and Deceptive conduct
Although the COMPETITION AND CONSUMER ACT 2010 (CCA
2010) declares misleading and deceptive conduct to be
unlawful, the Defamation Act 2005 can be used to
render misleading and deceptive conduct lawful.
Though the use of defamation law to achieve a
collateral purpose which intends to allow someone to
continue to mislead and deceive without penalty should
be unlawful, it is being successfully employed against
us. This demonstrates that a defamation lawsuit can be
brought against anyone with the intention of achieving
a collateral purpose. If this were otherwise the
defamation claim against us would already have been
To anyone who wants to trade by misleading and
deceiving those they trade with, defamation law is the
means by which such a trader may continue to mislead
and deceive without being penalised. The Defamation
Act can be used to force evidence to disappear; and if
your business does fail because knowledge of your
deceptions becomes widely known, you can sue to be
compensated for losses you made because of your own
practices that made your business fail. And this can
be accomplished by claiming that it was not your own
bad practices that caused your business to fail, but
rather because someone wrote or talked to others about
your bad practices.
Robert Cripps (Robert Raymond Cripps) trades as "Redleg
Museum Services" or as "Redleg Art
Equipment Trucks & Crating", or as "Guildford
Lane Gallery" ("GLG") or as "Ruby's
Music Room" ("RMR"). Robert Cripps is using
the Defamation Act to prevent knowledge of his trade
practices becoming widely known so that only his own
marketing is available. And, as such practices on
becoming known would lead to a decline in trade,
defamation law allows him to recoup the losses he
makes by using such unlawful practices by suing those
who make known to others of his use of such practices
that led to the decline of his business.
Cripps misrepresented himself to us in order to gain
our business and made whatever inducements he believed
were necessary to secure our agreement to exhibit in
Cripps owned/ran an "art gallery", a space for hire,
as part of his "Redleg" business. Cripps made claims
about his and his gallery's intentions. In summary, as
they were presented to us (orally on January 24 2009),
he claimed that he aimed, with his business (Redleg,
which included his gallery GLG), to foster and promote
the arts. He promoted his gallery as some sort of
arts-culture-hub which was being run for the benefit
of artists and those so culturally inclined, though
maybe not in these exact words.
On the kind of words that could be
used to describe GLG as being run as
some sort of arts-culture-hub which
was being run for the benefit of
artists, below (screenshot from 14
August 2009, added 21/9/2013):
Cripps made these claims on his own websites.
On his "Redleg" website he claims that he has a,
"commitment to servicing and developing the arts in
He is more than just a transporter, he is a "sponsor",
as his "sponsorship" page claims, below.
of his past "sponsorship" of "the arts" even exists
independant of him that lends support to his claim of
"sponsorship". He has "sponsored", in some way at
least, one exhibition and the book that accompanied
that exhibition some time in the 1990s, below:
his Guildford Lane Gallery page, Cripps proclaimed
that it was his "MISSION" to "develop" and "encourage"
a "dynamic environment for a community that values
interaction" in the "arts", and that he also served to
failing with GLG, Cripps opened a new venue, "Ruby's
Music Room", "RMR". Unsurprisingly this tireless
worker for the advancement of high culture is
relentlessly pursuing the same aim that he claims has
characterised him all his life, "His life's passion
lies in music and the arts, and he aims to create an
environment where creative pursuits can develop and
even modified his RMR page to share with us that he
has had over 40 years involvement in "the arts", in
his beforementioned "passion", below!
on his own say-so (Cripps' own marketing) Cripps is
one dedicated man.
And not only has Cripps striven selflessly - on his
own say-so - on behalf of the arts, but the impression
he strives to create is that he is very "much loved"
for doing so; that is, he is claiming that he is
"universally" recognised as being of this nature, and
with this again based entirely on his own say-so. On
his GLG website Cripps claims that his galley was much
in opening his new venture in 2013 (I understand that
he opened his doors at this time) he repeats the
claim, "The team behind one of Melbourne’s much loved
galleries and performance spaces, Guildford Lane
Gallery are very proud to present Ruby’s Music Room."
