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Starnet Faces Jurisdictional Obstacle

19 August 1999

By Meredith Cooper
Starnet Communications has filed a defamation lawsuit against Las Vegas Casino, Inc., but the likelihood of stopping the company from publishing what Starnet considers to be false statements on the Web is slim.

Earlier this month, Starnet filed suit with the Vancouver Registry of the Supreme Court of British Columbia against Las Vegas Casino, Claude Levy (the company's proprietor) and Levy's online publication, Gambling Magazine, for publishing reputation-damaging statements about Starnet. The company is also seeking a court order restraining the defendants from further writing or posting on the Internet or otherwise publishing defamatory statements. The statements, however, appear on Gambling Magazine, located at www.gamblingmagazine.com, which uses an ISP in London. The magazine dedicates an entire section to "Starnet's Huge Problems."

The question is whether or not the Canadian court has jurisdiction over a London-based ISP. There have been cases in the past where one country has filed suit against an ISP in another country - usually regarding sites that offer services that are illegal in a given area. In the Starnet case, however, there is little Canada can do to stop the London ISP from publishing the questionable page.

"Unless the country in which the ISP is located chooses to enforce the suit, there is nothing that prevents that ISP from publishing a site," said Margaret Stewart, a professor at the Chicago Kent School of Law.

"There was a Canadian case where the court refused to do that (file suit against a London-based ISP)," Stewart said. "Because it gets down to trying to convince the British courts to enforce a Canadian court decision. And you have a bunch of lower courts all over the place."

For now, Starnet will have to keep its head up and remain in a damage control mode. Shortly after filing the lawsuit, the company issued a press release stating that it will pursue legal action against anyone who "posts blatantly false defamatory statements that could potentially damage the credibility of our companies.'

Starnet declined to comment on the likelihood of putting a stop to Gambling Magazine's statements.

Starnet Faces Jurisdictional Obstacle is republished from iGamingNews.com.
 

Responsible Jewelry

13 August 1999
Participating in the ongoing battle against problem gambling is a necessary task for all gaming-related businesses, and new ways of fighting the beast are constantly on the burner. The latest swipe comes from a couple of Canadian companies and it comes in the form of a bracelet that's meant to keep its wearers away from electronic slot machines and VLTs. ... (read more)
 

Opportunities in Dominica

10 August 1999
The Commonwealth of Dominica markets itself as an offshore haven with flexible legislation and tax-free income, hoping to bring international investors. Operating an Internet gaming site is among the opportunities Dominica offers, and to make things easier for prospective licensees, the Ministry of Finance has launched a new informative website. ... (read more)
 

Ladies and Gentlemen… The Doors

8 August 1999
If "content is king," online gambling portals are wearing the crown. Offering free e-mail, chats, gambling news, links to online gaming sites and more, these portals are opening a whole new door to the world of Internet gambling. Companies such as Boss Media AB, Inland Entertainment, Intersphere Communications Ltd., Global Entertainment Holdings/Equities, Inc. ... (read more)