"Star Wars Kid" settles out of court

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by irmongoose, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

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    #1
    Link.

    Poor guy, seems it really got to him.




    irmongoose
     
  2. mrzeve macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Anyone see that episode of American Dad where they spoofed him?
     
  3. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #3
    Any way you look at it, I'm kind of proud of this kid. He was getting screwed with, and rather than just taking it, he struck back hard. Anybody who has a problem with lawsuit has two other options that I can think of - 1) the kid suffers through it, but I can think of no justification why or 2) he shoots the school up, to make the tormentors stop. I think the lawsuit keeps looking better and better. I hope he destroyed those kids lives as much as they destroyed his.
     
  4. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #4
    So he left this tape out for anyone to get their hands on?

    What a cry-baby.
     
  5. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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  6. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #6
    Without seeing the video myself, it seems like the article says that he's chubby... And these days, anyone even a bit overweight gets a lot of heat... add to that fire the fact that there's a humiliating (is it?) video clip of you all over the 'net. I dunno. I could see how this kid's life was adversely affected by the clip.
     
  7. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #7
    When your intent is to cause emotional or psychological harm, especially with material that belongs to the victim and has not been truly abandoned, you are setting yourself up for a lawsuit. With the common law background of the anglo nations and the more liberal tendencies of the Canadians, I'd imagine that their intentional infliction of emotional distress has a much lower standard than the American. Add in that they used his material to do so - you are just asking to get nailed.

    Was it stupid to leave it out there? Yes. But, it was much dumber to digitize and then post it on the internet. As the reach of bullying is extended, the punishment is going to get harsher. If you don't nip this early, you create a lot of angry kids with angry futures...
     
  8. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #9
    Aw, I feel sorry for him. It's not fair for him to get bullied just because he wants to be a Jedi (or Sith, depending on whether he falls to the dark side) when he grows up. Plus he gots da moves!
     
  9. mcarnes macrumors 68000

    mcarnes

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    #10
  10. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #11
    Do you really think it would have made any difference had they found the tape in the garbage? I don't.

    Agreed, but on the flip side, when you do things like making dorky tapes of yourself and leave them lying about, you're inviting ridicule on yourself. If he was so concerned he should have taken the tape home or erased it.

    Children tease. It's a fact of growing up, and no amount of liberal everyone's-a-winner-ism is going to change that. The whole matter probably would have died out on its own if this kid didn't have to draw so much extra attention to himself.

    For the record, I was one of the overweight, outsider kids who got teased a lot. But I learned to let it go, and that eventually no one would care about the nickname or whatever the tease of the moment happened to be. I didn't go shoot up any schools or sue anyone over it either.
     
  11. madoka macrumors 6502

    madoka

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    #12
    3. He plays along and becomes a net celebrity. Instead, he's a jerk for filing the lawsuit.

    Seriously when this first appeared, people were taking up collections to give him stuff. I remember one website got up to $10,000 in donations that were to be used to get him ipods, star wars stuff, cash, etc. Instead, he and his parents acts like a weiner and files a frivious lawsuit. All of a sudden, no one empathizes with him.

    And no, it wasn't intentional infliction, at best negligent and good luck trying to prove that in court. All the lawsuit did was cause the parents of each of the families to shell out attorney fees.
     
  12. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #13
    Yes. The difference is not the actual case, but damages. If they found it in the garbage, I think SWK would have had a harder time collecting much. It just made the situation a bit worse.

    I agree with you. But, the fact that he didn't doesn't change anything. They did wrong. His mistake doesn't justify their actions.

    The problem is I don't see how he tried to draw extra attention to himself. From what it sounds like, the blog interview was an attempt to do that - play it down so it would die down. But it didn't.

    The difference between your situation and that of this kid is about 100 million people. If those hits to the blogs were unique, there are over 70m from just those two sites. I'm sure there are at least 30m more. Anyway, he may have been able to let it slide in school, but when people everywhere think they have a funny new comment - that's another level. Do I support lawsuits for fat kids when classmates make fun of them? No. But this is something else - by posting it on the internet, it is much more vile.
     
