafe.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: art
Posted 2012-12-09 14:01:16 and read 4392 times.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 49):
What happened to O'Leary's all-publicity-is-good-publicity mantra?

This seems to be working in terms of publicity: Bild and Spiegel have a combined readership (I guess) of millions in Germany. I wonder if they will cite any of the material to which Ryanair objects, though.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-12-09 14:27:15 and read 4354 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 9):
I personally support Ryanair's request to ask for AvHerald to remove those 'unwarranted comments',

They're certainly within their rights to ask that the comments be removed. Suing when they're not is another matter.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 10):
I agree; the problem with the AH is that although it's an excellent resource, there's no registration necessary and anyone can use any name to post anything.

Which is pretty much standard for an internet forum, and it's expected that you should take anything you read on the internet that isn't from a bona fide source with a grain of salt (and that includes stuff on this forum).

Quoting KL911 (Reply 44):
On AvH are a few people who are deliberately telling lies and damaging FR doing so.

Prove it. Prove that they are deliberately telling lies, and prove that it's hurting FR. After all, you did say that normal pax don't read the website.

-Mir

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-09 14:47:28 and read 4290 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 52):
Prove it. Prove that they are deliberately telling lies, and prove that it's hurting FR. After all, you did say that normal pax don't read the website.

   If FR offered a better product, then these so-called "likes" would not exist. Plain and simple. FR's higher ups bring all of this on themselves.....

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2012-12-09 15:14:27 and read 4247 times.

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 53):
If FR offered a better product, then these so-called "likes" would not exist. Plain and simple.

Welcome to the internet, you must be new here. For every possible commercial entity you will find people that HATE them and are willing to spew unlimited volumes of vitriol in an internet forum regardless of truth. Improving FR's product wouldn't make the first bit of difference.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: RubberJungle
Posted 2012-12-09 15:39:12 and read 4211 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 52):
Prove it. Prove that they are deliberately telling lies, and prove that it's hurting FR.

This is where you have to be careful. Under UK libel law, an airline doesn't have to prove you're lying. You have to prove you're telling the truth. Nor does an airline need to prove it's being hurt. It only has to show that an average person would consider a statement potentially damaging.

Injured parties often choose to pursue libel cases in the UK precisely because the country has such strict libel laws.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2012-12-09 16:19:48 and read 4159 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 33):
Libelous comments are simply that, libelous. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

How is the line defined? That is what I ask. I didn't see the comments in question, so I do not know what was said.

Call a cigar a cigar, but do it in the comments and not the legal arena when it is only a comment.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-12-09 19:27:04 and read 4038 times.

Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 55):
This is where you have to be careful. Under UK libel law, an airline doesn't have to prove you're lying. You have to prove you're telling the truth. Nor does an airline need to prove it's being hurt. It only has to show that an average person would consider a statement potentially damaging.

And I could go into a huge rant about how UK libel laws are absolutely horrible and represent an assault on free speech that you'd expect from a 3rd world dictatorship instead of from a Western democracy. But that's not really relevant.

Also, since Ryanair is an Irish airline and AvHerald is (to my knowledge) not a British website, I'm not exactly sure how applicable UK libel laws would be.

-Mir

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-09 19:30:47 and read 4039 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 57):
Also, since Ryanair is an Irish airline and AvHerald is (to my knowledge) not a British website, I'm not exactly sure how applicable UK libel laws would be.

It's also dependent on where Simon's server is located. If he's using a domain-registry like GoDaddy, he, as far as I know through my experience, would have to abide by the US laws of slander/libel, which are few and far between.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AR385
Posted 2012-12-09 23:29:18 and read 3932 times.

Quoting Stratofish (Reply 30):
I am greatly shocked to read such a statement from such a well respected user that's been around here for so long and normally offers quality contributions to the forum.

He is a bully. His usual behavior, to the ones who have first hand knowledge of it is absolutely the same as what FR is doing to him now. Karma is out there, and it bites back.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 48):
Well, guess what, your hero has silenced criticism and also corrections to erroneous data.

Exactly.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 48):
He's playing the victim... no he didn't threaten to sue that forum, but he did make threats if I remember correctly, in private correspondence... and he did not "enjoy" his "private complaints" being aired, because he deemed it confidential... well, him writing what he did on his site, basically shows his double standards.

Agreed. He is certainly the definition of double standards. What is good for him does not apply when anybody else tries to apply the same rules to him.

Sure, what FR is doing is not right. But, I´m not shedding a tear for the guy. He´s no martyr and he won´t think twice about applying the same treatment to people he regards as violating his "rules" whatever those are.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2012-12-10 00:39:49 and read 3847 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
How is the line defined? That is what I ask.

