Craig’s poem back in court

Colin Craig is back in court this week, appealing a High Court decision that found his copyright claim on publication of a poem he wrote was vexatious.

Most media seem to have had enough of Craig in court but NZ City covers it:  Colin Craig’s poem lawsuit back in court

Judge Mary Beth Sharp threw Mr Craig’s copyright lawsuit out in December, calling it “vexatious”, “improper” and a “deception perpetrated on the court”.

On Wednesday, lawyers for Craig appealed that decision in the High Court at Auckland, saying a literary work didn’t have to reach “Tolstoy’s standards” to be protected and that there were legal arguments that still needed to be heard.

Lawyer Kevin Glover said the case shouldn’t have been thrown out over a procedural error made by Mr Craig – who failed to file a reply to a document – because he had been arguing the case for himself as a “layperson”.

“Mr Craig should have had a bit more slack cut to him,” he said.

There had been no other agenda behind the lawsuit as found by the judge, Mr Glover said, adding the decision had been “coloured” by media coverage of other legal cases Mr Craig was involved in.

“He has a legitimate claim for infringement of copyright.”

But this claim was opposed.

But Mr William’s lawyer, Peter McKnight, told Justice Mark Woolford the case could not be considered independently of Mr Craig’s numerous other legal proceedings, reading out a long list.

“He’s had his day in court. In fact, he’s had seven-and-a-half weeks,” Mr McKnight said.

And counting. But court decisions aren’t based on quotas. Slater’s  days in court must be clocking up too – most not of his choice, but he has certainly stretched out some procedures.

Mr Slater’s lawyer, Brian Henry, said Mr Craig had chosen to run the case himself and could have easily hired lawyers as he had done in past.

That’s an odd point to pick out. The item concludes:

The hearing continues.

But ‘Whaleoil staff’ state:

The judgement was entered in favour of Mr Craig, who now gets to pursue his copyright claim in a separate court case.

I have no idea why Craig continues with all his legal crusades. he seems to think that his honour is at stake but I don’t think he is enhancing his fairly tattered reputation – the wrecking of which seems to have been the aim of Williams and Slater. They have succeeded, but they didn’t help their own reputations in the process.

Whale Oil is again allowing criticisms and comments against Craig in relation to ongoing court proceedings they are involved in. I think this is unwise, and find it highly hypocritical given their accusations and threats here over the last few days. ‘Albert’ posted “The last few months have been a free for all in your comments against Slater “, which is not true, while they allow a virtual free for all against Craig to continue.

30 Comments

  1. Bill Brown

     /  June 15, 2017

    It will be a retrial

    Feels like the Courts are all over the show on defamation and these cases are setting a few much needed precedents

    • This case has nothing to do with defamation, it is about copyright.

      So why did you mention defamation? Do you think Whale Oil commenters could be at risk due to their reactions?

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  June 15, 2017

        “That’s an odd point to pick out.” Not really, Craig is arguing the procedural error was down to him acting for himself, Slater is arguing he made that choice and should live by it.

      • Bill Brown

         /  June 15, 2017

        Was meaning in particular to this trial – more how they are all connected is some way

        I’m just sitting here looking at how the jury disaster played out, and the various parts

        Frankly what is the biggest concern is the lack of common understanding by the various Judges

  2. Anonymous Coward

     /  June 15, 2017

    Good Luck with that one. He was clearly identified as the author of the work, and it was published as news / criticism.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  June 15, 2017

      Thank you for not calling it a poem, which it isn’t.

      • Anonymous Coward

         /  June 15, 2017

        It was the least I could do.

  3. Tipene

     /  June 15, 2017

    OK, let’s recap the Craig legal outcomes to date (various appeals not withstanding):

    Craig v Williams: Game, Craig

    Craig v Stringer: Game, Craig

    Craig v Slater (Copyright): Game, Craig

    Craig V Slater (Defamation): TBA

    Craig v Jacqueline Stiekema (Defamation): TBA

    Craig v MacGregor (Is this pending?)

    For the Craig detractors, you can hate on him as much as you like – but the evidence of who is ultimately coming out on top in all of these proceedings leans strongly in Craig direction.

