Forums > Queen - Serious Discussion > Calling all lawyers

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Mr. Scully user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 03:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

As most of you know, I have a certain site that deals with Queen autographs, especially fakes - www.QueenAutographs.com. Now I've been getting A LOT of threats from dealers of fake autographs recently. They want to sue me, to cut my legs off, to force ebay close my account etc. etc. Could any lawyer browse my site thoroughly and let me know if there's anything illegal there? I tried to write all accusations as "my opinion only" but I may have overlooked something. Thanks in advance.

(Btw. it seems like "my lawyer will call you" is a common sentence in the USA, something like "how are you" in other countries... :-)

Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 04:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You've used images of their fakes without their kind permissions! ;) You should write to Brian about that - he seems to be against of the selling autographs' business.

Mr. Scully user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 05:16 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I can't write to Brian if I claim on my site that the fan club faked autographs :-) Without any doubt Brian would support the fan club, not me...

Serry... user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 05:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Just show him tickets to WWRY with his fake autographs - and he's yours :)

Put everywhere on the site something like "Webmaster makes no fortune out of recognizing fake and real autographs, everything written on this site is personal opinion of webmaster, final judgement about authenticity can be stand only by musicians themselves or the court, bla-bla-bla" - you wrote about it in other words though... Remove word "fake" - name them "suspicious"... I don't know... I just help this thread to stay on the top in the Serious forum :) I'm not sure if someone can (and will) sue for the such things.

onevsion user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 06:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hmmm.... interesting... law student here... not (yet) a lawyer though) :-)

My first thougts would be that I really don't think you have to worry about the threats of autograph dealers. THEY actually are the ones who should worry.. (committing fraude by selling fake autographs)

BUT...on the otherhand... If I where them I would defend myself by saying that it is contumely (dunno if that's the correct word... in The Netherlands it's called "smaad" ) that you are accusing the dealers of committing fraude (by putting their ads marked as fake on your website and naming their names in the "hall of shame" gallery)

The question here is not who is doing the correct thing (cause we all know YOU are) but which rights prevail. OK, you have freedom of speech, but does that freedom of speech also mean you have the right to accuse the autograph dealers of selling fakes, committing fraude if you like, (regardless wether you are telling the truth or not) OR is that contumely behaviour?

I'm really not an expert on these kinda things, but I think putting a disclaimer on the website could be a thing to consider. ("this site is for informational purposes only, expressing my opinions....blablabla..") Something like the text you already did put online:

"My only goal is to help you recognize genuine signed Queen items from fakes. I don't sell autographs, I'm not a dealer, I have no profit from this website (the google ads help to pay for the web hosting). I'm just an angry Queen fan who is disgusted by the amount of fakes that are for sale on various sites, especially on eBay. I want to persuade you to ignore any certificates, I want to show you differences between genuine and fake autographs, I want to get rid of all the dealers of fake signatures!"

Hope it is of any help. Good luck with your websites. I think you are doing an excellent job!




pittrek user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 06:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Martine, pritelska rada : Fuck 'em all !
You are doing NOTHING againts czech laws and NOTHING againts international treaties - at least with the autograph website :-)

Mr. Scully user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 06:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for your post, Ducksoup.

Indeed, I will put a disclaimer in the bottom to make sure everybody understands what it's all about. I know accusing them of faking is not 100% legal but saying "I think this one is fake" should be OK even in the USA :-)

One guy (who wrote me about "cutting your fucking balls off) also claims to be a friend of Roger... nice friends this Roger has :-)

pittrek - taky se prilis neobavam, ze by na me Interpol vyhlasil zatykac kvuli takovehle picovine :-)

Gr8 King Rat user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 08:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr. Scully...i have a question. How long have you been a collector of Queen autographs?

Mr. Scully user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 08:57 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm not a collector of Queen autographs, I have only those I've got personally :-) But I've been "studying" Queen autographs for the past 7 years or so.

Benn user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 10:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr. Scully,

You may be better off just having a section of the site that is titles "What I Believe To Be Fake Signatures". You can then upload images and add web links, but don't put up any captions or commentary against any of them. This way, you are not *directly* accusing them of anything, but the inferance is there for anyone that cares to look.

Then, in another section of your site, you couls have a "Genuine Signatures" section and then go to town explaining the difference between the real and the fake, but not making actual reference to the other section.

Anyone then can make a comparison IF THEY CHOOSE, but the crucial thing is that you have not named or accused anyone directly. It *could* be argued that you are slandering specific dealers, but if they are hiding behind a pseudonym, they really can't complain.


Benn
Erin user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 10:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Well, somebody needs to call those assholes out on ebay. It's obvious that ebay doesn't care whether or not the signatures are fakes. I've tried reporting fakes before to no avail.

bigV user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 10:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Martin, would you be interested in a scan of an autograph by Roger on a Bulgarian flag. I think you saw it in Budapest. It's unusual (I think!), because Roger drew a smiley face next to his signature.

V.



I'm as mad as HELL, and I'm not going to take this anymore!

bigV user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 10:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sorry, when I posted the above message I hadn't noticed the "Your signed items" section. When I get it scanned I'll post it :)

V.



I'm as mad as HELL, and I'm not going to take this anymore!

Gr8 King Rat user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 11:51 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I had someone call and threaten me once after I called him out on a few of his fake sigs. He was selling a lot of fake stuff, mostly Queen. I believe his ebay ID was mcdode, or something like that. He lives in Long Beach CA.

Penetration_Guru user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 14:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ah, Americans - they think they can sue people in Europe.

If anyone actually managed to sue yous you, just let them know that Brian May, Roger Taylor & John Deacon will be called as witnesses...

YourValentine user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 16:21 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I would not be too worried about law suits. Mainly when people who announce they will file charges are unable to write a single correct sentence. If you get threats I recommend to forward them to abuse@theprovider because you do not have to take this from people who make money from fakes. It's not really a surprise that they try to "strike back" but I would think you are not doing anything illegal.


I do not want any google ads here.

Mr Faron Hyte user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 19:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Mr. Scully wrote:

Indeed, I will put a disclaimer in the bottom to make sure everybody understands what it's all about. I know accusing them of faking is not 100% legal but saying "I think this one is fake" should be OK even in the USA :-)

One guy (who wrote me about "cutting your fucking balls off) also claims to be a friend of Roger... nice friends this Roger has :-)


You might want to point out to people like that, that making threats of physical harm via the internet is a crime - at least in the U.S. of A. - and that they should expect a call from your lawyer :-)

Sebastian user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 21:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The only risk I see is if you mistakenly label "fake" an authentic autograph, in which case you'd be committing tort (libel, to be more precise). But as long as you're absolutely sure...


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
Mr Faron Hyte user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 23:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

There's a significant difference though - he can state that, in his opinion, an autograph someone is selling is not authentic without libeling the seller if he does not go so far as to allege that the seller is knowingly attempting to pass off a known forgery as the genuine article to an innocent buyer i.e. attempting to knowingly perpetrate a fraud. He can just say "based on reasons x, y, and z, I don't think Seller Smith's autograph is genuine" and leave it to his readers to reach their own conclusions about the seller's intent.

Saif user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 14 Feb 07, 23:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Penetration_Guru wrote:

Ah, Americans - they think they can sue people in Europe.

If anyone actually managed to sue yous you, just let them know that Brian May, Roger Taylor & John Deacon will be called as witnesses...

You have to pay the witnesses in WWRY tickets. That's their internal currency.


"only way to really know what the hell we are doing on this earth is through sacred plants and mushrooms." - Treasure Moment