URGENT: zeke and a court injunction

by Hugh

Yulblogger, podcaster, ilesansfiler, and art gallery/space guy Chris Hand, aka Zeke, has had his blog shut down (UPDATE: possibly permanently???) by a court injunction.

The Montreal and Canadian blogging, free speech, rational people communities ought to be up in arms. I urge everyone to at least write about this to get this info out. It’s a real danger to all of us who write what we think online.

The story, as I understand it, is this:

1. Radio Canada, National Post, and Le Devoir ran stories about alleged art forgeries sold to Loto-Quebec by a local art dealer whose name will remain unwritten, lest I too get sued …all links still live.

2. Loto-Quebec issued a press release about the incident … link still live.

3. Zeke, who runs a blog about art in Canada, wrote a number of posts about the incident, linking to the articles above (the posts have since been excised from the web – tho the articles he based his posts on are still up). Also, due to some vague language, suggesting that the man in question had been somehow affiliated with the mafia.

4. The fellow mentioned in articles (still available online) by Le Devoir, Radio-Canada, and Loto Quebec sued Zeke for $25,000 in damages.

5. Zeke was told to change the wording of the posts (he did).

6. Zeke posted about the threats from the other guy’s lawyer.

7. A court order required Zeke to take down the relevant posts (he did).

8. Zeke posted about the court order.

9. A second court injunction appears to have shut down Zeke’s blog altogether
UPDATE: it seems as if this injunction may only last “until after the next court hearing, June 21”

10. Zeke is no longer posting.

Here is a Globe and Mail article about the events.

Those who know Zeke know he’s loud, opinionated and something of a loose cannon. He’s also a stalwart of Montreal’s blogging/podcasting/art/arts scene, and a good guy.

But regardless of Zeke’s personality, and given that:
a) the articles Zeke linked to, and based his posts on, are still on the net in the public sphere, and
b) Zeke is now under threat of $25,000 in damages, and
c) Zeke’s blog has been shut down by court order

how do you, as a reader of blogs and citizen of Canada and Quebec, feel about freedom of speech in your country?

Chris, what can we do to help?

MORE UPDATES:
Heri’s take
Fagstein’s review