Tuesday, June 12, 2007

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT, JUST FOR THE RECORD

(Originally posted June 11; while as this is a going concern it seems fitting to keep it at the top of the queue. I ask that people not be too rough on the plaintiff here, since I hold no ill-will toward him.)

FYI for everyone on this beautiful Monday: I have been served with court papers stating a certain brewery president and CEO whom you might have seen on Canadian television is suing me for libel -- to the tune of $2 million Cdn.

Since it's now on the public record, I have to say my position is any libel issues pertaining to Out of Left Field and Frank D'Angelo were adequately addressed several weeks ago. It's regrettable it's come to this point, but the choice is to fight for what's right, namely the right to free speech as it relates to the written word on the web. I'm confident that there's a way reasonable people can work this out, and I am a reasonable person.

If anyone is interested in offering legal advice, help or good old-fashioned moral support, you know where to find me.

Sincerely,


Neate Sager
Ottawa, Ont.
June 11, 2007

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to neatesager@yahoo.ca.

72 comments:

Pete Toms said...

Good luck Naete, I'm behind you and OOLF 100%.

Steve said...

Good luck, mate--and here I was thinking the States was the only place where frivolous lawsuits were filed...

Steve

New reality said...

Neate, I also am fully behind you. As a fellow journalist and a blogger, this fight isn't just about you and your right to an opinion, but goes to the very heart of the new age of journalism.
I'm certain you have the support from all of us that know what you are going through.
That, and I think this is just a blatant attempt to silence critics and get free publicity...

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The Globe's magazine article about the cheetah was no less critical than any of your posts so why doesn't he take them on? his bullying tactics with you are ridiculous. I for one would be happy never to see him on TV again.
Good luck with your fight!

Anonymous said...

I support your freedom of speech, but you should put it to better use than this chest-thumping nonsense.

Anonymous said...
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Tao of Stieb said...

Stay strong, Neate-Man.

This too shall pass.

And just remember that there is a very special place in Hell in for, you know...SOME people.

Herb Tarlek said...
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Anonymous said...
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Dan R. said...

I am now member #132 of that Facebook group.

Stay strong, Neate.

Paul said...

Ive never even heard of this site or this ceo person until it was posted on the toronto stars website. He was worried about his reputation based on this webpage? Well smart move to file a lawsuit and draw even more attention to himself. I don' know whats said about him but i think he's a douche bag already just for whining about it and making it a legal issue. I hope his lawsuit goes down in flames.

rosco said...
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Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech. Enough said.

Darren McEwen said...

This is PATHETIC!

I'll never buy one of his beers because of this. I can't stand his ad campaigns and his attempt to slap his name on anything and everything.

There's branding and then there's desperate branding and Frank seems to know the later too well.

I think Maclean's should cover your story to expose to Canadians what this man is up to. Sure he'd get attention but in a very negative way.

Anonymous said...

Um, 'libel' is not 'freedom of speech' Mr. "Nuff Said". You can't yell "fire" in a theater or publish hate comments against a racial group... nuff said?

I don't like D'Angelo either, but I like even less people who disregard the consequences of what they write. It's called journalistic responsibility. There's laws that protect against those who slander and libel, as some have discovered the hard way. That's when the tough talk ends, and the big talker tries to appease, backpeddle and apologize without losing face or appearing too much like the pant-soiling chickenschitt he has been reduced to.

Anonymous said...

That would have been a lot more inspiring if you'd signed your name to it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not looking to inspire anyone. I'm also not looking to kick Sager when he's down, but I have a real beef with people who think they can write anything with impunity. That ultimately degrades the effectiveness of journalism in general. It's all fun and games until it happens to you. When you've had enough and you hit back (with the law on your side, and after a few warnings), it's only then that people stop and think about what they're doing. Too late ... those people made their beds and now they have to sleep in 'em.

sager said...

Just for the record, Guy Who Won't Sign His Name, we've received legal advice and know that we're on very safe ground.

Anything I've written is a far cry from yelling "fire" in a theater or publishing hate comments against a racial group. Got that?