    • PDB

       /  June 15, 2017

      On your scoring method the Lions beat the Highlanders the other night…………

      • Tipene

         /  June 15, 2017

        @PDB: No, on my scoring, the facts are in – Craig is kicking arse.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  June 16, 2017

          Craig v Stringer was Settled, so no judgement and no winner.

    • Anonymous Coward

       /  June 15, 2017

      “Craig v Slater (Copyright): Game, Craig”

      Craig has in no way won this, he has won the right to a trial but reading the original judgement the only thing in Craig’s favour this time is that he will get to put up a defence.
      Defending a vexatious claim may be a challenge. Judge Sharp saw no monetary value in the poem, she saw no evidence of money earned from it’s publication, she saw it as a minor part of a larger work, not as a single work in it’s own right, and she saw that Craig was bringing the charge not for copyright but as a method to silence.

      https://www.scribd.com/document/336959782/Oral-Judgment-of-District-Court-Judge-M-E-Sharp

      • PDB

         /  June 15, 2017

        Yes – this ‘win’ for Tipene/Craig is most likely to be a loss based on the original ruling.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  June 15, 2017

          Tipene seems to be so close to the Craig’s as to not be able to see the forest for the trees.

          • Tipene

             /  June 15, 2017

            No, I’m just not drinking the “anti-Craig koolaid”, which allows me to see the entire landscape, not just each individual tree.

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  June 15, 2017

              keep slurping your Jungle Juice.

      • Bill Brown

         /  June 15, 2017

        Agree on time to head down a vexatious claim

        He’s been called vexatious already so get the fool declared one

      • Tipene

         /  June 15, 2017

        @anonymous coward: Sharp clearly got it wrong, as it’s heading to a retrial.

        Which means the original judgment was in error.

        As I have stated here before elsewhere, Sharp J has had more turnovers in her judgments than a Warriors game.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  June 16, 2017

          But the appeal was over a procedural matter (Craig not filing a statement).

          At the end of the day this is a copyright case, not libel or theft or breach of privacy, and as such Slater’s post was pretty clearly ‘fair use’. And even if Craig wins he won’t get anything, the poem has no monetary value.
          Craig is trying to use copyright as a gag, and it doesn’t work like that and he will fail.
          If this case was brought in the US it would be quickly thrown out under Anti-SLAAP laws.

    • Richard

       /  June 15, 2017

      “Craig v Williams: Game, Craig” – a judge saying ‘the jury got it right, but the damages were too high’ isn’t a win for Craig. Maybe in Mr X’s mind it is though…

      • Gezza

         /  June 15, 2017

        Yeah it is. Jury said he was defamed. Now they’re just waiting to see how his reputation is worth. Wish she’d get a move on. Quite like to see the calculations.

        • Gezza

           /  June 15, 2017

          * … how much his reputation is worth.

      • Tipene

         /  June 15, 2017

        @richard: Umm no, Miscarriage of justice against Craig determined by Katz J, on basis of jury ignoring Judges directions regarding qualified privilege, and the absurdity of size of damages awarded.

        Go back and read the full judgment.

    • You must be one of those people who think Labour “won” the UK election as well.

  4. Any-one want to tell Craig to quit while hes just losing.
    And the ego trip is over

    • Tipene

       /  June 15, 2017

      @george black: Trouble is George – he isn’t losing. Projecting what you may desire in a situation doesn’t make the desire real.

  5. Kitty Catkin

     /  June 15, 2017

    So far…

    Craig-Slater

    Slater-Craig

    Craig-McGregor

    McGregor-Craig

    Craig-Stiekema

    To come……

    McGregor-Slater

    Slater-McGregor

    Stiekema-Craig

    McGregor-Stiekema

    Stiekema-McGregor

    Slater-Stiekema

    Stiekema-Slater

    • Tipene

       /  June 15, 2017

      @kitty catkin: No, I’m predicting:

      Craig v MacGregor for Defamation (Reported by MSM to e pending now, but I’m picking is going to “go live” sooner rather than later).

      ? v MacGregor (and parties) for Defamation: More on this one later.

      MacGregor is unlikely to see the end of a Court room until the next decade, at this rate.

  6. Patzcuaro

     /  June 15, 2017

    Conservative politician and love seem to go hand in hand.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11876646

    Hopefully justice will bring peace to those involved.