Google v Dr Janice Duffy Appeal over Ripoff Report

Heard Before Justices Kourakis, Peek and Hinton: South Australian Supreme Court May 4-6 2016

This Appeal is the highest and most important decision with respect to Google in Common Law anywhere in the world.  It is not really about me! This is about clarifying the law. On one hand I wish this didn’t happen. But I guess it is better that I play this forward to avoid it happening to others.  Before the trial, Google used its resource disparity (a difference of about USD $200 billion) to try and crush me before the trial last year. In fact, it appears that key trial documents were timed to arrived on my doorstep less than 48 hours before the trial began).

Google’s own medical expert said that I only survived the trial because I was more resourcefull than most. He also reported to the court the impact of a self-represented litigant with no legal experience faced with a trial against the second most powerfull corporation in the world. Google tried to break me! I literally couldn’t get off the couch from exhaustion for three weeks after the trial. It was brutal and indeed, when I did manage to function, I had to write closing legal submissions. But Google lost!

One would have thought that Google would have left this case to rest in front of a single Justice in order to avoid setting a precedent in an Appellant Court. But I guess when a corporation has that much money the costs of trying to crush ordinary people to make them go away is negligible – well in financial terms, anyway. Luckily I have a brilliant legal team for the Appeal.

The Defendant has shifted tactics from “she did it” to “she caused it and therefore deserved it”. Why? Because the Justices expressed an interest in clarifying the law on the defence of Qualified Privilege as it pertains to Google. According to the SA Law Handbook:

The defence of qualified privilege allows free communication in certain relationships without the risk of an action for defamation – generally where the person communicating the statement has a legal, moral or social duty to make it and the recipient has a corresponding interest in receiving it. Giving a reference for a job applicant, answering police inquiries, communications between teachers and parents, local councillors, officers of companies, employers and employees, or traders and credit agencies, are all relationships that are protected by qualified privilege. However, the privileged communication must relate to the business at hand – the relationship cannot be abused for the purpose of relaying gossip.

A person who is acting in defence of her or his reputation can claim qualified privilege, as long as what is said is relevant to that defence. It is also available even if what was said was untrue, as long as the required relationship exists. However, qualified privilege is not a licence to say untruths. People making statements must believe that what they say is true.

The defence of qualified privilege cannot be used if it can be proved that the defamation was motivated by malice – for discussion on malice see fair comment.

Government and political matters are proper subjects for public discussion and such discussion is covered by the defence of qualified privilege. To maintain the defence of qualified privilege for such publications the publication must not be motivated by malice and in determining whether there is malice in these cases the court will consider whether the publisher has acted reasonably. The publisher will have to satisfy the court that it has taken proper steps to verify the accuracy of the material and did not believe the material to be untrue and further the publisher’s conduct will not be reasonable unless the publisher has sought a response from the person the subject of the publication and has published any response unless it was not practical or it was unnecessary to do so.

In order for the defence to apply, the party making an otherwise defamatory statement must be subject to a duty to make the statement, and the statement must be made to a party bearing a corresponding interest in receiving the information. Examples of circumstances in which the defence may apply include where an employer prepares a character reference for a former employee, or where a corporation makes disclosures required by a government body, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Where such communications are defamatory in nature, the employer or corporate defendant may be absolved of liability by arguing the defence of qualified privilege.


The Justices have granted both parties further submissions of 20 pages.  I have brilliant lawyers representing me in the Appeal which is great because I ran out of the court in tears on Friday. I am so over these bastards trying to hang me in the court! Apparently I am a BAD person who brought it all on myself and dragged poor Google into because I should not inflict the bother an expense on them to preserve my human rights!

But here’s the thing:

  • Ripoff Report is a Google enabled stand over racket run by a disgusting money hungry sociopath named Ed Magedson who leverages Google’s page rank to extort business and individuals all over the world. Don’t believe that Ed Magedson is less than honest?Think that calling Ed Magedson a money hungry sociopath is a bit rough?  This is a guy who used to return used printer cartridges for refunds. So tacky! Read ALL about it here:
  • Google puts the advertisements of its largest advertising clients on the sickest content on ripoff Report. Don’t believe me? Read about it here.

I fight on!

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