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CELEBRITIES AND ADLLAW

CELEBRITIES AND ADLLAW

Celebrities and AdLLawThe other day I received a communication that moved me to write this column. The communication wondered why celebrities are prominently mentioned in AdLLaw’s mission to protect the deceased from defamation. Actually, it went beyond wondering why celebrities are included; it went so far as to suggest that celebrities should be excluded. The recommendation was that our focus should be on the average citizen with whom the masses can identify.

AdLLaw uses many people as examples of those who are being defamed after they have passed on. Celebrity examples include Betty Ford, Michael Jackson, Steve Jobs, Whitney Houston, and Amy Winehouse. We also have in our materials records of a young woman who was killed in a terrible car accident whose family endured seeing vile and horrific information being spread on the Internet about their relative.

Read more here: http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=3872556&page=1

We have information on U.S. soldiers whose funerals were picketed by a religious group that used the funerals as a platform to spread their bigotry and hate. The group picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers is not aiming their hate at the individual; however, their actions are mentioned in our materials because they bring hardship to the families of the soldiers in the form of added grief and suffering. One father did try to sue for damages, citing, among other things, the intentional infliction of emotional distress. See more here:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/36449471/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/dad-sues-thank-god-dead-soldiers-church/#.VUD_qiFViko

Above are listed just a few examples of the defamation of those who are deceased. They range from the most high-profile celebrities to soldiers fighting for our country to anonymous citizens living their private lives. Defamation can touch anyone, and while there is truth in the fact that most people do not know a celebrity and cannot relate to their lifestyles, we can all identify who they are. For that reason, when they are defamed we are more aware and more attention is given.

Several years ago. Dale Earnhardt, a NASCAR icon, was killed in a shocking accident while racing at Daytona (Florida). The accident happened on live television during the race broadcast. Millions of people saw it play out in their living rooms. Dale Earnhardt was a name so synonymous with the sport that almost everyone could identify him. There was a tremendous amount of coverage of his life and death, and the public outpouring of grief and emotion was incredible. My local radio station had a discussion about the event, and people called in commenting on how wrong it was to feel grief for this man who was killed when the focus of our sorrow should be on our troops. I don’t normally call in to talk shows; however, in this instance I did. I was one of those who saw this horrible accident happen. I explained that when people can put a face to a name, and when they see a tragedy happen in real time, it affects them on a different level. People could identify with what happened. It did not mean there was no sorrow for our fallen troops, but the masses do not have faces to put with a soldier who has died, and they don’t see war played out live in their living rooms. That was why there was so much public grief for Mr. Earnhardt: people could relate.

I use the Dale Earnhardt example to explain why celebrities are a part of the AdLLaw campaign. People are aware of the stories of celebrities and may be outraged at the treatment a celebrity receives in the media. One of the problems with the media is the assumption that celebrities cease to be human once they are famous. A celebrity is still a person…they have lives to live; they have feelings; they have loved ones; they deal with the normal issues of being a human being. They deserve the same respect that any human should receive. That is why they are included in AdLLaw’s mission. Not because they are famous, but because they are human.

People are more aware of the treatment Michael Jackson received in the media than they are of the treatment of Nicole Catsouras, the young woman killed in the car accident. The grief endured by the family of Ms. Catsouras is no less important than the grief endured by the family of Mr. Jackson; it is simply that the masses are more aware of Mr. Jackson’s plight.

The goal of AdLLaw is to change the law nationally so that a family can sue for damages when their deceased loved one is defamed. While living, a defamed person can seek relief for themselves in a court of law for slander and libel. However, at the point of death, current law considers the person to no longer exist. That leaves the gates wide open for anyone to maliciously report untrue “information” about the deceased without fear of repercussions. AdLLaw believes that a person lives on in his or her legacy and reputation. When a person, famous or anonymous, is defamed after they are gone, their loved ones should have a way to seek relief in a court of law.

Perhaps when AdLLaw is successful in its mission, we will be one step closer to becoming a kinder and gentler society. Maybe respect and honor will be restored in our media. There might be a return to integrity in reporting and to thought put into words before they are spoken or written — not just in the media, but by each individual also.

