Wwrn


#141

A few points.

Given that some key people from Forumosa had a degree of involvement in the radio station and had direct dealings with the South African guy, I don’t see how this is just an issue of website gossip. Posters on Forumosa were responsible in part for promoting WWRN


#142

Not met this jester but sadly my son appeared in an ad/press conference with his little girl who, like her mother seemed very nice. she seemed quite chuffed at what he was ‘achieving’. As a father of similarly aged child, I find the fact that he dragged his little girl into this morally repugnant and inexcusable.

I do not care what frame of mind you are in - pull all the scams you like but leave your child out of it.

Elias, you certainly do want facts, as is demonstrable from the following:

All the papers slap the epithet “Staff Writer” on translations or information they did not dig up themselves. They also use some of the same wire services.

Look at the names on the local pieces you read sometime. What do you notice? They are Taiwanese reporters. The fact is, there is not an inexhaustible supply of them at any of the papers and most of them are not trained journalists. The reason foreigners do not work as local news reporters here is because the pay is pitiful. The papers have few paid foreign staff writers (and I’m referring to features here) and one has none whatsoever. This is is simply because it doesn’t have enough money for them. It does not, as you sagely advise, “spend the resources” because it does not have them/is not apportioned them.

And - and this is fulcrum of the issue - it is NOT a case of foreigners not representing the community and being “worse than useless” as you, rather smugly, put it. Who do you think owns the English language rags here? Certainly not foreigners. As well as being misinformed, you are being grossly unfair to foreigners who work their bollocks off at these outfits for meagre recompense and are who are seriously understaffed and forced to multi-task in a way that would be unthinkable at a paper back home. It is very easy to sententiously hold forth about how bad the papers are here but you really probably don’t have the foggiest what it is like working for one.

In any case, even if there had been a reporter available and capable of covering the lurid tale, what info do you think he or she could have obtained that was not contained within the confines of the local Chinese language press and these boards?

The bottom line is, papers cannot have people in all the places all the time - that’s why wires exist - and even the top papers in UK/elsewhere use wire reports for breaking news and rehash/translate info.

Anyway, rant done…All the best to that prat’s family.

p.s. zhujianlun’s comments on this matter were by and large perspicacious…These were allegations and, as such, regardless of the medium, were legitimate news items. The guy has been arrested, cops says he has owned up, and people on a ex-pat website have claimed he skanked them. If they had told a reporter would their claims be any more reliable?


#143

This a dismal tale, indeed!

I have every sympathy for Almas and the other good people who were so enthusiastically involved in this project and have been so badly let down.

But I am very surprised that such an evidently dishonest fellow, who is quite rightly being held in police custody for behaviour that is reprehensible at best and felonious by almost every account, has people speaking up for him so strongly. I seldom disagree with Loretta, whose views and attitudes more often than not chime closely with mine and whose judgment stands high in my estimation. In this case, however, we see things very differently.

And what’s all this nonsense from Elias about attacking the Taipei Times for its coverage of the story? Yes, it would have been even better if they could have had a reporter do a bit more digging into it. But given their limited resources and the small chance of being able to turn up more than was already in the public domain, they can hardly be faulted for not having done so. In all other respects, their reporting of the story was fully justified and wholly in order, and I hope they’ll publish further news of how it develops and not be dissuaded from doing so by Elias’s vehement and misguided protest.


#144

For obvious reasons, the comments on forumosa shouldn’t have any effect whatsoever on a lawsuit if one is filed. In Taiwan, as in most civilized countries (or should that be “and in most civilized countries”) hearsay is inadmissible in court.

Hearsay is an out of court assertion offered to prove the truth of the assertion. In other words, a written statement from some website (made out of court) can’t be used to prove that the allegation made on the website is true, because it is obviously unreliable. Who made the statement on the website, does that person have any knowledge of the facts, is that person crazy, was that person drunk or just joking when he/she made the statement? If one relies just on hte written statement one doesn’t know. That is why the out of court statement can’t be used and instead, if anything, the person making the statement must be called in to make the statement in court where he/she can be questioned by both the prosecutor and defense attorney, given a chance to explain the statement, and the judge can evaluate the person and the statement.

Moreover, if all the police and prosecutor have to go on is the comments on this website, they will clearly release the guy and not file charges. To prosecute a case requires a lot more evidence than that. So I’m not overly worried that comments on this website will unduly prejudice him. But I do agree that at this point it’s all just allegations, and not proven facts, though some of the allegations appear to be fairly credible and consistent with other allegations. Still, Loretta’s right that he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet.


