This is the fourth of a six-part series discussing two complaints for internet libel. As stated in Part I (Introduction), this part will focus on the resolution in favor of Abe Olandres and the RP Nuclei Solutions, Inc.
As noted in Part II (basic facts of the complaints), RP Nuclei Solutions, Inc. was impleaded as a co-respondent because it is allegedly the “owner” of the internet forum greedyolddumbass.com. The complainant subsequently acknowledged that RP Nuclei Solutions, as a juridical entity, may not properly be charged with libel. The complainant, however, impleaded Abe Olandres in place of RP Nuclei Solutions.
The Investigating Prosecutor dismissed the complaints as against RP Nuclei Solutions and Abe.
In addition to the fact that RP Nuclei Solutions is a juridical entity that may not properly be prosecuted for libel, it is merely the â€œserverâ€, â€œweb hosting companyâ€ or the service provider, rather than the owner, of greedyolddumbass.com.
The complainant presented no credible proof to support its claim that RP Nuclei Solutions or plogHost is the owner of greedyolddumbass.com. In fact, in the letter through its counsel, the complainant clearly states that greedyolddumbass.com is merely â€œsupportedâ€ – not owned – by RP Nuclei Solutions or ploghost. When the letter refers to the â€œTerms of Serviceâ€ of plogshost, it is referring to ploghostâ€™s â€œTerms of Serviceâ€ as a â€œserverâ€ or â€œhostâ€, and not as an owner. The portion quoted in the said letter corresponds to the following â€œTerms of Serviceâ€ of plogHost:
Under no circumstances must our servers be used for the hosting of, reference to or linking to any of the following:
– nudity, pornography, anything of a sexual, lewd, or obscene nature;
– violations of any copyright or any other right of any third party;
– threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory statements;
– promotion of illegal activities (hacking, cracking, etc);
– information or software containing or about any kind of virus;
– hate speech or hate propaganda;
– the collection of personal information for illegal purposes;
– content deemed by us at our sole discretion to be harmful to us
In other words, the â€œTerms of Serviceâ€ of RP Nuclei Solutions or ploghost, which â€œTerms of Service were known to and quoted in the letter, reveal that it is merely a â€œserverâ€ or a â€œhostâ€.
Being merely the “host” or “server”, RP Nuclei Solutions may not be held liable for libel. In other words, a â€œhostâ€ or a service provider, like RP Nuclei Solutions or ploghost in this case, has no authority to modify or alter the content in the site that it is hosting. (Note: This will be discussed further in Part V)
In fact, the complainant never disputes the allegation of RP Nuclei Solutions that another entity, Fiesta Hosting, is now hosting greedyolddumbass.com, wherein the comments subject of this case are still posted. No action, however, was taken by the complainant against Fiesta Hosting.
With respect to Abe Olandres, there was a failure on the part of the complainant to show the exact participation of Olandres in his capacity as President of RP Nuclei Solutions, insofar as the libelous statements are concerned.
The alleged authors of the comments, however, were less fortunate. As discussed in Part III, the Investigating Prosecutor found probable cause to charge them with libel. The countercharge of perjury, as well as the ruling of the Investigating Prosecutor on this matter, will be discussed in Part V. The analysis will be contained in Part VI.