HardOCP sues Infinium
The hardware site and console-maker's dispute intensifies with a new legal action filed in federal court.
Today HardOCP responded to Infinium Labs' repeated requests to retract its now-infamous profile of Infinium cofounder Tim Roberts. However, the Web site's owner and editor-in-chief, Kyle Bennett, used more than pointed prose--he has sent a team of lawyers after Infinium.
On February 27, Bennett filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, "to clear the air and terminate the flurry of demands, allegations, and defamatory Internet posts directed against HardOCP.com, by Infinium Labs and law firms representing Infinium Labs and its CEO, Tim Roberts." Documents were served to Infinium Labs representatives in Florida yesterday.
In a press release soon to be made public, lawyers representing KB Networks (the Bennett-founded entity that owns HardOCP), refers to the suit as one based on a legal statue commonly referred to as the "Declaratory Judgment Act." HardOCP lawyers explain the act as one that "permits a person or entity being threatened with lawsuits from another party to force the issue to be decided, rather than having to operate under a cloud of uncertainty and intimidation."
However, the statement does reiterate the position Bennett has maintained since he posted the original article, that the site "stands by its article, and believe[s] that the Federal Court will conclude, as HardOCP.com believes, that all relevant facts in the article are true."
The statement also refers to the most recent demand letter HardOCP received from Infinium lawyers, sent to the Web site owner last Friday: "Nothing in that demand letter changes HardOCP.coms conviction that all of the relevant facts in the article are true. We look forward to a decisive vindication by the Federal Court of HardOCP.coms credibility."
Bennett spoke with GameSpot yesterday, shortly before the news of the lawsuit was made public:
GameSpot: What sort of risk or liability do you see your site coming in for if you refuse to take the story down?
Kyle Bennett: I see the very real risk of losing HardOCP.com and everything it means. The real liability I see is letting our readers down. If we remove the article in question in order to take the easy and cheap way out of this situation, we are in essence throwing away our credibility. If we have no credibility, there is no reason to read HardOCP.com, and it fails.
GS: What are your choices then?
KB: We have two choices in this matter. HardOCP.com either cowers to Infinium Labs demands, or we embrace our right to free speech and our duty as a member of the media to report the truth on the gaming industry. The issue is much bigger than HardOCP.com. Infinium Labs is attacking a voice on the Net for sharing facts and opinions. I think we can all agree that this is a very dangerous issue to leave unchecked.
GS: Have you had any recent conversations with Infinium since you decided to stand firm on the majority of what you wrote in your first Infinium profile?
KB: Kevin Bachus called me two days before their original set of cease and desist letters arrived, essentially to get me to fully remove the article. We pledged then as we did last year that if Infinium Labs would point out what was wrong exactly, HardOCP.com would have it corrected.
GS: Do you expect to be served with additional documents from Infinium? Do you have lawyers advising you?
KB: From follow-up comments made by Infinium Labs CEO, Timothy Roberts, I expected them to follow through on their threats. As for documents, we expect to get hundreds of them now, since we filed suit against them last Friday. The firm of Storm & Hemingway is representing HardOCP.com in this matter.
GS: Thanks, Kyle.
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