This may be shades of getting over-Apple’d as they mercilessly flay people on iTunes with their gargantuan pile of boilerplate each time they change a word (does anyone actually read that crap?). A good reason not to use the worthless and unworkable lump of bloatware.
However there are a couple of policy changes on this site that people should be aware of. In addition to the Gosman ruling, I realised that I’d probably get a better quality of implied threat from the occasional lawyers letter if we laid down some rules for them as well.
In the Rules section
This site doesn’t allow anonymous comments or posts. Everyone must have a pseudonym and we don’t allow people to change them whenever they feel like it. We collect IP numbers and email addresses and have an active moderation policy. Ultimately the trust is responsible for comments put on the site and we will act against anyone who puts us at what we perceive as a legal risk.
This does not mean that simple blanket threats from people and their lawyers upset about content will be acted upon. At a bare minimum complainants should email our contact addresses with a link to the comment or post in question and explain exactly why they think it should be changed or removed and the legal basis (if any) for doing so.
If we and/or our lawyers feel that the the comment or post oversteps a legal bound, violates good taste, invades the privacy of people outside the public domain, or goes beyond the scope of our site – then and only then will we do something about it.
As guidelines to consider. Publishing facts that are manifestly false is relevant to our decision, but clearly stated opinion is not. Hurt feelings or career damage are not particularly relevant. If you wish to claim copyright then you need to provide checkable details rather than merely asserting an unsubstantiated claim. The required freedom of expression for a democracy to function effectively is relevant as is the restraint required to continue exercising it in the future.
Most of the time the moderators will tend to be harsher on offending content than any court in NZ is likely to be.
In the section on Banning, in the list marked self-martyrdom offenses
The Gosman (hypocrisy) ruling. People using a pseudonym to comment who then claim that other people commenting/posting anonymously (or any words construed to mean that) will have their own comments treated as being anonymous. Since this site does not support anonymous comments, they will receive an immediate long ban.
updated: with corrections in italics