Xstrata threatens Mumbrella with defamation

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Xstrata has threatened media and marketing news site Mumbrella with defamation after it reported on a parody video made by a group backed by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.

The online video parodies the mining industry’s "This is our Story" advertising campaign, of which Xstrata is a supporter.

In a story published earlier today Mumbrella embedded the Youtube video, part of an alternative campaign by the AMWU titled "This is The Real Story".

At 2.45pm Mumbrella took the video down and published another news article detailing a legal threat from Xstrata.

Mumbrella published the letter in full on its website, where Xstrata Coal legal counsel Tom Cregan threatened to sue unless Mumbrella took down the video.

"Xstrata recognises that there is legitimate scope for parody in public debate, and appreciates the importance in public life of a free and frank exchange of views," said Cregan.

"Nonetheless, we take exception to the piece concerning [name withheld by Mumbrella] because it makes a number of suggestions concerning [name withheld] that are unfair and defamatory."

Xstrata said it was happy to accept "robust criticism" but would not allow its employees to be defamed.

"We do not wish to escalate this to a legal dispute, but you should not underestimate our willingness to do so if your website continues to defame our employee," it said.

Mumbrella editor Tim Burrowes told Cregan Mumbrella did not create the video or publish it, but simply embedded it from Youtube.

"Your note suggests you may misunderstand who has published the video to which you refer," he said.

"We were not responsible for uploading the video and have no connection to the YouTube channel “pourouge12″ where it has been uploaded."

Burrowes said he did not wish to "become a test case" for who was responsible for embedded Youtube content and would take the video off Mumbrella.

Xstrata was unavailable for comment this afternoon.

The video in question can be found on Youtube here.

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