Friday, October 18

Paintball operators suing Facebook for RM4 mln


KOTA KINABALU: Two paintball games operators filed a civil suit at the High Court here yesterday against Facebook Inc and another paintball games operator is seeking RM4 million in damages for defamation over an article published on the Internet last month.

SUING FACEBOOK: Andrew (right) and Adrian (left) with their counsel Marcel outside the court.

Andrew Koh, 34, and Adrian Boon @ Adrian O’Brien, 29, who run their business at KK Times Square here and also conduct paintball matches in an outdoor venue known as Area 21 located in Penampang, filed the suit at the High Court’s registry through their counsel Marcel Jude, naming the Facebook Inc, and Aaron Miguel, the operator of KK Pinball Centre in Penampang as the first and second defendants respectively.

The plaintiffs, who have been operating the sport for commercial purposes since 2008, are seeking RM3 million for compensatory damages and RM1 million for punitive damages from the two defendants.

The duo are also seeking a mandatory injunction to restrain the defendants from defaming them on the world wide web and further to remove the offending articles from Facebook, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

In their statement of claim, they said that the offending article entitled “Bila kemenangan lebih penting dari maruah” developed and published by the second defendant on the Facebook on Oct 31, was defamatory as the defendants meant and was understood to mean that the plaintiffs, among others, are incompetent in organising paintball tournaments, do not know the rules of paintball competitions, involved in the worship of satan, cheats and dishonest persons, drug addicts and users of ganja.

The plaintiffs claimed that they are a reputable company in the paintball sports and have been involved in the organization of various tournaments locally and including the Pre-Paintball World Cup Asia which is a prelude to the Paintball World Cup Asia.

The Paintball World Cup, they pointed out, is the largest paintball tournament in Asia and Asia Pacific region, and it is recognized by international paintball bodies as the biggest paintball event in Asia.

They said, the first defendant, whose addressed at Facebook Corporate Office Headquarters HQ, 156 University Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301-1605, California USA, is the creator and operator of an Internet social network known as the Facebook and the copyright produced on facebook belongs to the first defendant.

The plaintiffs further claimed that the first defendant has millions of members worldwide and every day, 3.5 million people become fans of a Facebook page while the second defendant, apart from running a paintball operation is also a competitor of the plaintiffs.

Andrew and Adrian claimed that the publication of the article under the name of Che Farlim caused great damage to their general reputation and that the defamatory statements are false.

They claimed that the first defendant should have known that such statements were false and/or have taken steps to verify the genuineness of the article.

They contended that at the time the defendants published the defamatory statement, they published it maliciously in order to wrongfully harm them, failed to take the proper steps to ascertain its accuracy, had acted in a grossly irresponsible manner and had acted without due consideration for the standards of information gathering and dissemination ordinarily followed by parties.