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Removing Business From a Website

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McDuff View Drop Down
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Joined: 13/February/2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
  Quote McDuff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Removing Business From a Website
    Posted: 13/February/2012 at 20:45
Hi,

Is it possible for a business to take action against a website which has added your business name and allows user submitted 'reviews' on that website? My example is that of urbanspoon.com.au, which allows users to review and add restaurants to their website without the consent of the business owner. Is defamation or any other law relevant in this instance, and if so, can they be sent a cease and desist notice or something to that effect?

Thanks for your help!

AsiaOilDude View Drop Down
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Joined: 17/February/2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2495
  Quote AsiaOilDude Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/February/2012 at 21:16
I suspect these websites follow a US model. In the US free speech is universal, in Australia it is not and I believe you could put together a case for defamation.
Not legal advice. Personal opinion only. Seek legal advice from qualified personnel only.

MickOne View Drop Down
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Joined: 29/November/2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 283
  Quote MickOne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/February/2012 at 22:11
Yes but in a narrow set of circumstances, vis-a-vis Tripadvisor and it's claims that all reviews were from travelers.

Is this a real issue or a hypothetical?

odd View Drop Down
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Joined: 06/December/2011
Location: Australia
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  Quote odd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/February/2012 at 22:30
A 'respected' food critic for a major newspaper was successfully sued for defamation in Australia. My understanding is if you 'approve' the comments your liable, but if the users can upload their opinions 'unapproved' by the sites administrators you may not be liable for the post, but may be liable once it has been drawn to your attention. Overall... very murky waters. My opinion only.
This is not legal advice!

MartinO View Drop Down
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Joined: 02/March/2009
Location: Australia
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  Quote MartinO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13/February/2012 at 23:54
An added problem comes about when the server for the site is located outside Australia. The question of jurisdiction then becomes relevant in any court case. It could prove an expensive matter to first prove that the court had jurisdiction, before the case even starts. Assuming it does start.
I am NOT a lawyer. Anything said is NOT legal advice.

Please post your legal questions in a forum rather than sending a PM. Thanks.

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