The following video sums up why celebrities are included in this initiative. We are all people; we are all a part of the human race. Regardless of our social status, race, sexual orientation, nationality, political affiliation, or religious belief, we are all people — with the same right to dignity and respect after we have passed on. Watch the video here: http://video.foxnews.com/v/3934406/huckabees-opinion/?#sp=show-clips

AdLLaw’s mission is not to curtail freedom of speech, but to hold people accountable for their words. We believe this initiative and our fundamental right to free speech can coexist. To learn more about AdLLaw, please visit us at https://antidefamationlegacylawadvocates.org/2013/10/22/whats-so-special-about-the-adllaw-initiative-and-petition/

Support the #AdLLawInitiative by signing the PETITION

Edited and Republished by: MJ Brookins

Original story posted here:   http://thejamcafe-mjtpmagazine.presspublisher.org/issue/may-issue/article/celebrities-and-AdLLaw

May Issue, ADLLAW – Celebrities and AdLLaw

By Barbara Owens,Journalist and AdLLaw secretary –  Thu, May 31, 2012

 

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Did YOU Know?

Defamation PhotoIt’s NOT about US.

It’s NOT about ME.

It’s NOT about YOU.

It’s NOT about FAME.

It’s NOT about FORTUNE.

It’s NOT about JUSTICE.

It’s NOT about REVENGE.

It’s NOT about WHO THOUGHT OF IT FIRST.

It’s NOT about who gets the CREDIT.

AdLLaw Initiative Photo Card (1)It’s ABOUT “Protecting and Preserving” the Legacies of these people. ARE YOU ANGRY ENOUGH TO SUPPORT the Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Initiative by asking your two U.S. Senators and the President of the United States, to author and pass an “Anti-Defamation Legacy Law? These people are worth the effort. #AdLLawInitiative

There has been an orchestrated plan to destroy Michael Jackson’s reputation since 1993, and it has NOT STOPPED even in death. WHEN WILL IT STOP? It won’t unless we ask our two U.S. Senators and the President of the United States to support the #AdLLawInitiative by authoring and passing a law; to give the family members of the deceased a law to sue those who defame their deceased relatives.

The beautiful photos are NICE. The projects are BEAUTIFUL and well deserved, but they won’t mean a thing if the general public, globally, continue to believe that Michael Jackson was a child molester; that Trayvon Martin’s death was a good thing because he was a gangster; that former First Lady Betty Ford was a whore; that God hated Steve Jobs, Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, Army Spc. Carrie L. French and Whitney Houston was a “crack-head whore” as well as some other horrific things many of the deceased has been named since their death.

Did you know that Bill SB 131 to Extend Statute of Limitations – Child Molestation, is a new law set to go into effect as scheduled on Jan. 1, 2014, if the CA Governor does not veto it? Source 

Did you know that SB 131 gives alleged as well as real victims a causal connection window of five years as opposed to the existing three-year period to file a lawsuit after the date of discovery by a mental health professional that their psychological trauma is indeed linked to their childhood sexual abuse? Bill Analysis

Did you know that SB 131 (Beall) was amended on May 2, 2013 and the hearing date was on May 7, 2013?  http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/sen/sb_0101-0150/sb_131_cfa_20130506_142631_sen_comm.html

Did you know that Wade Robson filed his claim on May 1, 2013 and has been granted a court date in June of 2014?   Source

Robson’s lawyer also mentions a psychiatrist who treated him — the doctor is a leader in the field of child psychology. NO OFFENSE TOWARD THOSE WHO ARE REAL VICTIMS, BUT IS THIS REALLY A COINCIDENT?  CA SB 131 was amended on May 2, 2013; one day after Wade Robson filed his claim and the bill is amended to read what Wade Robson needed to file a late claim.

This bill should be enforced for those who sincerely need it but not for anyone to file bogus claims. This is really a tender situation for those who are REAL victims.  It is very difficult to attack a bill that should have been enforced a long time ago, but really Wade Robson. I support this bill but I do NOT support those who use something worthy for financial gain because they can.  This bill is intended to support REAL victims. Conveniently, Mr. Robson did NOT remember being molested as he was the “Star” witness for Michael Jackson’s defense at the 2005 trial.

New Molestation Claim Against Michael Jackson    Another Source

Many of us are well acquainted with being molested, as children and adults, and we support the amending of this law and the victims, but we cannot support those who use something intended for real victims to benefit those who use it for financial gain.

There is no “Magic Wand” to make this disappear and it won’t go away because YOU choose to ignore it.  WE have to come TOGETHER to make this happen or at least make a mighty loud noise about it. We must support the victims of abuse but, at the same time, oppose those who will use this law to defame someone who is NOT here to defend himself.

The Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates (AdLLaw) is a non-profit, charitable and advocacy organization which wants to have a U.S. law passed allowing for family members of defamed deceased people to sue for civil damages.

Even the non-famous can be targets which mean that we and our loved ones are at risk.

Adllaw Photo 2The law protects the likeness and image of a person dead or alive, and the same should hold true for their reputation.

AdLLaw Initiative Letter

AdLLaw Petition

Follow the Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates on Twitter: @CADEFLAW

Submitted by: MJ Brookins, AdLLaw Director

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2013 in AdLLaw Initiative, Advocacy

 

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A Legacy Never Dies

“When are the dead not dead? The ancient peoples of the Andes believed we keep the dead “alive” as long as we continue to remember them.” (1)  We of AdLLaw say:  “The life and legacy of the deceased lie in the memory of the living.”

Most Latin countries celebrate the Day of the Dead.  Day of the Dead or Dia de los Muertos festivals are commonly celebrated in countries where there is a Spanish-Speaking population or Spanish customs are observed. The celebrations focus on family members that have passed away.  United States, Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Haiti, Bolivian and Ecuador each have a special and positive ceremony for honoring their dead. (2)

Celebrated United States Days of the Dead

A Legacy NEVER Dies

The United States celebrate several days which are meant to honor the dead and those who have contributed to and served this Nation.  Days such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, President’s Day, Dr. Martin Luther King Day and 911.  All countries have some celebration, ceremony or “Veneration of the dead”(3) 

“Remembrance Day” which is similar to the US Veterans Day is celebrated in the UK, Canada, Oceania, Australia, Western Europe and South Africa. Germany has their Day of Commemoration of Heroes.  Russians celebrate “The Defender of the Fatherland Day.”  These celebrations are rooted in a belief we honor our ancestors.  The word “ancestors” may sound lofty and given to people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago, but the word ancestor means one who came before us. “a person from whom one is descended; forebear; progenitor.” (4)

Remembering 911Many countries have working laws against defaming the dead so why not the USA?   This is not a new subject. In the USA such a law has been vigorously fought and lobbied against. (5)   Even with the understanding that not all cases will fall under legislative guidelines; as defamation nor will all successors be willing or able to sue. Knowing defamation suits are hard fought and not easily won even for the living there is great resistance to passing this law to protect the legacy of the deceased.

Until the United States of America, a Nation which considers itself a world leader, is willing to step forward and lead by example then it says we only honor our dead in word, but not in deed.

The truth must be told and our history needs to reflect that, but there is no honor in slandering our dead.

Please sign the AdLLaw (Anti-defamation Legacy Law) Initiative Petition.

AdLLaw Petition

Support the AdLLaw Initiative by contacting your U.S. House Senators and the President by letter or email. Non U.S. persons contact the President.  Simply tell them you support the AdLLaw Initiative and would like for them to do the same.  Then copy and paste this link to your letter or email.

Contact information:

Contact the President of the United States

U.S. Citizens – Contact The Two U.S. Senators Assigned To Your State

 References and sources:

(1) http://www.miamiartzine.com/latest-features/arts-at-large/1666-hopitaki-honoring-the-ancestors

(2)  http://www.ehow.com/info_8336946_countries-celebrate-day-dead-fest

(3) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ancestor

(4) http://jonathanturley.org/2007/08/18/defaming-the-dead/

(5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veneration_of_the_dead

Submitted by:  S. Kendrick, AdLLaw Resolution Specialist – a.k.a. Dial Dancer

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 2, 2013 in AdLLaw Initiative, Advocacy

 

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Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates – AdLLaw Initiative

AdLLaw Initiative Photo Card (1)

WE are asking the U.S. Senate to adopt and support The Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Initiative (AdLLaw) (pronounced Ad-Law).  The Initiative’s goal is simple.  It is meant to bring about legislation which will include the deceased among those who, when defamed, can have the same legal protection by giving their family a statute upon which to base a civil cause of action.  We see this law as any other; a possible deterrent for most and a tool for the more serious offenders.

Originally we thought to start with California. The California Courts Judicial Council created a draft Initiative.  Although, prepared for California, the language of the document clearly states our intention. A MoveOn.Org petition has been created, hoping to show our political leaders this is something the people wish to see happen.  We hope it will make deciding to adopt or support the proposed legislation a bipartisan effort.

