The first good news is that the Quackometer is back! A great big thank you needs to be given to The Positive Internet Company Ltd. whom picked up the hosting for Quackometer.
The next good news, if true, should send a clear message to UK hosting providers. The news comes from Joe Obi’s blog:
The fact that I am currently suing the Quackometer’s former Internet Service Provider (Netcetera Ltd) …
If he is to believed, then he is proceeding with suing Netcetera even though they caved to his bogus threat and removed Quackometer from their servers. This should be a lesson to all UK based hosting providers, even when you cave to the demands of a con-man like Obi he will still try to drag you through the courts to steal some cash from you. Since Obi’s claims are bogus I believe Netcetera would prevail in court and likely recover their costs in defending themselves from Obi. However because they dumped Quackometer, they have gotten a bunch of bad publicity along they way. If they had been willing to stand up for what’s right they would have ended up with good publicity and the same trial outcome, heck it could have even made their defense less costly and simpler because Le Canard Noir and others would have been motivated to help their defense.
The only way UK hosting services can be sure to avoid this situation is to pre-screen all content your customers wish to post. I think you’ll need to limit your customers to people who want to post about kittens, puppies and other non-controversial topics. Somehow I don’t think this is a workable position for UK hosting providers. I suggest they form an industry lobbying organization and push the UK government to give them legal protection like they have in much of the civilized world. I suspect a UK hosting support lobby would get much support from the science friendly blogosphere for a protective law, at least I know I would do what I can to help publicize their cause.