#145

MT, thanks for your comments.

To a few others, I’m not speaking up for Ryan. I think he’s a messed up unreliable fool who has hurt a lot of people because he started something without thinking it through. (JD summed it up nicely.) But I am speaking up for objectivity and fairness.

If (assuming) he’s still in jail then shouldn’t he have been charged with something by now? Presumably he has to at least answer to these charges of faking a kidnapping. Other than ‘it was probably an act of desperation by someone in a disturbed state of mind’ I don’t have a lot to say about that.

Except that the reports indicate his wife was involved. Ryan may have created the situation by himself, but the kidnapping solution appears to have been something they tried to do together. Now, if the foreigner is being demonised and the local is ‘the victim’ then I’m pissed off.

About WWRN:

The guy was allegedly running an illegal business. Some people were working there illegally. and now they’re angry that they didn’t get paid. Well, I would be angry too if I was in that situation. But I wouldn’t get all self-righteous about how he was a criminal and I wasn’t.

Anyone who has ever taught a private student or done any work outside of their work permit is as guilty as Ryan is alleged to be in this respect.

Ryan also claimed that the station would be broadcasting on FM soon. I’ve seen documents purporting to be an FM license, in chinese and therefore meaningless to me. I’ve heard claims that transmitters were being installed and tested. I believe that this was all fabrication. It seemed a bit unlikely, but I wasn’t taking enough of a risk to worry about it.

Having slept on it, I can’t blame an employee for not checking on any aspect of the legalities of an employer’s operation. My sympathies go out to anyone who has been suckered into involvement with this and lost out. But I will say that Ryan was an obvious bullshitter and anyone who’s been here for any length of time must know how hard it is for foreigners to get permission to do anything.

It’s one thing to do some work for someone with an iffy tale to tell, but loaning large sums of money requires due diligence. I have a lot of respect for TavernCaptain as a businessman, and when he stated that he had checked and was satisfied that the project was real I believed him. I would be very surprised to learn that someone of his experience and knowledge would put over half a million into something without making sure it was legit.

But that is what apparently happened. And TC has deleted his earlier post. That’s a banning offence on this site.

Let’s get the chronology straight here.

Ryan starts this little project from home.
It appears successful. (NB I haven’t seen any verified server statistics, so I have no idea how many listeners the station really had.)
WWRN moves into rented premises and starts hiring DJs.
TavernCaptain announces that the project is legit and invests money.
I learn that Ryan is pursuing a big deal that would probably put the station onto a reasonably sound footing. (Personally I think it’s unlikely he would have got the deal, especially as the claim about going FM was very dubious, but the chance was there.)
TavernCaptain learns, belatedly, that there is no business or FM license and ‘repossesses’ the equipment on which the station depends.
This effectively closes the station and kills any chance, however slight, that it could have earned any money.
TC deletes the post in which he states that, having done his due diligence, he is convinced that the station is a safe investment.

Personally I doubt that Ryan would have kept things going long enough to be successful. But he was in with some kind of a chance. Giving him that chance might have exposed more people to more potential loss, but it might have earned a return on TavernCaptain’s investment.

That’s all speculative now. All I know is that there’s apparently a need for something like WWRN, all the pieces were in place, and now it’s dead and nobody has been paid anything. And a man who needs help has been driven to an act of desperation that has put him in jail - which reflects poorly on the whole foreign community.

I’ve heard from TC about what he plans to do with the equipment, and I hope he’ll post that here. I think it’s very admirable and to be applauded. I don’t think he was wrong to act when he did, and he’s one of the few people viewing Ryan’s behaviour objectively.

But this is not over yet. What’s going to happen now?


#146

do you need a licence to run an internet station?


#147

That was something that bothered me. Way back in March he claimed there were almost 3,000 listeners, others questioned that, he insisted it was true, though it seemed like BS at the time, and I guess we still don’t know for sure. If that wasn’t true, if there were really only 6 listeners (as the stats seemed to show), then I wouldn’t call him a bullshitter – I’d call him a fucking liar. And if he was lying about that, as far as I’m concerned, his behavior was totally inexcusable and he’s just a fraudulent con artist, not someone who slipped up due to pressure. So, I, for one, look forward to learning how many listeners there really were and if he really had 2 T3 lines as claimed.

