Internet Mudslinging Ruled Not Illegal

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Internet Mudslinging Ruled Not Illegal

The Seoul District Court has ruled that the establishment of 'anti-sites' that report complaints about and damage caused by big corporations on an Internet homepage is not illegal.

The court dismissed S Corporation's request for a provisional ban against a website created by a Mr. Lee. Lee, 40, ran a homepage which expressed disparaging opinions of apartments built by S Corporation. The company demanded that the report be removed from the homepage.

The judge's verdict read, "I agree that Mr. Lee repeatedly criticized and put the S Corporation in an awkward position; but all citizens have the right to freely express their opinions and thoughts."

The verdict went on, "We cannot simply ban those activities, like posting the wrongdoings of big companies, which stimulate free exchanges of information between netizens."

Mr. Lee bought an apartment from S Corporation in 1993. He requested reparations when the front door, walls and ceiling of his living room kept getting damp. The company, however, refused to grant compensation and agreed only to repair the damages. Mr. Lee subsequently created the homepage in order to censure the company last February.

by Choi Hyun-chul

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