Opinion: Digital Homicide Is Suing Jim Sterling & That is Bad for the Industry
By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Mar, 2016 At 08:19 PM | Categorized As Editorials, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarDisclaimer: The following is the views of the writer only and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer and any other writer affiliated with ROG.

 

Jim Sterling, a well known game reviewer is being sued by Digital Homicide over his negative review of their games on Steam. Digital Homicide then used DMCA takedowns on his videos to among others things, get the videos taken down and cost him ad revenue. But now they are taking things a step further.

DH is now trying to raise money to hire a lawyer to sue Sterling, claiming that Sterling defamed and slandered them. They allege that Sterling’s followers and viewers engaged in harassment against the. However, the issue there is that Sterling has no control over what his audience does, and they did false flag Jim’s videos.

What Jim did was criticize their games as fair use, and for DH to sue over this can create problems in the industry for one simple reason. If reviewers can be sued over opinions then what is the end result? All of gaming journalism would have to change so as to lie at all times to protect themselves.Hell, all of reviewing in any industry would suffer. A director doesn’t like a review of his film and then he sues the reviewer, and then the film industry suffers. Where would it end?

If we put a product out there, then we need to be ready to face criticism and challenges. If someone rails on your work, and his audiences attack you, can you sue him? Well, did he tell his audience to attack you? Jim Sterling most definitely did not.

DH is suing over defamation but that requires proof of malicious intent, which would be hard to prove in ordinary cases, but Jim did not send his audience after DH and DH did issue false takedown’s of Jim’s videos which would not help their cause. Jim had fair use and free speech laws on his side as well, which makes this lawsuit unlikely to succeed.

My biggest concern is that someone else will try this as well, someone with more resources. You should not be able to sue Person A over an opinion and what Person B does as a result, if person A never incited anyone against you or told them to attack and harass. To be honest, this seems like a frivolous lawsuit and ill thought out. Rather than ride a wave of notoriety that could have caused them to get more sales, DH tried to silence a dissenting opinion and in doing so brought a wave of anger against themselves. I stand with Jim Sterling and if you value freedeom of opinions, fair use, and free speech then you must as well.

Thank you.

J.

 

The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily represent the views of ROG and its writers.

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