( http://rubysmusicroom.tumblr.com ), below:
only information Cripps wants known is what he himself
proclaims (his own marketing). And his own marketing
has it that he and his gallery are very much loved.
Based on his own claims, his raison d'être is art and
artists for whom he selflessly exists and that he is
acknowledged and loved for this. Cripps has created
and is marketing a false reputation based solely on
his own claims. How you wish to market yourself is not
your reputation. However, for Cripps it apparently is,
and because his actions during our exhibition at his
GLG are in marked contradiction to his own marketing,
he is suing us for defamation. We have injured his
false and misleading marketing.
Though unlawful to foster a misrepresentation to
procure business according to the CCA 2010, Cripps can
use Defamation to suppress the fact that he is
Cripps does not want it known that he put up
disclaimers at our exhibition or why he put them up.
It makes him look unsupportive, which is not how he
wants to advertise himself. As it makes him look bad,
defamation law allows him to sue to "disappear"
evidence so that only his own advertising remains.
Below, one of the 3 (or 4) disclaimers of liability
over our content that Cripps put up during our
CRIPPS HOW-TO GUIDE
Cripps had associations with artists and arts
institutions. As a demonstration of his bona fides
Cripps even managed to procure Stelarc to make a
speech at the galley's inaugural opening. Below,
Stelarc making his speech, to loud applause, at GLG in
not only was the show at GLG of Stelarc's 3rd ear, but
it was also sponsored by Cripps!
…or so the impression created in me was (I am still
uncertain of whether Cripps sponsored Sellars or not).
Australia Council sponsored the exhibition by Nina
Sellars that featured her documentary photographs of
Stelarc's surgical procedure. Sellar's own material
stated, "This project has been assisted by the
Australian Government through the Australia council…"
And, alongside the Australia Council logo is Cripps'
own GLG logo which means that Cripps appears as a
was not until we were locked into a contract for us to
exhibit at GLG that we realised why his GLG logo was
used: Cripps was not a sponsor of the shows held at
his gallery – the inclusion of his logo was a part of
exhibition involving Nina Sellars and Stelarc was
organised before GLG existed. Nina Sellars and Stelarc
were therefore involved in establishing GLG. This
exhibition to launch GLG was of enormous importance.
It established Cripps' bonafides. As Cripps was to
benefit from the exhibition of Sellars/Stelarc he may
have sponsored the show.)
Below, Cripps' logo whose use would be misleading and
is misleading is mandatory for exhibitors:
"5. Hirer’s Responsibilities The
e. include the Gallery logo (electronic
copy provided upon request) on all publicity and
promotional material, including posters,
programs, catalogues and electronic invites."
contract can be found here: http://www.redlegvartists.com/agreement_Raymond%26Vakras.pdf
If the wording of Cripps' clause sounds familiar to
artists, it is because this is the wording every
artist who has ever applied for or received a grant
has read in making their application.
The Arts Victoria logo for example, is mandatory on
receipt of a grant from the Victorian government, and
this obligation is made in near identical language to
that used by Cripps in his contract.
Cripps, like Arts Victoria, makes it an obligation to
include his logo on "promotional material", on
"posters" and "catalogues".
Victoria require all FUNDING RECIPIENTS include their
logo on artists exhibition material to show that the
exhibition is funded.
inclusion of Cripps' logo, DELIBERATELY CREATED THE
IMPRESSION THAT CRIPPS SPONSORED OR FUNDED THE ART
DECEPTION AND THE ACCC
According to the ACCC it is immaterial for us to prove
that Cripps intended to mislead us; all we have to
show is that we were misled. Cripps along with his
Gallery Manager Yolande Pickett had made it known that
there were clear benefits to our exhibiting at his
gallery (and not another), because his gallery had
volunteers, a feature we had never before encountered
in a gallery that exhibits art for sale. Volunteers
are a feature of institutional museums/ galleries such
as the NGV, ACMI, ACCA, Heide, etc, none of which are
for-profit and none of which exhibit works for the
purpose of selling them.