There is a long list of decedents who have been egregiously defamed throughout history. Trayvon Martin and Michael Jackson are but the latest victims of defamation. Trayvon’s character is determined by gold teeth caps, a hoodie, his age and ethnicity.  His legacy becomes a death made mockery for profit and agenda using a shooting range target and garment created for ridicule, and ratings by way of a death scene photo. 

We are all familiar with the level of unfair media attention heaped upon Michael Jackson in the past; there is no need to reiterate it here. Journalists hid behind freedom of speech in an attempt to destroy Michael Jackson for entertainment and profit. Michael Jackson devoted his life to demonstrating love. He encouraged us to change the world. There is no better way to honor Michael than to make positive changes wherever we can. One of the ways we can make an important difference is to work for a law to be passed that makes it illegal to defame the dead. 

The freedom of speech is a right that we all enjoy in the United States, and to lose any part of that freedom would be a travesty. However, with freedom comes responsibility. Each of us has a duty to be honest, fair, and balanced in what we say. Journalists, those from whom the masses get their information, should he held to an even higher standard. It is ugly enough to attack someone while they are here, but to continue to promote old lies, innuendo, and hate once they can no longer speak for themselves is reprehensible.

It is because of these men such as Trayvon Martin and Michael Jackson that we decided to turn this into a National effort, finding the longer it is delayed the worse the situation becomes. We believe the AdLLaw Initiative is important.  We hold dear our First Amendment rights, but there is nothing in our Constitution about slander being a right or an acceptable example to set for our children.

We were working to have California Civil Code §§ 44-48 revise the definition of who can be defamed to include “a natural person whether living or dead”.  An initiative measure was been written by the Judicial Counsel (Initiative: Libel or Slander: Decedents – #1212737).

The proposed statutory written for the Anti-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates by the California Legislative Counsel on July 13, 2012

Diane F. Boyer-Vine, Legislative Counsel

By: Aliza Rachel Kaliski, Deputy Legislative Counsel

The proposed statutory:

SECTION 1. Section 44 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

44. (a) Defamation is effected by either of the following:

(a)

(1) Libel.

(b)

(2) Slander.

(b) (1) Defamation of a person may occur whether that person is living or deceased.

(2) An action for defamation of a deceased person may be brought by any individual who would be entitled to succeed to any portion of the deceased person’s estate that passes under Chapter I (commencing with Section 6400) of Part 2 of Division 6 of the Probate Code, or its successor. A defamation action shall not be brought for defamation of a deceased person occurring more than 70 years after the death of the person.

SEC. 2. This measure may be amended to further its purposes by a statute, passed in each house of the Legislature by rollcall vote entered in the journal, two-thirds of the membership concurring, and signed by the Govemor.

AdLLaw Initiative Petition to U.S. Senate and President

Posted by: The Ant-Defamation Legacy Law Advocates

 
21 Comments

Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Advocacy, Initiatives

 

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Deceased Victims of Slander/Libel/Exploitation (2)

Steven Paul “Steve” Jobs

Steve JobsSteven Paul “Steve” Jobs (/ˈɒbz/; February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011)[5][6] was an American entrepreneur[7] and inventor,[8] best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc. Through Apple, he was widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer revolution[9][10] and for his influential career in the computer and consumer electronics fields, transforming “one industry after another, from computers and smartphones to music and movies…”[11] Jobs also co-founded and served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios; he became a member of the board of directors of The Walt Disney Company in 2006, when Disney acquired Pixar.

Westboro Baptist Church to protest Steve Jobs’ funeral

The Kansas-based organization, which has protested memorials of everyone from victims of gay bashings to those killed in the 2006 Sago Mine disaster — often times with signs stating “God Hates Fags” — has called for “no peace” for Jobs.  Westboro to Picket Steve Jobs Funeral (It Said Via iPhone)

The church, which has become famous for its unofficial “God Hates Fags” slogan, has been at the center of many controversial pickets in recent years, including sending congregation members to protest at the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards. The church also threatened to picket the funerals of those killed in the Arizona shootings, an act many found particularly distasteful. Those plans were later abandonedWestboro Baptist Church Leader, Margie J. Phelps, Tweets Picket Of Steve Jobs Funeral From An iPhone    CBS Article

 

Lyndon Baine Johnson – 36th President of the United States

Lyndon B. JohnsonLyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States (1961–1963).

He is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President.

In October 2003, Barr McClellan published Blood, Money & Power: How L.B.J. Killed J.F.K.. As its title suggests, the book makes an astounding claim that former President Lyndon Johnson, and other deceased officials and persons, were involved in a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy.

