The claimant complained of defamation on internet bulletin boards. He made an application to require the forum operator to disclose IP addresses and other information about posters under a Norwich Pharmacal order. Further applications were made for the IP addresses of posters as postings were made. The court had limited the information to be provided and required the claimant to make a payment towards the costs of the proposed work.
Held: The claimant’s appeal failed. He still owed substantial sums in costs, and it would be wrong to expect the board operators to subsidise his claim.
May, Moore-Bick LJJ
 EWCA Civ 518
England and Wales
Appeal from – Smith v ADVFN Plc QBD 13-Mar-2008
Order re case management application. The claimant said he had been defamed on an internet forum run by the defendants, and sought orders for disclosure of the identities of the posters to the website. The operator said that special software might . .
Cited – Norwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners HL 26-Jun-1973
Innocent third Party May still have duty to assist
The plaintiffs sought discovery from the defendants of documents received by them innocently in the exercise of their statutory functions. They sought to identify people who had been importing drugs unlawfully manufactured in breach of their . .
Cited – Norwich Pharmacal Co and others v Customs and Excise Commissioners CA 2-Jan-1972
The plaintiffs sought discovery of the names of patent infringers from the defendant third party, submitting that by analogy with trade mark and passing-off cases, the Customs could be ordered to give discovery of the names.
Held: Buckley LJ . .
Cited – Upmann v Elkan CA 5-Jun-1871
The defendant freight forwarding agent was innocently in possession of consignments of counterfeit cigars in transit to Germany through a London dock. The action was not for discovery, but for an order restraining the forwarder from releasing the . .
See Also – Smith v ADVFN Plc and others QBD 25-Jul-2008
The claimant had brought multiple actions in defamation against anonymous posters on an online forum. The claimant sought to lift the stay which had been imposed because of the number of actions. The claimant had not yet paid outstanding costs . .
See Also – Smith v ADVFN Plc and Others CA 30-Jul-2009
Application for leave to appeal . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 29 July 2021; Ref: scu.267910