METROPOLITAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS LIMITED (T/A SKILLSTRAIN and/or TRAIN2GAME) v DESIGNTECHNICA CORPORATION (T/A DIGITAL TRENDS)

This case concerns defamatory statements made within web forums about the claimant. It has been discussed before, as the claimant originally claimed against Google as well as the company hosting the forums. That element of the claim was dismissed as Google was not responsible for the comments complained of, so this element of the case relates to just the claim against Digital Trends. It was apparent from their content that many of the comments were made from the UK, although Digital Trends were based outside the jurisdiction. The claimant informed Digital Trends about the comments made on the forum, but Digital Trends declined to remove them. That has been the extent of the response to this case, as the company has not responded to the service of the writ in any formal way (other than the later removal of the content). Given that the defendant company entered no defence, the claimant won and was awarded damages of £50,000. This is apparently the highest recent award to a corporate claimant. The interesting question is, how is the claimant going to get its money? The defendant is incorporated in Oregon in the USA and the US is notoriously unsympathetic to the English approach in this area.

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