Updated: Aug 15, 2020
It wasn't. This article "Court throws out Digital Homicides case against critic Jim Sterling" for example, written by Cecilia D'Anastasio and listed on Kotaku uses a title that is not only false but intentionally worded to support the biased false premise contents of the article.
First, Digital Homicide didn't sue anyone James Romine did, by saying Digital Homicide your saying our company and myself were also litigants in the case filing which isn't true. Second, the lawsuit wasn't "Thrown Out" it was dismissed as part of a settlement(i'll detail this below). Saying "Thrown Out" is used to support the false claim that the lawsuit was frivolous which I've already written an article about and it was not frivolous. Mentioning "Critic" Jim Sterling once again is just meant to support the false premise of the articles content that the lawsuit is about silencing criticism so that readers will be outraged and want to support a crusade against a free speech violation.
" Now, this was a startling sight for games critics. If taken seriously, Digital Homicide’s lawsuit could constitute a threat against critics who publish negative reviews on large platforms. "
This quote from their article once again paints the lawsuit as a frivolous lawsuit meant to harm reviewers right to free speech. No where in the article do they mention the focal point of the lawsuit a false accusation of theft done by Sterling. This wasn't about your right to free speech it was about your right to not have false information printed about you. Which is ironic since the article itself is an example of having false information printed about you.
So what actually happened that lead up to the dismissal? Let's start at the first mention of the case contents. I personally had a conversation with Sterling on the phone which he later claimed was me threatening him to silence his criticism. This is false. I actually told him specifically I couldn't tell him what to do all I wanted was for him to cover us like he would cover anyone else instead of specifically targeting us and bombarding every single game we released, game we posted to greenlight, or website update. I literally begged him to just "be cool" my exact words and was met with his normal arrogant contemptuousness. I told him I didn't want a legal fight even though he had already committed defamation and that it would just be a waste of money for both of us. Unable to stand anymore of his awful rude behavior I ended the phone call saying see you in court. I decided against it and as usual just wanted to focus on making games.
Fast forward through more non stop "coverage" and false light articles, my brother James was fed up with the constant defamation and sued Sterling. If you want to read about the focus point of the lawsuit you can read an article about it here. To stay on point lets delve into what transpired from the filing of the lawsuit. Sterling upon being served the lawsuit immediately contacted his insurance company. Since the defamation took place while conducting business the insurance wouldn't cover it. So Sterling had to obtain a lawyer.
Now the case itself took forever stretched out by Sterling taking a long time to obtain a lawyer, the lawyer asking for a 30 day extension, and the fact that defamation cases are on a lower tier of case priority(especially pro se). During the year or so of the case going on my brother James had to endure all of the falsely painted articles and barrage of misinformed people hounding him. Feeling disheartened in the justice system, alone, and under duress he chose to give in and agreed to settling the dispute.
Sterlings lawyer seeing my brothers willingness to settle, then demanded James R. to cover his legal expenses and some other ridiculous stipulations made by Sterling. He threatened to do all the lovely things lawyers do like scouring your financial records, requiring psychological evaluation, and other things just to make you miserable(those of you donating to Sterlings patreon i'm sure he appreciates your contributions directly or indirectly paying for this). He also threatened to add me to the lawsuit, if my brother didn't comply. What he wasn't aware of was I was standing there during the threat and all of a sudden he was now on the phone with the person he was threatening. After explaining to him that Sterlings defense of hyperbole was complete trash, that he had made false statements of fact and I would be obtaining a lawyer the following day if they didn't settle with my brother, oh how the mood changed.
Sterling even paid for his lawyer to draft up a contract at James R.'s request because he now saw he needed to get out of a losing case anyway he could. Not liking the wording of the contract my brother decided not to sign it anyhow, and they ended up settling the dispute with Sterling right fully so eating the lawyer cost. If the case was so rock solid why didn't you pursue it you might ask. Have you ever been lied about and painted as a tyrant against free speech then bombarded by tens of thousands of people? Its not fun. Honestly, my brother was just exhausted from everything that happened and Steam had just obliterated our business. I look back now and wish I had used the savings I had to get him or us a lawyer, sorry bro. The fact he stood up for so long against such terrible misrepresentations of the truth is admirable.
This wasn't a case of a critic defending his free speech, this was a case of someone getting away with defamation and an example of how irresponsible media outlets can interfere to such a degree that justice becomes unobtainable.
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Wait Sterling Told Me Your A Liar! Ya Believe This Guy If You Want....
Ill cover some similar related materials in future articles.
Looking for more info check out this article: https://www.digitalhomicideuncensored.com/post/what-happened-to-digital-homicide
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