Thursday, April 16, 2015

Bring Free Dominion Back! Fundraiser for Appeal

If you can help out, please do!  It's a great cause.



Bring Free Dominion Back!

For over 14 years we at Free Dominion have been standing up for freedom of speech and privacy online.

We fought and won a copyright case where the court greatly expanded what was considered to be "fair dealing" with news article excerpts, and clarified that posting images using a "hotlink" was not unauthorized usage.  Prominent tech lawyer, Michael Geist wrote of that decision, "The decision has enormous implications for Internet users, news organizations, and free speech in Canada as it removes much of the legal uncertainty surrounding sharing information online." Geist concluded by saying, "For Internet users accustomed to posting, linking, tweeting, pinning, or otherwise communicating the news of the day online, they can breathe a sigh of relief as the decision sends a strong signal that such activities fall within the law. " - Michael Geist

Recently, we won a defamation case where the court examined fair comment in the context of the blogosphere.  Toronto civil litigator John Philpott wrote, "... the court here seems to be creating a separate standard for the blogosphere and giving them a much longer leash as to what they can say and use a fair comment defence to do that."  He goes on to say, "We will need more decisions from the court to create certainty in this area. Although the recent Ezra Levant decision did not permit the defence of fair comment, I expect that case to become an outlier and that courts will increasingly side on the view of fair comment when political speech is involved."  - Advocate Daily

These decisions made life a little bit safer for everyone who posts online.

Free Dominion was closed to the public last year as a result of a court injunction in another case that is currently under appeal.  The injunction is vaguely-worded and holds us, as site operators, liable as publishers if posters write virtually anything about the plaintiff in that case.

Recently, however, we re-opened Free Dominion in a limited fashion to allow concerned conservatives a place to speak out against the notorious "Secret Police" Bill C-51 that is currently making its way through Parliament.

Within days, we were notified that we must edit materials we had posted on the subject of Bill C-51 or face criminal contempt charges and possible prison time for allegedly violating the injunction.

We want to be able to re-open Free Dominion completely so that we can continue to fight for expanded freedom of speech online and to fight against out-of-control government spying and "disruption".

In order to do that, we must win our appeal of the case where the injunction was ordered.

Although we have had several wins, the courts have not been kind in awarding us our costs.  As a result, we have had to fund all of these cases ourselves, and with the generous support of other people who love the internet.

We need $14,000 to get caught up and ready for the appeal that will likely be held in the fall.  We have already paid nearly $12,000 for transcripts for the case, and we will be presenting a solid case.

Please help us get back in the game.  We are fighting as hard as we can, even with a court order that is hobbling our efforts.

With your help we can put that behind us and get back to putting our efforts where they keeping our internet safe, free and private, and in holding our government accountable for undermining those important values.

Please help us by donating what you can, and/or by sharing this campaign through your social media.

We are able to accept donations outside of this campaign and add them to the total, so if you would prefer to use PayPal, you can contact me at the email below.

If you prefer to use an Interac e-Transfer, you can send it to

Or, if you like using the mail, our address is as follows:

Connie Fournier
2000 Unity Rd
Elginburg, ON K0H 1M0

Thank you for your help!

Yours in freedom,

Mark and Connie Fournier