News
Canadian Publication Retracts Björk Interview After Magma Threatens Libel Suit

Canadian Publication Retracts Björk Interview After Magma Threatens Libel Suit

Published November 19, 2010

On November 9, Maclean’s Magazine posted an interview with Björk called, “In Conversation with Björk: Why the Icelandic singer wants a Canadian company booted from her country.” Shortly thereafter, the interview was retracted from Maclean’s website after Magma threatened the magazine with a defamation suit.
Among their defamation complaints is Björk’s statement: “Companies owned by Ross Beaty have a bad reputation for breaking serious humanitarian and union laws in South America—not giving farmers shares of profit they had promised and so on—but this is normal. This is the kind of beast you’re dealing with….”
Although Björk referred to Ross Beaty rather than Magma Energy, it was Magma Energy that threatened to sue Macleans if the article was not retracted. In fact, Björk was referring to Ross Beaty’s company, Pan American Silver, which is a mining company operating in South America.
On November 12, Macleans posted a correction, which reads as follows: “On the 9th of November Macleans published on its website an interview with Björk where she claims that Ross Beaty and Magma Energy Corp. have broken laws in South America. This is not correct and we apologize to Ross Beaty and his company.”
In conversation with the Grapevine, Björk said, “I don’t think Magma’s qualms are about their reputation in humanitarian rights. That’s more likely a ruse.”
Björk thinks Ross Beaty is more likely concerned about her statements regarding geothermal energy not lasting for thousands of years. In the Macleans interview, Björk said: “…He has said that geothermal energy lasts for 1000 years. This is not true. It lasts about 50 years. Geothermal plants work similarly to mines, you drill and then there is only a limited amount down there. When magma’s current 65-year deal is over, the hole will be empty.”
She told us there are two things Ross Beaty seems to be trying to hide from investors, both current and potential. First, geothermal energy does not last forever. Second, Beaty does not have access to 400 MW of geothermal energy.
“On various widely watched business shows in Canada, he has been talking about having access to 400 MW of geothermal energy and that geothermal energy lasts forever and is entirely renewable,” Björk said. “That’s how he sells the idea to investors and it’s simply not true. If this information were to be featured prominently in Canada, his whole venture could fail.”
In the “corrected” version, which now appears on the Maclean’s website, all of the remarks Björk refers to are also missing.
After repeated attempts to contact Magma Energy and its investors regarding the facts in question over the past week, the Grapevine has been met with hostility and downright refusal to answer any of our questions via phone or email. According to their VP of Corporate Relations Alison Thompson, Magma Energy and HS Orka have established a new policy that the companies will “not be participating in media requests from The Reykjavík Grapevine”.
We might also note that the ever-tasteful Magma’s font of choice for ‘corporate’ e-mail correspondence is Comic Sans. Blue Comic Sans!
The full original interview can be seen here.
The new version of the Maclean’s article can be seen here.



News
Second Round Of Airwaves Artists Announced

Second Round Of Airwaves Artists Announced

by

The organisers of Iceland Airwaves have just released another batch of artists to be performing at this November’s music festival.

News
New Bill Would Lower Voting Age To 16 For Municipal Elections

New Bill Would Lower Voting Age To 16 For Municipal Elections

by

A new bill, supported by MPs from every party except the Progressive Party, would if passed into law lower the

News
No Kind Of Traveling Weather Tomorrow

No Kind Of Traveling Weather Tomorrow

by

Don’t let the sunny skies and still winds in Reykjavík right now fool you: the Icelandic Met Office warns that

News
Psychiatrist Blames Women For Revenge Porn, Internet Ignites

Psychiatrist Blames Women For Revenge Porn, Internet Ignites

by

An elderly, male psychiatrist offered his opinion that women alone are to blame for the existence of revenge porn, and

News
Mývatn Being Slowly Destroyed By Tourism

Mývatn Being Slowly Destroyed By Tourism

by

Hotel owners around Mývatn and the Laxá river area profit from the location, at the expense of the preservation of

News
DILL Becomes First Icelandic Restaurant To Earn Michelin Star

DILL Becomes First Icelandic Restaurant To Earn Michelin Star

by

The restaurant DILL, lauded by Grapevine on numerous occasions, has now earned the distinction of being the first Icelandic restaurant

Show Me More!