On April 16, 2015, Alison Tieman and the Honey Badger Brigade opened a booth at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. The booth, which bore the group’s name, contained a combination of HBB merchandise and editions and merchandise from Alison’s Xenospora comic. Included in the booth was an anti-censorship banner with the gamergate logo on it as a tribute to gamergaters who had donated to our fundraiser to help get us to the expo.
The next morning, the expo expelled Alison and the Brigade, defaming her and the Brigade with false accusations of disruptive conduct to rationalize its decision to censor the group’s views. These accusations included some claims published in a Mary Sue article and subsequently promoted by the expo as the reason behind the expulsion. Those accusations were repeated, and that article cited, by various media sources following the incident.
In response, the Brigade has pursued legal action against both Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo and The Mary Sue.
After initially serving notice of legal action to the defendants, we ran across an interesting obstacle; an odd network of legal entities surrounding Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo.
The suit was originally filed against the federal corporate entity bearing nearly the same name as Calgary expo and founded by the expo’s founder. Following notification on behalf of that entity that it was not the expo’s parent company, we re-examined the various companies associated with it and found that the correct entity was one with a deceptively non-corporate-sounding name, and which was not federally registered. While this caused some confusion as to which entity is responsible for the expo, we were able to identify Comic & Entertainment Expo Committee as the correct entity.
Due to the confusion, it was necessary to apply for an order granting leave to amend the civil claim, and a conference call was scheduled to allow the defendants the opportunity to contest the application. Following this short conference call in January 2016, the plaintiff’s application was approved. The Judge granted broad approval, also allowing the plaintiff to fix the two typographical errors with which the Mary Sue had taken substantial issue.
The date for the hearing is still set for June 2nd.