Anonymous said...

I've drank my last Steelback. Can we say publicity stunt?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Awww...get a spine, Frank. What a poor sport. Maybe he should drown his pathetic sorrow in a pint of beer. No wonder courts are backlogged with ridiculous lawsuits. Suing because of a bruised ego? Sounds like the guy has too much money to waste.

Anonymous said...
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Steve said...

Best of luck against this attention craving tool.

C.J. Henderson said...

Ummm...yeah, what Rosco said. Additionally, my opinion is that Mr. Frank is rather self-important. He seems, in his commercials, to be an incapable child that is using money to play hockey with the real athletes. I think he should stick to his beer and his office and stop trying to become a Canadian folk hero.
Personally, I've never purchased any of his products strictly because I find his self-promotion so irritating.
Steve Jobs he is NOT!

Go. Fight. I applaud you Mr. Sager.

Anonymous said...
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Zeke's, the Montreal Art Gallery said...

Howdy!

Good luck, I hope your works out better than mine...

Anonymous said...

I was told days prior to this article being printed in the Globe (http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061217.wsptpens17/GSStory/GlobeSportsHockey/home) to watch for a bogus story in which it would be floated that FD was interested in buying the Penguins.

I was told that it was a publicity stunt, intended to make him look like a real playah. I was told that he had no intention of purchasing the team.

I have no clue what is or isn't true, but these stories were definitely making the rounds in advance of the Globe story.

I wonder if Marty York has his libel insurance paid up for when he quoted "a CFL source" saying that D'Angelo "lacks the kind of professionalism" they're looking for in a team owner? (http://www.metronews.ca/column.aspx?id=10560)

Dennis Prouse said...

Nice to see that Frank and some of his minions are weighing in here. Interesting how in 28 comments here, not one of Frank's employees or supporters has had the stones to put their own name to their comments. OTOH, many who support Neate have put their names to their comments, despite the risk of being sued. There's a message there somewhere should Frank wish to see it.

I wonder if someone has told Frank that it is generally a bad business strategy to be seen as a litigious bully? When you get the rep of being lawsuit-happy, you become radioactive - no one wants to have anything to do with you, lest they wind up with a process server at their door.

This lawsuit is, in my view, beyond ridiculous, and would be dismissed very quickly by a judge. It will never get that far, of course, as Frank's only goal here is to use his economic muscle to slap Neate around a bit and stop him from saying mean things about him. How completely lame. In launching this ill-considered lawsuit, Frank D'Angelo has done far more to change people's perception of him than this blog ever could.

Bethany said...

Good luck buddy...I'm pretty sure everyone in the blog-o-sphere is behind you 100%

sager said...

OK, I appreciate the support, but I really can't have people coming on here to slag you-know-who. It's not cool, so a couple of comments are going to have to come down, I'm sorry.

Nick T said...

What ever happened to freedom of speech? Or being entitled to your own opinion? I'm not a big fan of belittling others , but your opinion is your opinion (although admittedly I haven't read much of your blog, I heard of this story on CTV.ca). Sounds a bit like a certain someone can't take crticism, or that someone may not have a favorable opinion of him (that probably many many MANY people have). Sounds like a get-rich-quick-to-save-my-horrid-beer scheme...

Ben said...

I've never drank Steelback before, and I will continue that trend indefinitely, now with good reason.

Michelle said...

Sager, I can appreciate your opinion that "slagging" the unmentionable one isn't cool, but having an unflattering opinion on marketing tactics isn't so much "slagging" as it is freely expressing an opinion about the WORST marketing campaign of the decade.

sager said...

Michelle,

Some of the comments up here did include some name-calling with respect to Mr. D'Angelo. As you can understand, it doesn't help the situation greatly.

PPP said...

