Facts, Advice, Opinions, Fair Comment, Public Interest & Defamation
We do not use our websites just as sales catalogues. We feature facts, information, advice, news, opinions for collectors and investors. We also like to incorporate some humour where it will not detract from the serious bits.
Sometimes we encounter a situation where we feel it is in the public interest to publish information which is critical of another dealer or possible competitor. This forces us to make a delicate choice, do we present the information as bluntly and directly as normal, or should we be concerned about possible legal challenges, especially from large organisations, possibly with deep pockets and armies of expensive lawyers?
Publish & Be Damned?
This original comment is attributed to Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, although in a slightly different context. Wellington was undoubtedly a brave man. We try to emulate him when faced with a decision on whether to publish a possibly contentious fact or opinion, and also on the, fortunately infrequent occasions when we receive a threat of legal action.
Hopefully whatever we publish is accurate and objective enough to stand up to rigorous scrutiny, We feel this is also a commercially sensible policy, as it should protect us against all but the Robert Maxwells of this world.
Open to Correction
Since the launch of our first website in 1998, we have always invited corrections from experts, collectors, or casual browsers. We offer a free pint to anyone who finds what we call our deliberate errors, and we now owe a few gallons, but have yet to meet and pay out to our contributors.
Our invitation to correct is also an open offer to any party who feels we may have published anything inaccurate or untrue, and which possibly libels or defames them.
In short, we try to maintain high editorial standards in our published material, so that it should withstand most scrutiny and challenge, but we know that nobody is perfect, and remain flexible enough to reconsider and revise anything we have published, with having to yield to unethical pressure from external sources to remove information which is in the public interest.
Although we are critical, on our websites, of a number of individuals and companies, we believe our comments are honest, accurate and fair. We also publish them under our name. If any of the targets of our comments wish to disagree, they are welcome to write to us with any corrections or amendments, preferably in the form of a statutory declaration. We will give such correspondence due consideration, and make edits to our web pages as required.
A number of people who we have reported for copyright abuse, or named and shamed for other unethical behaviour, have from time to time posted negative, untrue, biased, and defamatory comments about our company and its directors. On occasions where this has been done openly, we have written to the authors with a legal notice to cease and desist. On other occasions, such comments have been published anonymously (or sometimes semi-anonymously). We regard these anonymous authors as cowards. Unfortunately it is now easy for anybody to publish almost whatever they wish on internet websites. U.S. based sites such as Google's Blogger, Twitter, Automatic (Wordpress), and many social networking sites are no longer liable for defamatory statements published on their sites, even after they are served notice. Many of these sites state that they will not remove defamatory material without a court order. This would almost certainly need to be from an American court, probably one in the state where the site or host company is based. Wikipedia will not release contributor identities without a court order.
Steve Simpson Retraction & Apology for Defamatory Comments
One of our ex-employees published defamatory, malicious and rather stupid comments about us, but has since given a written undertaking to withdraw the commnets and not repeat them.
Government Wealth Warning on Modern Gold Coins?
We think there should be a Government Wealth Warning on modern coin issues including gold coins.
2011 Gold Coin
2010 Gold Coin