A few weeks ago I penned an article asking why a certain celebrity couple who usually adorn the tabloids had seemingly disappeared from the news. Publications across the world, but not in England & Wales, know why - you see there is an injunction out about the extra-marital activities of one of the two. But I did not mention that or any details of what the injunction covers, the article was 100% safe from a legal stance.
Lawyers acting for the celebs, the Web Sheriff firm, then emailed demanding I remove the piece. I asked who they acted for but the firm declined to reply. I asked who gave them authority to demand retraction? Again no reply. Because it is not up to the celebs to enforce an injunction it is up to the Courts of England and Wales.
Since my article did not breach the injunction and with the lawyers refusing to answer my questions I said the piece was staying up. Today this entire website went down and we were told by our hosting company that it would stay down until the article was pulled. So we have pulled it.
What has happened here is not the application of law but lawyers acting for rich celebs taking it into their own hands to decide whether an article breaches an injunction and then bullying whoever they want until it is removed. The celebs have got stacks of money so do you really want to fight? The celebs get to set the entire press agenda using a combination of their wealth and the UK's daft press laws. I was prepared to fight but the hosting company was not and thus the smug, self righteous celeb managed to close an entire website down.
Tomorrow I move to Greece and will be resident there for some time. This website will go down over the weekend as we move it to a hosting company operating in a less Orwellian state. Someone's in for a crocodile shock.