[quote=“hypermegaglobal”]It’s great to have a Taiwan-based radio station broadcasting in English, but seriously: three thousand listeners?

Compare this to Forumosa’s 235 most users ever online. Click here to compare it to the number of listeners of other Shoutcast stations. Also consider the required bandwidth: 3000 listeners at 32Kbps means around 100Mbps. AFAIK, the fastest DSL upstream available in Taiwan is 1Mbps. You’d have to lease more than two T3 lines, which would cost at least US$ 10000 per month (in the U.S.).

When is the IPO? Can I buy stock?[/quote]


#148

Under English law, inducing someone to invest in or provide services for a business venture by dishonestly misrepresenting that you were in possession of a vital license that you actually did not possess would amount to obtaining property by deception in the former case and obtaining services by deception in the latter case, which are separate criminal offences under the Theft Act 1978. In the case of the property, the prosecution would have to prove intention to permanently deprive, but obviously that does not apply in the case of services (which by their very nature cannot be returned once they have been provided).

I don’t know if these actions would likewise constitute offences under Taiwan’s Criminal Code, but I’d certainly expect it to be so.


#149

Sounds like a scam to me


#150

What I heard is that he himself, R,that is, actually text messaged his wife’s family, maybe his wife directly, saying the kid had been kidnapped and NT$5 million was being demanded to get the kid back safely, and the money should be wired to some cockamamie bank account under a fake name he had set up. So he was not ‘‘faking’’ a kidnapping, according to the Chinese media here, he was actually undertaking a kidnap randsom bid from his wife or her family, who are said to be rich,

Yes, he never did kidnap his own kid, but he did allegedly text message a ransom note. that is why he is in jail.

see the Liberty Times article above


#151

What Ryan did was inexcusable and too low to comprehend without fully understanding the facts behind it all. I personally see this as a big scar on any ex-pat trying to setup something like WWRN in the future. This effects me because I’ve been trying for a long time to setup something like this for ex-pats in Taiwan in the form of streaming videocasting over the Internet.

I checked out the rumor that there were 3,000 listeners listening to WWRN at one time. Any one can do it. I did this check in June and only found 2 “connected” users. I also did a reverse IP check on the WWRN site and streaming port that was up and found the IP had “low routing”, which means that the line/IP wasn’t in heavy use. I didn’t ring a loud bell because I didn’t want to blow anyones bubble. This was before I heard that people lost a lot of money to this scam.

The Internet has been thought of as a avenue for everyone (including ex-pats) to get around local laws and other limits to express concerns about life in their enviroment. Why not start an Internet based service for ex-pats in Taiwan? As far as getting a licence to operate a FM station in Taiwan, it’s not only hard for locals to get a operation licence (it takes about 2 to 5 years) but forget it if you are a laowai. As a US licenced Ham operator living in Taiwan I know how hard it is to get a station licence or permit in as an ex-pat under the laws in Taiwan. For me to operate, I have to go to a local Ham operator’s station in Taipei to chat with friends in the States. Non-locals are not allowed to own or setup any broadcast station in Taiwan.

We all know that scams are everywhere and not only ex-pats are scammers. Most ex-pat started services are 100% on the upstart. Most have failed with a bad taste in their mouths. I’ve been around for the fall of many ex-pat started , run and bank rolled papers and magazines. In my mind the lastest magazine that has ex-pats at the guns is the one run by the Compass Magazine group. They are doing a good job and I wish they continue doing so. Now that WWRN has been exsposed what is next for audio and video media for ex-pats in Taiwan? We can’t rely on ICRT.
The closest is Taiwan Public Television Service.

I hope that those people who backed Ryan in his venture don’t totally give up on the ideals in forming and supporting a service like WWRN. There is a small gap between a bullshitter and a businessman. Ryan leaned to far to one side. In fact I learnt something from this about how to raise interest in projects like WWRN. However, I will not fall to the darkside.


#152

For obvious reasons, the comments on forumosa shouldn’t have any effect whatsoever on a lawsuit if one is filed. in Taiwan, as in most civilized countries (or should that be “and in most civilized countries”) hearsay is inadmissible in court.