This claim is patently absurd. Yet according to the New York Times, over 75,000 copies of the book have been sold.  Defaming The Dead: A Legal Remedy for Absurd Charges That LBJ Murdered JFK

 

Errol Flynn – Actor

Errol FlynnErrol Flynn was an Australian actor, known for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his flamboyant lifestyle. He has been accused of being a Nazi, a Communist, a murderer, having sex with underage girls, a diamond smuggler and a crooked cock fight person among other things.

Flynn biographer Charles Higham claims his research shows the dashing actor’s espionage for the Germans led to hundreds dying in concentration camps. The disturbing claims angered many in the actor’s birthplace of Tasmania, Australia, including his daughter Rory and grandson Sean. Did Hitler recruit Errol Flynn as a spy for the Nazis?

The actor, Errol Flynn was called a homosexual and a Nazi spy in a book published by Dell Publishing Company. In a lawsuit filed by his children, the court stated plainly, “A libel on the memory of a deceased person is not deemed to inflict on the surviving relatives any such legal damage as will sustain a civil action for defamation.” Flynn v Higham, (1983) 149 Cal.App.3d 677

On July 10, 1981, plaintiffs filed a complaint captioned defamation of character against Charles Higham (author of the book Errol Flynn the Untold Story), Dell Publishing Company (publisher of the same book) and various Does (hereinafter collectively referred to as defendants). The complaint stated that the defendants defamed the plaintiffs by writing that their deceased father was a homosexual and a Nazi spy.  Rory and Deirdre Flynn     Judgment based on this case as being too harsh or unconstitutional (Angie Dickinson)

 

Jack Rose – 

LIBEL OF RELATIVES OF A DECEASED PERSON

Defendant newspaper published an article concerning the death of the plaintiff’s father and husband erroneously identifying him as a notorious murderer. The plaintiffs, who were mentioned only as the surviving wife and children of the deceased, sued to recover damages for injuries to their reputations. Held, no recovery. Rose v.Daily Mirror, Inc., 31 N. E. (2d) 182 (N. Y. 1940).

Most jurisdictions deny recovery by anyone for libel of the memory of a deceased.

The court ruled that the statements made by the newspaper had no “direct reflection” on the family members, although they were named. Therefore, they could not receive damages. Interestingly, the court noted that the state’s legislature had the duty to change the law. Rose v Daily Mirror, Inc. (1940) 284 N.Y. 335   Repository Law, Indiana

The New York Court of Appeals refused to allow the survivors of a defamed decedent to recover against a newspaper because the newspaper’s admittedly defamatory statements concerning the deceased made “no direct reflection” upon the surviving plaintiffs.46 The case had arisen out of an article in which the defendant erroneously identified the recently deceased Jack Rose with “Baldly Jack Rose” a “self-confessed murderer.”47 Presumably because of the rule on the defamation of the dead, Jack Rose’s survivors—whom the article had named—sued the newspaper on their own behalf.48 But the court held that to allow the survivors to recover for defamation of the dead in this situation would be a “far-reaching” departure from New York’s long-standing law.49  Fordham Publications

46. See Rose v. Daily Mirror, Inc., 284 N.Y. 335,337 (1940); Other jurisdictions have adopted a similar test relating to the direct reflection on surviving plaintiffs. See, e.g., Curtis v. The Evening News Assoc., 135 Mich. App. 101,103. (Ct. App. 1984) (holding that the plaintiff could not recover for defamation arising out of an article that falsely stated that plaintiffs dead son had a criminal character); Hughes v. The New England Newspaper Publ’g Co., 43 N.E.2d 657,657-8 (Mass. 1942) (holding that the decedent’s wife could not recover against a newspaper for defamation arising out of an article on the suicide of the decedent because the article was not directed against her even though it identified her as the decedent’s spouse); Lee v. Weston, 402 N.E.2d 23,26 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980) (holding that the decedent’s parents could not recover for defamation of their son for defendant medical examiner’s statement that their son died of “overdose” because the statement did not reflect upon them, even though their son did live with them); Lambert v. Garlo, 484 N.E.2d 260,262 (Ohio Ct. App. 1985) (holding that decedent’s relatives could not recover for defamation against coroner and newspaper publisher for the statement that the former made in the latter’s newspaper that the decedent was clearly a “pusher” because the plaintiffs were not directly injured by the statements that did not name or refer to them).

 

California CADEFLAW Petition

Global Petition Link

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2013 in Advocacy

 

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