Hashtags Ruled #Defamatory in Canadian Court Case

When songwriter and music producer Mr. Johnson failed to property attribute collaboration of three songs to singer and songwriter Ms. Rakhmanova, she called him out on social media. Mr. Johnson filed defamation charges against Ms. Rakhmanova. In many of Ms. Rakhmanova’s social media posts, the judges highlighted the hashtags (“#piracy” “#plagiarism”, “#Infringement”, “#Illegal”) as the only defamatory elements of the posts. In Canada, a finding that a statement is defamatory raises a presumption that the statement is false, that it was communicated with malice and intent to harm; however, the presumption may be rebutted if the statements are found to be truthful. Ultimately, Ms. Rakhmanova proved the hashtags accurately described her transaction with Mr. Johnson and the court dismissed the case. Find out more details here.