  13. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    #14
    Obviously not enough, otherwise 31% of the country wouldn't be obese...and another 30% overweight. :rolleyes:


    No offense meant to people who are overweight, but in the majority of cases, losing weight (or not getting there in the first place), isn't rocket science...
     
  14. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #15
    I hadn't though of that option (I really have no idea what this kid is all about - just what I read about the case. But, if that's right, then he he really could have come out ahead with embracing his celebrity. So, taking your facts as correct - you're right and I was wrong. (how often do you hear that on MR :))

    As for being intentional infliction - I think you could make the argument that it was posted in order to humiliate and not to promote his celebrity cause. The kid's comment to the principal about how things weren't supposed to get this out of hand leans more towards malice than promotion. While I don't know the IIED standard in Canada, I imagine that in the US he would struggle but I think he would be able to push some of what he ended up doing as physical manifestation of emotional distress. A more liberal friendly Canada, I'm guessing, would have a lower standard - or at least the argument would be easier to make.
     
  15. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #16
    i think 351,000 is a little over board for being made fun of. Not to say i don't feel for him but if everyone got 351,000 when they got made fun of everyone would be rich!!
     
  16. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #17
    Again, not knowing Canadian justice, you always aim high (but not too high). You never know what the case will bring out ("I wanted SWK to kill himself") and in settling, negotiations are going to go better for you if you ask for more than if you ask for less. But, always be careful not to ask for too much...
     
  17. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #18
    There are degrees of teasing. Is hazing teasing? What about hazing that leaves kids dead? Is that teasing? No one is dead here. Fine. But let's not pretend that what happened to this kid did not equate to signficant suffering.

    If the teasing was limited to the school, consequences would be easy to mete out. But when the teasing moves itself to the public realm, he seems within his rights to seek jurisprudence.

    I think an equally interesting question is: What was the motivation for the kids who released/published the tape? How much attention did they need, and what was missing in their lives that they needed to act as such toward the "fat geek"?

    We're all beautifully and horribly vulnerable, and we're all working awfully hard to pretend we're not ...
     
  18. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #19
    He was being teased, not bullied. When it becomes physical, then it is bullying, and that's a different can of worms.

    I suppose you'll next say that William Hung has the right to sue everyone who made fun of him if he claims it hurt his feelings and made him go to therapy. The point is this kid made a tape of himself acting like a goofball and didn't think enough to protect himself from the obvious result if anyone saw it.

    They're children. Teenagers, but still children. Who says they need motivation?

    We're also apparently raising a generation of victimized tattlers who keep climbing Mt. Molehill.
     
  19. maxterpiece macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

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    #20
    I mean he's clearly goofing around. And none of the spoofs are too abusive. I think in a few years he'll look back at the whole event and think it's funny.
     
  20. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #21
    No, you are quite wrong on the salient point -- William Hung consented to his performance being publicized.

    Consent is the first test here. Clearly the plaintiff never consented to publication, and the defendants broke several laws in misappropriating, copying and then publishing the material.

    That is completely aside from whether the result was embarrassing or caused injury (emotional or economic) to the plaintiff.
     
  21. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #22
    I'll concede, but I still maintain there is a parallel.

    This makes it sound as though it was never the kid's tape in the first place. If, as the article implies, the camera & tape were school property, then common sense would dictate he had no expectation of privacy. The malefactors didn't film him unknowingly, break into his house, or mug him, they came upon the tape by happenstance.

    Also agreed, but I fail to see how being embarassed is grounds for a lawsuit.
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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  23. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #24
    The real world is going to totally wreck this kid. I predict suicide.
     
  24. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #25
    But I don't think that's really fair to say-- none of us have had the exact, unique experiences that he has had.
     

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