In the era of informatization when each and all have access to a multitude of media, and many things depend on reputation, which is earned hard and lost easily, the concept of a defamation is encountered quite often.
Defamation is a dissemination of false information of individual or legal entity that damages their honor, dignity and business reputation
The general concept of defamation
Dissemination of false information can lead as to material losses, therefore VigoLex team is convinced that it is important to know of mechanisms of protection and renewal of rights counter to defamation are ensured by the legislation.
According to Article 270 of the Civil code of Ukraine, each real person has the right to respect of one’s honor and dignity. In cases where the rights of a real person are violated as a result of dissemination of false information of the individual and (or) of members of one’s family, such real person has the right to retort and also to refutation of such information.
VigoLex makes notice: the right to retort and the right to refutation are two different rights, which give the chance either to retort the false information the same way and in the same source, or to request refutation of the disseminated information. Nobody prohibits seizing both opportunities at once – the decision is in your hands.
VigoLex law firm emphasizes that you have the right to request information refutation that cannot concern directly you, but affect honor and dignity of members of your family. As for legal entities – they have the similar rights: for example, a company has full authority to request refutation of disseminated damaging information if such information is untrue.
The refutation of false information is performed by the person who distributed it. It should be noted that false information is subject to refutation irrespective of availability of fault of its distributor: even if data for article of online edition was extracted from an interview of a public figure, and the information in such data in untrue – it is possible to request refutation of such information.
The mechanism of protection and resumption of the rights damaged by defamation
The following two steps are standard:
- to make effort to solve the issue peacefully, by means of filing a claim to the disseminator with the request of refutation;
- in case of failure of step 1 – to file a lawsuit for protection of the violated rights.
In the lawsuit for a defamation, it is necessary:
- to prove the fact of dissemination of information, that is furnishing of the data to at least to one person in any manner;
- to prove the attribution of the disseminated information to a certain individual or legal entity, i.e. – to the claimant;
- to underline untruthfulness of the information, i.e. its discrepancy with reality;
- to specify existence of violation of the personal non-property rights sue to dissemination of such information.
Based on VigoLex team experience, correct presentation of all the afore elements in the defamation lawsuit is halfway to success in protection of rights. In defamation disputes the burden of prove falls on claimant not only of the fact of dissemination of information by the defendant but also of violation of the rights of the claimant due to such dissemination, as well as unauthenticity of disseminated information. That is why this category of disputes in civil law is considered one of the most difficult because it is always easier to prove what was, but not what was not.
Only the factual statements are subject to refutation. Value judgments, such as criticism, assessment of actions, satire, etc. are not subject to refutation or declaration of their untruthfulness.
VigoLex team is ready to duly protect your rights and interests regarding dissemination of false information on social networks and other means of media with the minimum financial and time expenditures both for you and for your business.