Hearsay is an out of court assertion offered to prove the truth of the assertion. In other words, a written statement from some website (made out of court) can’t be used to prove that the allegation made on the website is true, because it is obviously unreliable. Who made the statement on the website, does that person have any knowledge of the facts, is that person crazy, was that person drunk or just joking when he/she made the statement? If one relies just on h
te written statement one doesn’t know. That is why the out of court statement can’t be used and instead, if anything, the person making the statement must be called in to make the statement in court where he/she can be questioned by both the prosecutor and defense attorney, given a chance to explain the statement, and the judge can evaluate the person and the statement.

Moreover, if all the police and prosecutor have to go on is the comments on this website, they will clearly release the guy and not file charges. To prosecute a case requires a lot more evidence than that. So I’m not overly worried that comments on this website will unduly prejudice him. But I do agree that at this point it’s all just allegations, and not proven facts, though some of the allegations appear to be fairly credible and consistent with other allegations. Still, Loretta’s right that he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet.[/quote]

:notworthy:


#153

Maybe I need to put this in much simpler language.

Hearsay is second-hand information. It is the testimony of a person who is not a witness to a crime or possible crime.

A person who publicly claims to have been ripped off and whose identity is known is not indulging in hearsay, regardless of the medium. Reporting that possible victim’s allegation is not hearsay either. There is a fundamental and obvious difference.

What makes people here so complacent that they think they can say what they like on Forumosa with legal impunity, “civilized” system of justice or not? I’d be interested in Maoman’s take on this. Improperly moderated, Forumosa is surely most capable of transmitting libelous material.

Which is to say, if Loretta’s warning is borne out, and the South African has been misrepresented in any way in this forum, and if I were an ambulance-chasing lawyer, I would go after the people who made the comments (some of whom are traceable to their actual identities) as well as the Forumosa administrators.

Of course, if the South African turns out to be guilty after everything that has happened, then the posters here will be vindicated.

Either way, it’s naive to think that Forumosa or any other website can’t be implicated in a court case in regard to the conduct of its membership.


#154

Oh come on. :unamused:
If that were true then every friggin’ forum and chat room in the world would be shut down.


#155

Let’s see, do I trust the opinion of MT, who works in law, or zhujianlun, who I don’t know from Adam. Hmmm…


#156

Not going to waste my time on this issue anymore. Loretta, yes I was fooled (like many others), how could anyone tell a real GIO license from a fake one, I have never seen a real one. When John cleaned up, he has even found the “GIO” job Ryan had made. Can assure you that this guy is really a rotten apple and be rest assured that several people (including myself) have filed charges against him. Time to go, rather watch the Belgian F1 GP than wasting more time on this saga.


#157

And that about sums it up. If the guy went to such lengths that his licenses were fakes and his listener figures were being fudged, well then it’s a scam. It’s not just wishful thinking.

Filing charges seems like the way to go. Wasting time speculating here doesn’t seem very productive, but at least it encourages people to speak out and share what they know.

I think I’m convinced now. No more to say in Ryan’s defence.


#158

With all due respect, the above is incorrect under US law. Testimony of a witness to a crime often qualifies as inadmissible hearsay. The key issue is not whether the speaker has first-hand knowledge of the facts; it’s whether that speaker is testifying in court or not. Under Rule 801© of the US Federal Rules of Evidence, hearsay is defined as follows:

law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rules.htm#Rule801

The concept, and definition, are a little complex, but I’ll try to briefly summarize. Basically, the definition contains two parts.

The first half states that hearsay is a statement that was not made as testimony in court. In other words, it could be

  • a written statement by party A about which party B is testifying in court,
  • an oral statement by party A, about which party B is testifying in court,
  • a prior statement by party A about which party A is now testifying in court,
  • or other oral or written statements that are not actual testimony in court

The reason why the above types of statements may not be reliable as evidence is obvious. Instead of relying on some prior out of court statement, the legal process is much better served by calling that witness in to court to make the statement in court where the opposing attorneys can each question the witness, find out the facts surrounding the statement, and the judge (or jury) has an opportunity to observe the witness making the statement, see if he’s squirming, sweating, etc, and evaluate the credibility of the witness and the statement. Even if the person who made the statement had first-hand knowledge, he/she must make the statement in court.

The second half of the definition states that the out of court assertion is being offered as evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted. Assume X states on forumosa that Ryan stole his money, lied to him, screwed his wife and kicked his dog. That out of court statement only qualifies as hearsay if the second half of the definition is met.