Good luck Neate although I doubt you need it. Just one more publicity stunt. Will this be exhibit # 1 in your defence?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Although its been posted numerous times, I echo the comments on the annoying self-promotion of D'Angelo. Funny side story: He pays good hockey players to be part of his men's league team so they can win.....and although they completely dominate every game they barely win because he's such a brutal goalie. He's still just a nerdy kid wishing he was part of the 'cool' group.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments being publicly posted here are only compounding the plaintiff's statement of claim. A wise man would disable this comment section ASAP.... before it causes any further damage to the defendant

Anonymous said...

I for one have had enough of this guy.
I read that his sugar Daddy is Dr. Barry Sherman from the drug company Apotex. I urge everyone to do what I am going to do and call/write/e-mail Dr. Sherman at Apotex and tell him to get rid of this guy or the Apotex boycott will be next.

Tiverton Bare said...
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sager said...

ix-nay on the ouchebag-day

Road Apples said...

Mr. Sager - on behalf of everyone in the online world, best of luck fighting this absurd legal claim. Can't even imagine the precedent this would set for someone like Gary Bettman...

-rob

rosco said...

(edited to remove a sentence or two)

i am continually disappointed in Frank D'Angelo as a "canadian business icon". his marketing campaigns reek of desperation, his sports and entertainment kingpin persona smacks of narcissism without overdraft protection. worse still, his beer isn't very good. i don't know what he adds to the Canadian or international landscape. i mean, at least, Paris Hilton gets naked from time to time.

slander and libel is definitely an area of Canadian law that is in dire need of revision; unfortunately it is a tool for those who have money but lack the ability to take criticism.

if Frank is going to continually put himself out there as a public figure with his efforts to buy sports teams and his advertising campaigns involving morally questionable athletes, he should be a subject of robust discussion that includes facts and opinions; shutting this forum down and silencing fair and honest opinions on an issue of public importance is a blunt and overreaching tactic. (sorry, i have always been a fan of Dickson's judgment in Cherneskey.)

good luck to you, Neate.

Clarence Darrow said...

Re: freedom of speech retrictions...the example given was yelling "fire" in a theatre when there was none.

That is not applicable to libel law. In libel law first the so called victim must prove concrete damage...second he cannot get around the legal axiom that charter freedom of expression rights allow one to say uncomplimentary things if:

A) they are true
B) The alliterator believes them to be true.

Ferinstance: I can say, in public and on the media that I think Farank D'Angelo is a douchebag if;

I belive this to be true or

if it is self evident.

All I am doing is repeating the truth as I know it....this is not libel.

If Frank's being called a douchebag causes him damage, and it is a fact that he IS a douchebag the court tends to see his damages as a result of him being a douchebag and not someone calling attention to the fact.

He has no legal grounds for a suit and if it gets to litigation he will be revealed to be a douchebag under oath.

So Frank; FUGEDDABOUDIT!

FAUXRUMORS said...

1) If the judge doesn't throw out this suit it will send a chill around the free world!
2) Any time a blogger or ay journalist might write something that another doesn't agree/like they will sue citing/ alleging that the blogger damaged their reputation with their remarks.
3) What's especially disconcerting is this is a free blog, not a pay site or widely distributed newspaper/electronic media outlet!

JS said...

Best of luck... would like to see the "little guy" emerge victorious!

chris said...

Neate - good luck. I'm sure this will work out for you. Keep your composure.

The damage this guy is doing to his brands (and his reputation) will be more than $2 million (even if it is in Canadian funds).

Take care.

DCScrap said...

I wish you nothing but the best Neate. Keep me posted.

Tara said...

bless your heart. this is utterly ridiculous. you'll get through this, i know.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:57: re: Frank D'Sieve

You forgot to mention that this Cujo wanna-be regularly yells and screams at former NHL defencemen... on the ice!... blaming them for making him look bad. This is especially humorous when he loses it on his teammates after a softie goal from centre ice.

Anyone who's seen him in net must wet themselves laughing when that Steelback commercial comes on and Frankie stones the guy on three breakaways. God knows how many takes that took?

Can you get sued for saying a guy couldn't stop a beach ball?

Jeeves said...

