Date: 18th October 2007 at 3:54pm
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Wednesday fans who faced legal action by the club for posts on Owls’ message board ‘Owlstalk’ have seen most of their cases thrown out of court – but four still remain.

The club had gone to London’s High Court demanding to know the identities of 13 Wednesday fans who post messages on website ‘Owlstalk’.

But Judge Richard Parkes QC said some of the messages posted on the site were ‘little more than abusive’ or ‘plainly intended as jokes’ or even ‘no more than saloon bar moanings’.

He also added that: ‘It seems to me that some of the postings which concern the claimants border on the trivial.’

And as a result, the club have had to fork out £9,000 in costs.

But Judge Richard Parkes QC has ordered ‘Owlstalk’ owner Hargreaves to hand over the e-mail addresses of three users ? ‘halfpint’, ‘ian’ and ‘vaughan’.

He said that their postings ‘may reasonably be understood to allege greed, selfishness, untrustworthiness and dishonest behaviour on the part of the claimants’.

And he added: ‘In the case of those postings, the claimants’ entitlement to take action to protect their right to reputation outweighs, in my judgment, the right of the authors to maintain their anonymity and their right to express themselves freely,’ the judge said.

So although nine of the original 13 Wednesday fans have seen their cases thrown out of court, the club will now be entitled to e-mail addresses and/or names of the remaining four – who still face legal action as a result.