Libel has a legal definition enforceable in courts of law. That's where the line is drawn. Unless you want to pay any possible judgments against you, of course.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: RubberJungle
Posted 2012-12-10 00:44:15 and read 3841 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 57):
Also, since Ryanair is an Irish airline and AvHerald is (to my knowledge) not a British website, I'm not exactly sure how applicable UK libel laws would be.

You'd be surprised how applicable they might be. Look up 'libel tourism' to find cases of foreign publications being sued through the UK system, even though their main readership is overseas. Ryanair is Irish, but does huge amounts of business from the UK.

But even under UK law you're perfectly entitled to write something which is true. There's nothing stopping you. It just means you have to think a little harder about what you're writing. If you think it's a dictatorship, I'll bet that you've never lived under a real dictatorship.

Seems to me that some of those demanding 'free speech' are actually demanding the right to gob-off without taking any responsibility. Which is a bit like defending 'freedom of expression' because you want to punch someone in the chops.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-10 01:34:44 and read 3772 times.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 48):
He demanded that the script blocking access from no-referer access, be blocked, claiming that it is illegal. Shows his 'attitude'.
Quoting AR385 (Reply 59):

Agreed. He is certainly the definition of double standards. What is good for him does not apply when anybody else tries to apply the same rules to him.

This is to both of you, even though I very much appreciate mandala499's assessments of incidents and accidents in his home region. I have no axe to grind with FR, do not fall into the category of disgruntled ex-employees and do not work for a competitor. I also do not know Simon, have never met him or communicated with him personally, have no idea whether he pays his taxes, how he treats his wife and kids, if he has wife and kids, and whether he likes to exceed the speed limit etc., and frankly, I do not care too much. You get the message.

This thread is not about how friendly a person Simon is, it is about the attempt to censor the Aviation Herald, the methods used and the strange coincidence that FR has tried this for the first time just after the AvH refused to remove a factual story about a serious incident involving an FR plane. The implications of this process could also be very relevant for airliners.net, where users regularly utter similar and potentially defamatory comments about FR, other airlines and aircraft manufactureres.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: art
Posted 2012-12-10 02:07:05 and read 3721 times.

Quoting enginebird (Reply 62):
This thread is not about how friendly a person Simon is, it is about the attempt to censor the Aviation Herald, the methods used and the strange coincidence that FR has tried this for the first time just after the AvH refused to remove a factual story about a serious incident involving an FR plane.

Perhaps it is not mentioned on the AvHerald site but I do not see any evidence of FR attempting to suppress the publication of a factual story. It quotes correspondence from an attorney representing FR in which the failure to remove comments published on the site would result in legal action on the grounds of defamation.

To me pressure to remove a factual story would be an attempt to censor AvHerald while pressure to remove allegedly defamatory comments is not an attempt to censor AvHerald.

Edit: On further reading I note that AvHerald was asked to remove the story and that the facts of the incident resulting in a go around reported by AvHerald around are not agreed by FR.

[Edited 2012-12-10 02:34:17]

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: Mir
Posted 2012-12-10 02:44:29 and read 3652 times.

Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 61):
Seems to me that some of those demanding 'free speech' are actually demanding the right to gob-off without taking any responsibility.

What I'd like is to be able to say something that I believe to be true, or that is an opinion of my own, without having to worry about being taken to court and waste time and money defending myself just because it irritates some particularly litigious company.

Most of the UK libel cases never see court - they settle beforehand because the accused party doesn't have the resources to defend themselves against the company's legal department. Thus, whether the statement is true or not is never established, and there's a chilling effect on someone else who might want to say the same things. I don't see how that's productive.

-Mir

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: enginebird
Posted 2012-12-10 04:21:22 and read 3556 times.

Quoting art (Reply 63):

Edit: On further reading I note that AvHerald was asked to remove the story and that the facts of the incident resulting in a go around reported by AvHerald around are not agreed by FR.

It is at least a strange coincidence, or no coincidence at all, that the demand to remove comments came very briefly after the unsuccessful request to remove a factual story based on a BFU report.

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: RubberJungle
Posted 2012-12-10 05:32:55 and read 3473 times.

Quoting Mir (Reply 64):
What I'd like is to be able to say something that I believe to be true, or that is an opinion of my own, without having to worry about being taken to court and waste time and money defending myself just because it irritates some particularly litigious company.

That's understandable. The trick to avoiding trouble is making sure you're able to stop your opinion from giving a false impression of fact.

[Edited 2012-12-10 05:40:23]

Topic: RE: Aviation Herald Under Legal Threat
Username: PHX787
Posted 2012-12-10 09:05:38 and read 3311 times.

He posted an update this morning (PHX morning)
http://avherald.com/h?article=45a1cb11&opt=0


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