46 U.B.C. L. Rev. 529 (2013)
Rethinking Canadian Defamation Law as Applied to Corporate Plaintiffs

handle is hein.journals/ubclr46 and id is 543 raw text is: RETHINKING CANADIAN DEFAMATION LAWAS
APPLIED TO CORPORATE PLAINTIFFS
HILARYYOUNG
By acknowledging the differences between reputation as property and
reputation as dignity, defamation law could begin the task of devising
distinct doctrinal structures appropriate to each form of reputation.'
I. INTRODUCTION
In the late 1980s, Helen Steel and David Morris, members ofa small British
environmental organization, publicly distributed a pamphlet entitled
What's wrong with McDonald's: Everything they don't want you to know.
The pamphlet accused McDonald's of practices includingselling unhealthy
food, manipulating children through its advertising, and exploiting its
workers. McDonald's responded by suing the pair-a gardener and an
unemployed postman-in defamation.
Although Steel and Morris were able to prove the truth ofsome oftheir
allegations, McDonald's succeeded with regard to others and was awarded
£60,000 in damages (reduced to E40,000 on appeal).' The defendants
could not and did not pay the award against them. The case dragged on for
t HilaryYoung is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick's Faculty of
Law. She wishes to thank Sienne Lam and April Stoker for their research assistance. She
also wishes to thank the Queen's University FacultyAssociation, the Law Foundation of
Ontario and the University of New Brunswick's Faculty of Law for funding this
research. Finally, she is grateful to Erik Knutsen, Ed Veitch, Robert Danay, and members
of the UNB Faculty of Law for their valuable comments.
Robert C Post, The Social Foundations of Defamation Law: Reputation and the
Constitution (1986) 74:3 Cal L Rev 691 at 721.
2   McLibel: Longest case in English history, BBC News (15 February 2005), online:
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news> [McLibel BBC].

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