According to the second half of the definition, it would be hearsay if the statement is offered as evidence to prove that Ryan did those things alleged. However, if the statement is offered for some other purpose it wouldn’t qualify as hearsay. For example, if party X testifies at trial that Ryan’s a great guy who’s never done anything wrong. The prosecutor might ask, “didn’t you previously claim he did a whole bunch of bad stuff to you.” Party X testifies, “no, I’ve never said that.” That out of court statement is not hearsay and is admissible in court if it is offered to prove that Party X is lying in court, but it would be inadmissible hearsay evidence if it is offered to prove that the statement is true.

I realize it’s complicated, but that in a nutshell is the definition of hearsay in the US and most other jurisdictions around the world, including Taiwan, probably have very similar definitions.

That’s not true. If a trial were held against Ryan and the prosecutor tried to admit into evidence some statements made on Forumosa by people who claimed to have been ripped off by Ryan as evidence of Ryan’s guilt, the judge should rule that the statements are inadmissible hearsay. Sometimes hearsay is second-hand knowledge; but other times the problem is simply that the statement was made out of court and instead of relying on that, the attorney must call the witness in to court to make a statement in the courtroom.

You are correct that people can be and have been held legally liable for defamatory statements made on Websites, but I don’t believe anything in this thread comes anywhere close to being a problem in that regard. Defamation requires an intentionally false statement of material facts (not opinion and not trivial facts), which is uttered for the purpose of causing harm to another and it actually does cause harm. The speaker of the statement has to come across as credible, believable and possessing knowledge of the facts, and the victim must prove actual monetary damages caused by people believing the intentional false statements.

This thread is obviously just a bunch of people, most of whom don’t know shit, shooting the bull, giving their opinions. The only potential for liability in my opinion would be if Michel’s factual account was completely false, he knew it was false, he made it for the purpose of causing harm to Ryan, and Ryan suffered actual quantifiable harm as result of that statement. Seems so remote as to be not a problem, in my opinion.

I don’t think so. People are entitled to express their opinions. The prosecutor won’t file charges against Ryan unless they’ve got lots of real evidence – not a bunch of chatroom gossip that isn’t even admissible in court. The only person who could conceivably have any motive to sue forumosans for intentionally false statements would be Ryan and he’s obviously in such deep shit that the last thing on his mind would be to waste his time, money and energy filing a meritless lawsuit against a bunch of kindergarten teachers from forumosa.


#159

MT, thank you very much for your extremely informative post. It’s always better to hear from a real lawyer than someone just speculating on what the law is.


#160

Going back to the Taipei Times article. I found that it was amazingly nice about him. It painted him as being a victim, rather than a perp. He came out far better in that article than he deserved.

To say that they were reporting heresay from forumosa, perhaps. But from what I remember of the article (I didn’t buy Saturdays paper - so it’s not in hand), everything they stated seemed to me to be factual.

Why did we all work for him? We were promised work permits. I’m not sure of the details, but I seem to recall reading elsewhere on this site that there is a grace period for work without a permit, so long as the permit is being obtained. Well, once you’re knee deep (and owed/paid a bit of money), you tend to wade a bit deeper. Luckily things came out before anyone was over their heads.

As for the number that R was reporting as HIS total number of listeners, it was the total number of people listening to the shoutcast radiostations listed in winamp. Why didn’t I mention that before? because I only figured it out myself after TC removed the equipment and R asked me to run the station from my home (this was while I was still supporting him). When I finally spent some time with shoutcast and winamp (other than just setting it up and leaving the DJ’s to it) - I noted what was happening. Before I saw R again, well, TC came out with the facts, and since then I’ve suspended all contact with R.

Was this ever a legitimate venture from the start? I very much doubt it, in hind site. And that’s excluding the information regarding the fake broadcast certificate. The first time I stepped into the studio area, I was offered a contract that was supposedly being typed up right at that moment. Needless to say it never appeared, and I was fobbed off with some excuse. Next day I did the setup, as agreed the previous night, with promises of contract to come that day - which didn’t. Future requests for the contract were fobbed off with “soon”, or such like. So, empty promises from the start.

As to a previous venture, which will show a history of such behavior, I need to do some more digging before I say more on that matter.

So, why get involved with some-one who may have scammed me once already? well, he owed me money, and by doing the setup of the PC’s, I was able to recover most of the money that I had given to him. The money that he gave me was repayment of that debt, and not payment for work, as I made very clear.