Monday, October 27, 2008

Google-bomber on trial in Poland


Marek M., who was arrested late last year for google bombing President Lech Kaczynski, has gone on trial for defaming the name of the head of state.

You may remember that Marek had set up computer programme software which replicates the usual collective method of google bombing. The ‘victim’ was President Kaczynski, infamous for his oversensitivity and insecurity when being made fun of. The software tied a search of Lech Kaczynski on google to the Polish word “kutas”, a rather rude term for a male member.

To link the President of the Republic of Poland to a penis was too much for the head of state and police went round to Marek’s flat and arrested him. He faces three years in jail.

“This is not a matter of freedom of speech,” said Andrzej Holdys, a regional prosecutor in the southern town of Cieszyn, where the programmer lives. “If somebody uses a derogatory word to libel the head of state than it’s a clear insult which violates the law.”

It is actually against Polish law. But to spend the state’s time, and money, on an inconsequential issue as small as a male todger is a very good way of making a prick of yourself.

24 comments:

heat_seeker said...

You said 'libel' - does it mean that spoken insult (slander) does not violate the law?? How do they define 'derogatory word'? This is all such a slippery slope...

jannowak57 said...

I just don’t know if I am that sympathetic to poor Marek’s plight. He could have used the Internet to lobby for or promote the idea of getting rid of bad old laws still on the books. But rather than do that he chose to break the law all be it a stupid law. So lets view this as conscious decision by “poor Marek” to be a prankster versus a responsible citizen. Freedom does demand some responsibility.

beatroot said...

It's a landmark case in Poland and will set precedents. remember the homeless, drunk guy who was shouting insults and farrting at the president? That went to court too, absurdly.

This is a sign of deep indecurity on behalf of the head of state. He doesn;t seem to realise tjat this kind of legal action damages him far more than google bombing does.

Anonymous said...

A man in Lublin was arrested last week for shouting "spieprzaj dziadu" at the president. This of course was a famous quote from the man himself (possibly his twin brother, not 100% sure) made on the election trail and directed at a nobody who has no legal redress.

ge'ez said...

Off on even more than a tangent, but I couldn't resist noting the absence of our stalwart and steadfast Polish allies:

During a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Bush announced that seven countries – Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and South Korea – met the requirements to join the Visa Waiver Program.

beatroot said...

jan - a) it's a stupid law and one that needs to be changed.

b) I agree it was a purile thing to do.

c) using the massive machinary of the state against this nonsense is almost criminal in itself.

4) the only person that has demaened the president of poland is...the president of poland by allowing this action.

This is not about whether we sympathise with Marek M. or not...this is about immaturity of the head of state. marek should have the ight to call anyone he likes a prick. and we have the chance to ignore it, or not.

roman said...

beatroot,

marek should have the ight to call anyone he likes a prick.

Yes he should. He should also accept the consequences of his actions.
Can we just dismiss altogether that a head of state should maintain some semblence of honor and dignity? Are these terms no longer a part of our lexicon?
Remember, for all we know, Kaczynski may be a prick but he is also a representative of the Polish state and as such also of the Polish people. Any vulgarities aimed at him, if not challenged, will diminish the state he represents. I know it's a bit of a stretch but the "slippery slope" is in play here.

beatroot said...

Can we just dismiss altogether that a head of state should maintain some semblence of honor and dignity? Are these terms no longer a part of our lexicon?

But this is my point. Do you really think a president maintains his dignity by taking some spotty computer geek to court and threaten prison for calling them names?

I don't.

David Gillies said...

If freedom of speech means ANYTHING, it means the right to speak in a manner that others might find objectionable. It is arguable that a head of state, by dint of his position, has less cause for redress against someone who speaks ill of him.

Wasn't there a joke from the Warsaw Pact era where an American says, "the US is great. I can stand up in the middle of Times Square and say Ronald Reagan is an idiot!" "So what?" says the Russian. "I can stand up in the Middle of Red Square and say Ronald Reagan is an idiot!" Shame this śmierdzący dupek żołędny Kaczynski (can't remember if I spelt that right) hasn't learnt this lesson.

beatroot said...

śmierdzący dupek żołędny

Smelly bottom! Well, allegedly. But you are right about the power element in this. The vast resources of the state against spotty geek...another PR disaster for president of poland..,.

jannowak57 said...

ge'ez said... “but I couldn't resist noting the absence of our stalwart and steadfast Polish allies:”

You make it sound like Poland was treated unfairly; my understanding is they failed to meet the requirements to join the Visa Waiver Program.

Congress now requires that less than 10 percent of the visa applications by a country are rejected before it qualifies for membership. The refusal rate for Polish applicants was 25 percent last year but is now down to less than 14 percent.

I expect once they meet the criteria then they get to join the program.

beatroot said...

my understanding is they failed to meet the requirements to join the Visa Waiver Program.

That's true but it is a ridiculously meaningless figure. And it came from a time when Pioles actually wanted to go and live in America - and good luck to them. These days, however, they have places closer to home to go to - like the UK where I am from...and good luck to them there too. So the US regulations were designed for different times. I wanted to pop over to New York this month but girlfriend couldn;t just 'pop' anywhere in the US because of the visa situation. Disgrace!

beakerkin said...

Beatroot

As stated earlier, the visa waiver program is dictated by what the probability that the persons entering will become immigrants. Plenty of Poles disagree with your opinion and do seek to stay in the USA.

I merely see these people every day
and they obviously need to visit the Beatroot salon for guidance.

beatroot said...

Beak-o-Dide - check out the latest figures of Poles going to America since 2004...they are in freefall. And the reason is simple - why bother trying to get into a fortress thousands of miles away when you have much more welcoming places right on your door step.

but I agree they should check out the beatroot more often...

Harry said...

Has nobody spotted the rather obvious flaw in this whole case? Marek M. didn't call anybody anything. He didn't use any word to describe the president of Poland. He linked a google search of a word to the website of the president of Poland.

This is not a matter of free speech: Marek M. said nothing!

beatroot said...

That is actually a decent point which the guy's lawyers hopefully will be working on...the case rests, however, on whether he intentionally set out to defame etc...the law is all about 'intentions'''

cheech and chong said...

Bailiff, whack his pee-pee!

And what's this guy above saying about "these people"? Sure shows where he is coming from.

sergeant hubal said...

Why aren't less than ten percent of applications by Poles rejected?

Cut me a break.

Yes, Poles are being treated unfairly by the Bushites. Especially after all the Polish gubmint has committed Poles to be cannon fodder at home and abroad for purposes of maintaining US empire.

beakerkin said...

Beatroot

Feel free to tell the thousands of Poles in the USA that the elitist Beatroot knows how to run their lives better than they do. Have you deduced that any variation in numbers is likely due to variation in laws not preference?

It is obvious you do not have a clue as usual.

Sorry, but the Polish immigrants whom I see every week are quite happy to be in the USA.

the good war resister szwejk said...

And Beaky, you elitist, want to keep Poles out of the US. despite all the Polish government has done to support the US government and corporations in maintaining and expanding their empire.

beatroot said...

Feel free to tell the thousands of Poles in the USA that the elitist Beatroot knows ...

...yawn...as usual you are off on an argument that you are holding with yourself.

What I said is merely fact - much, much less Poles are going to America. The 'dream' is over. Now they go to the Uk and ireland. It's called the European Union. You might of heard of it...?

Anonymous said...

Is there a technical issue I can't seem to get a comment through using a google/blogger??

57

beatroot said...

I think there is some funny business going on...but its google's fault. can't do anything about it but will report it if it continues.

Otherwise, do the anon thing.

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