deliberately created a false impression for the
purpose of procuring business. Cripps achieved his
misrepresentation by several means, such as:
deliberately registering his gallery's domain name as
a dot org (despite dot com being available), which
misrepresented his gallery as being a "community"
organisation working for the arts community, when it
was instead a for-profit gallery working for Cripps'
own financial gain; he had volunteers working for him,
which reinforced the impression that the gallery was
an "organisation" because volunteers are an attribute
of a legitimate dot org. Cripps also managed to
procure Stelarc to open his gallery which created an
impression that he was a bonafide "gallerist", when
his only connection to art or art galleries until
August 2008 had been that he owned a trucking service
that transported artworks, and that his brother works
as an "artist/educator" at RMIT. Cripps even used his
knowledge of a surrealist/fantastic art show that had
been organised by Orange Regional Gallery NSW to feign
knowledge of the genre, when in fact his only
knowledge of this show was due to his having been
hired by Orange Regional Gallery to transport it.
Despite this, Cripps remained ignorant of surrealism.
And, due to his ignorance, Cripps claimed that we
misled him with our art.
Cripps' GLG provided "information" about the gallery
on his own website, such as "information" on their
"Open Studio", a space promoted for a certain purpose.
Cripps has subsequently come to claim that we had used
the space according to its purpose simply because our
works were hung in it, even though this does not match
what was promised to us orally and what use that space
was promoted for. His oral description reinforced the
information on the Open Studio that was in emails we
received from the gallery, and was consistent with
what was presented on the gallery's own website.
Simply having our works hung in that space is not
consistent with its purpose.
Cripps aided by Yolande Pickett used the fact that he
had volunteers to emphasise the benefits of holding an
exhibition in a gallery that had access to volunteers.
Volunteers, not lawfully available to for-profit
galleries, would be posted outside the NGV, and this
would be mutually beneficial.
The dot org/volunteer element was consistently
emphasised and this created the false and misleading
impression that Cripps "fostered" the arts and artists
and that he worked for the "arts community".
Augmenting the deception his own website had a section
on those who were part of his "fellowship":
"fellowship |ˈfelōˌ sh
1 friendly association, esp. with people who
share one's interests...
• a guild or corporation.
2 an endowment established or a sum of money
awarded to support a scholar or student
engaged in advanced research in a particular
Cripps registered GLG as a business in the first week
of 2008. The details of this can be found on the ASIC
after registering his for-profit business with ASIC,
Cripps registered the web domain of this business as
an "ORG" - which is reserved for not-for-profit
organisations in the second week of 2008. The details
of Cripps doing so are available on Whois, below:
suffix "ORG", to repeat, is reserved for
not-for-profit organisations which Cripps' GLG was
not. Below Melbourne IT define the uses of the "ORG"
is understood internationally that the use of the
suffix "ORG" by any for-profit entity is a misuse of
that suffix and that such use of it is misleading, or
is intended to mislead. A deliberate deception that
results in financial gain is a FRAUD, below:
is not as if "guildfordlanegallery.com" was
unavailable - it continued to be available until it
was registered in 2010. This was a deliberate and
This brings us to "Volunteers", the major selling
point for Cripps' gallery.
Cripps called for volunteers on art sites such as
advertised the role of volunteers as being for the
purpose of "education", for the "arts community", and
for "academics". At face-value this might appear
consistent with the definition of volunteers as it
exists in the various legal definitions (such as s.34,
s.35 & s.36 of the Wrongs Act 1958). However,
volunteering is for a community benefit and this
definition does not include volunteering for the
financial benefit of the business operator for whom
the volunteer has volunteered. Just because Cripps
claimed his gallery was "educational" or for the
benefit of the "arts community" does not make it so
merely on his saying that it is.
called for volunteers on Facebook, below.
"Ruby's Room", above, was a section of the floor-space
of GLG that Cripps had named after his dog. He has
since replaced the logo for "Ruby's Room" with the one
he now uses for his new venture "Ruby's Music Room",
also named after the same dog.)
gallery boasted of its "incredible team of
volunteers", who provide the kind of support normally
absent to artists who exhibit their works in galleries
that exhibit art for the purpose of selling it, below.
organisations such as the ACCA who exhibit the works
of artists such as Peter Cripps, Robert Cripps'
brother, legitimately call for volunteers, below.
is described by Volunteering Australia as an activity
for not-for-profit organisations, below:
from Volunteering Victoria, "Volunteering
doesn't mean working for free in a private business
or company – in many circumstances that can be
search on Google for "volunteer work at gallery"
brings up only educational, federal, state and local
government organisations. There are no for-profit
organisations such as Cripps' GLG:
IS A VOLUNTEER?
