Friday 24 March 2017

Student wants boss of YouTube jailed for contempt

Tim Healy

A STUDENT falsely accused of not paying a taxi fare in an internet video is trying to have the chief executive of YouTube jailed for contempt of court after the clip was put up again on the web.

Eoin McKeogh (22) is to seek High Court permission to bring a contempt of court action.

The DCU student is also to seek leave of the court to have attachment and committal to prison proceedings brought against YouTube boss Salar Kamangar, over his company's alleged failure to obey an order not to republish the allegedly defamatory material.

Mr McKeogh obtained injunctions against YouTube, Google, Facebook and a number of other sites and usernames to prevent the republication of the video, which shows a number of young people leaving a taxi without paying the fare.

He also unsuccessfully brought an action to prevent six newspapers from naming him following reports of a court hearing in which the injunctions against the internet firms was extended.

However, since that ruling by Mr Justice Michael Peart last weekend in favour of the newspapers, online material about Mr McKeogh had only then started reporting his innocence, his counsel, Pauline Walley, said yesterday.

The judge said he was satisfied that Mr McKeogh was completely innocent.

Ms Walley said there had also been progress in other matters, including identifying one of the 'John Doe' usernames who had allegedly edited the video and posted defamatory comments about Mr McKeogh.

Ms Walley said Yahoo and another website called Crowd-Gather were to be lauded for removing links to the video and she was seeking to have the injunctions against them vacated, which the judge agreed to.

The judge also agreed to a request from Ms Walley for an order to allow Vodafone to release records in relation to information by Facebook on which a fake profile had been put up but later taken down.

However, Ms Walley said, as of last Saturday, the offending video had been put on YouTube again and she herself had accessed it yesterday morning by keying in "Eoin McKeogh".

This was clearly a breach of the court's earlier order and she would be applying for contempt orders against the company and committal orders against the chief executive.

Their primary focus was to get the source material taken down, Ms Walley said.

Mr Justice Peart said it was a matter of great concern that the video had been reposted.

He adjourned the case until February 9.

Irish Independent

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