Don't know if you're going to read down this far and/or if you have all your legal affairs already taken care of, but Tucker Max of Tuckermax.com faced a libel case stemming from his blog. I don't have any personal numbers of his but maybe you can track him down and consult him.

Cheers,
Jeeves

aquietgirl said...

Neate, good luck. We're behind you.

DCSportsChick said...

You know what I think. I came out of hiding and am composing a blog post right now, just for you!

Doogie said...

Just another voice of support here.

Doberman Demeanor said...

Good luck to you.

And it is very, very difficult to prove libel in a court, at least in the States. Not sure if it's different in Canada, but I don't imagine it is.

I'd at least think of a counter-suit if I were you. Then again, you are getting a lot of publicity.

Best of luck to you. I am confident in your ultimate victory.

David said...

Neate, this is awesome - good luck fighting this garbage.

Chris said...

This reminds me of how just last week, someone in Toronto was fired for slamming his employer on facebook: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/Page/document/video/vs?id=RTGAM.20070606.wv_gtfacebookfiring

Great video to watch and understand that people do have the right to say what they want, how they want, however that they need to be responsible in what they say and that have to be ready to face the consequences of saying those things.

People have to realize that the Internet provides a false sense of protection, or a false blanket of security, when it comes to posting on the Internet one's opinions about someone else.

I'm not for or against what's happening here, just trying to get everyone to realize both sides here.

sager said...

I don't see how that's relevant in the slightest to what's happening here. Of course, I'm the one who's had two sleepless nights in the past week.

Marc Foster said...

Neate, if ouchbag-day is out, what about edia-may ore-whay? I believe he fits that category under definition 1-1...

Hang in there bro...

Anonymous said...

your getting what you deserve

Anonymous said...

The problem with all of you who seem to think that this is just part of what you get when you write on the internet is that you're assuming that Neate wrote something defamatory, something that is, at best, up in the air here.

Maginot Line said...

anonymous said:
Some of the comments being publicly posted here are only compounding the plaintiff's statement of claim. A wise man would disable this comment section ASAP.... before it causes any further damage to the defendant

The biggest harm being done is by the plaintiff and his cohorts - like not following online norms and policies, and trying to subvert the medium (by, for example, using a fake or "anonymous" identities when responding to online criticism).

Aside from the poor form and etiquette issues outlined above, the thing that really compounds the plaintiff's concern with online defamation of character and libel is that not a single person took the time to warn him on avoiding the Streisand Effect

If attention is what the plaintiff was seeking with this frivolous lawsuit, he will most certainly get it. Though I'm not sure its the kind of online attention any sane individual seeks.

AUS911 said...

Anyone who self promotes himself to the extent D'Angelo does, and attempts to rebuild celebrity status in someone who was a proven cheat on the world's highest sporting stage, surely should expect that there will be someone somewhere who has a dig back.

Let's be realistic here. If D'Angelo was serious about protecting his reputation, he would not be chasing $2 mill, it would be more like a quarter, or some belly button lint.

Anonymous said...

Can someone take Frank away in a WAMBULANCE?

MDT said...

Keep the faith, bro. Don't let Frankie push you around. Behind you 100%.

Pattington said...

This has been mentioned already before, but if one were true to their convictions, they would nut up (so to speak), and sign their name. For Mr. or Mrs. "you are getting what you deserve," enlighten us with why you think that. Then, those of us with the knowledge and courage to support our good friend Neate, will rebuff your claims with fact and precedence.

Neate, appreciate your fight and kind words. You know where to find me if needed.

peace

Anonymous said...

Neate,

They always say Karma will get you... today Sun Media is reporting that D'Angelo has been charged with Sexual assault on a 21 yr old female.

You are the last thing he has to worry about now.

Anonymous said...

Come see the man play tomorrow at Chesswood Rink 1 at 9:30. He'll love the attention. FRANKIE... FRANKIE... FRANKIE!!

Anonymous said...

Its time to boycott all of the products produced by that company.

And with everything happening now, one doubts the CEO title will last much longer.

Anonymous said...
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