Political pundit wins lawsuit against hostel owner

THREATS:
Lin Ho-yi to pay Wang Ruei-deh NT$30,000 for copyright infringement and mental disorder, district court says

  • By Wang Ting-chuan and Kayleigh Madjar / Personal Reporter, with a personal editor

Last week, a Taitung city hostel owner was ordered to pay NT$30,000 (US$1,071) in compensation after threatening political scholar Wang Ruei-deh (王瑞德) with assault for allegedly calling on his online followers to attack him.

Wang was seeking damages of NT$1 million for a dispute arising from an online comment by Pisces Hostel owner Lin Ho-yi (林和誼) after the fatal accident of a Taroko Express train on April 2 last year.

Lin wrote on Facebook that the derailment was “caused by trolls from the Taiwan Railways Administration”, sparking public anger and a subsequent media investigation that revealed Lin was operating the hostel illegally.

Photo: Wang Ting-fu, Taipei Times

During a trip to Taitung on April 5, Wang, in a livestream, called for supporting a “legal hostel” to protect travelers’ rights.

Wang said that after Lin heard his comment on Facebook, the hostel owner posted a slew of allegations on Wang’s Facebook page, including that he had an illicit relationship with a former housekeeper. and enlisted a “cyberarmy” to attack people in Taitung.

Lin also insinuated that Wang was working with a group of inn owners and a female New Power Party member to entrap and extort him, according to the lawsuit.

Additionally, Wang sought damages for violating his portrait rights and copyrights after Lin posted Wang’s video on his own YouTube page.

On June 16, Lin said on Facebook that he was waiting outside the Sanlih Entertainment Television building in Taipei to assault Wang, and included a photo from outside the building, according to the lawsuit.

In his defense, Lin accused Wang of spreading misinformation that led his “cyberarmy” to attack him.

Saying he was just a pawn, Lin questioned who gave Wang the power to order the media to drive him “to the brink of extinction,” prompting his followers to harass him. and his family.

The New Taipei District Court has ruled that most cases accusing someone of manipulating their online subscribers or leading an internet trend have an adverse outcome for the party making the claim.

Since Lin could not produce any evidence, he would face a similar judgment, the court heard.

However, since the replay of Wang’s video constitutes copyright infringement and the threat of assault caused mental distress, judges found Lin guilty and ordered him to pay NT$30,000 in damages. and interest.

The decision can be appealed.

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Linda G. Ibarra