Phil Mickelson Wins Quebec Lawsuit to Unmask Online Heckler

A Canadian court has given cable giant Videotron ten days to disclose the identity of an Internet subscriber who made defamatory statements against the golfer and his wife.

TORONTO - Lawyers for golfer Phil Mickelson on Monday secured a judgement from a Quebec court to force cable giant Videotron S.E.N.C. to disclose the identity of an online heckler.

The Vancouver Sun newspaper reported the Quebec Superior Court has given Videotron ten days to unmask one of its Internet access subscribers for making defamatory statements against Mickelson and his wife on Yahoo! Sports on November 11 and 12.

Mickelson and his lawyers on January 25 brought the defamation lawsuit against Videotron, alleging an unnamed individual using the pseudonyms “Fogroller and “Longitude” on the Internet posting board claimed the pro golfer has an illegitimate child and that his wife had a affair with former basketballer Michael Jordan.

Canadian courts in the past have often sided with domestic cable and phone giants in calls by copyright holders to learn the names of serial down-loaders to combat online piracy.

But the Quebec court has ruled free speech apparently doesn’t extend to making defamatory allegations against public figures while hiding behind the anonymity of an Internet chat room alias.

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