There is a strict legal definition of VOLUNTEER in the
state’s law-books in Sections (34) 35 and 36 of the
“Wrongs Act 1958”:
"Wrongs Act 1958 - SECT 35
Meaning of volunteer
35. Meaning of volunteer
(1) A volunteer is an individual who provides
a service in relation to
community work on a voluntary
Wrongs Act 1958 - SECT 36
Meaning of community work
36. Meaning of community work
(1) Community work is any work that
is done, or to be done-
educational, charitable or benevolent
(b) for the purpose of promoting or
encouraging literature, science or the
"community purpose" does not mean for the
profit of Cripps!
government website providing advice for the
not-for-profit sector define volunteers as being
specific only to the not-for-profit sector.
Volunteering is not for private companies like Cripps'
Australian Taxation Office, ATO, defines what kind of
not-for-profit organisations qualify for volunteers. A
for-profit gallery such as Cripps' GLG does not
qualify as it does not fit any of the definitions.
Cripps' GLG was not a school, or a church, or a
"cultural society", or a "public museum", etc., below:
Australia has recently released a report on the abuse
by the for-profit sector of the concept of
volunteering. Cripps' "volunteers" by law should have
been paid-for employees,
the recent Fair Work Ombudsman characterises
for-profit companies' use of volunteers and
"internships" as "exploitation",
USE OF VOLUNTEERS WAS UNLAWFUL
can involve volunteers?
Volunteers contribute their time for no
commercial gain. Only not-for-profit
organisations and charities can engage
volunteers in designated volunteer
positions.These organisations cover a wide
range of activities and interests, such as
community organisations... arts and
education sectors...Corporations and
private companies (for-profit) cannot
involve volunteers from outside their
organisation. They can involve
their own employees in volunteering projects
or programs for community benefit. This is
commonly referred to as ‘Corporate
Volunteering' or 'Employee Volunteering'."
an artist, volunteers indicated that the gallery or
institution in question fulfilled some sort of genuine
requirement that allowed the gallery in question to
legitimately call for volunteers. This turned out to
be a misrepresentation. It was a deception. The
deception worked for the purposes Cripps intended
which was to procure artists by making inducements
based on his having volunteers to fulfill what he
This illegal model which calls for unpaid workers is
still being used by Cripps at his Ruby's Music Room,
below, as on 7 September 2013 (note: he pulled his
entire site some time on 8 or 9 September 2013):
Cripps pulled his site that called for volunteers and
interns on either 8/9/2013, or 9/9/2013.
order to mislead us Cripps had to undertake several
measures. Each on its own might appear
inconsequential. However, this was an elaborately
constructed and deliberate deception. And, after
misleading us into signing an agreement with him
Cripps then used a number of strategies that are also
unlawful in the CCA 2010 (formerly the TPA 1974). His
conduct was unconscionable (he was a bully) and he
demanded we fulfill obligations that were not in the
contract or he would not fulfill what he had agreed
to. And on our making this known, he is suing us to
keep it from becoming known and make a profit for his
having acted this way.
The deception by Cripps was very effective. Others,
not merely ourselves, were misled by his practices,
and assumed on account of his deliberate deceptions,
that he was acting for the arts community, below.
the large number of exhibitions held at GLG that were
tied to RMIT, helped cement the false representation
of Cripps supporting up-and-coming artists, and that
he had some official connection to an institution like
successfully manufactured a carefully designed and
executed deception based upon deceptive marketing
which was not based on Cripps' actual actions or
reputation. He is suing us to prevent it being known
that his reputation is different than what he is
Author: Demetrios Vakras 17 September 2013 (edited
21/9/2013 to add GLG times as advertised on NAVA )
are petitioning the Australian government to amend the
Defamation Act of 2005 to make Australian law
consistent with its international obligations.
Support our petition here:http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-hon-mark-dreyfus-qc-mp-amend-the-australian-defamation-act-2005