Sam Bayard's blog

First Amendment Protects TechCrunch's Publication of (Some) Hacked Twitter Documents

There's an interesting debate afoot about TechCrunch's decision to publish selected documents it received from someone who hacked into the email accounts of Twitter CEO Evan Williams and other Twitter employees.

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The Guinness World Record for Trademark Fail

As if anyone needed more proof that shooting off an ill-conceived cease-and-desist letter is a bad PR move, Techdirt points us to a recent gem.  The hilarious FAIL Blog publishes user-submitted photos and videos documenting various mishaps, incongruous images, and other examples of human fa

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New Jersey Court Says Blogger Shellee Hale Not Protected By Shield Law

In a June 30 decision, New Jersey Superior Court Judge Louis Locascio ruled that Shellee Hale, a blogger, private investigator, and "life coach," could not invoke New Jersey's journalist shield law to protect the identity of her sources in connection with postings she

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News Websites in Texas and Kentucky Invoke Shield Laws for Online Commenters

This week brings word of two new cases testing whether state shield laws apply to user comments posted on news websites.  In Texas, a Taylor County District Court judge ruled that the Abilene Reporter-News may refrain from disclosing the identities of commenters who posted comments to articles about a murder victim and the teenager charged in connection with his death.

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Ninth Circuit Amends Barnes v. Yahoo! Decision, Addresses Concerns Raised by Yahoo! and Amici

Tourist Video Casts Complex Light on Florida Defamation Lawsuit

A story mixing the absurd and the tragic comes to us from Florida, where Christopher  Comins, an Orlando businessman, recently filed a defamation lawsuit against Matthew Frederick VanVoorhis, who publishes a wordpress blog called Public Intellectual.  Comins objects to two of VanVoorhis' blog posts from

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South Carolina Attorney General Agrees to Temporary Restraining Order in Craigslist Suit

Today, a federal district court in South Carolina issued a consent order temporarily restraining South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster from "initiating or pursuing any prosecution against craigslist or its officers and employees in relation to content posted by third parties on craigslist's website." The order specifies that it is issued "by agreement of the parties.&qu

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Yahoo! Petitions for Rehearing in Barnes v. Yahoo!, CMLP Joins Amicus Coalition in Support

Yesterday, Yahoo! filed a petition for rehearing in Barnes v. Yahoo!, a case in which the Ninth Circuit recently held that Cecilia Barnes could pursue a promissory estoppel claim against Yahoo!

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Craigslist Sues South Carolina AG Over Threats of Criminal Prosecution

Tired of being bullied by South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, craigslist is going on the offensive.  CEO Jim Buckmaster announced on the craigslist blog today that that craigslist is suing McMaster in South Carolina federal court, seeking "declaratory relief and a restraining order with respect to criminal charges he has repeatedly thre

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Merrill Lynch to Financial Blogger: Don't Quote Our Bearish Reports

Felix Salmon of Reuters reports that the pseudonymous lead blogger behind the financial blog Zero Hedge received DMCA takedown notices for six posts that cited or excerpted from Merrill Lynch reports authored by Merrill's former chief economist, David Rosenberg.  According to Salmon, Zero Hedge is "an insider financial blog whose writers believe the worst of the mel

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White House Drops License Restrictions on Photos, Flickr Stream Now in Public Domain

Wired/Epicenter reported yesterday that popular photo-sharing site Flickr, in collaboration with the Obama administration, has changed the licensing designation on photos in the Official White House Photostream to reflect that, as U.S.

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South Carolina Attorney General Threatens Craigslist With Criminal Prosecution Over User Content

A new sortie in the battle over craigslist's "erotic services" section came today when South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster sent a letter to craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster threatening company management with "criminal investigation and pros

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Speed Skater's Mom Sues Google Over Dead Blogger's Post

Earlier this month, Cherie Davis, mother of 2006 gold medal winner Shani Davis, the first African American speed skater to make the U.S. Olympic team, sued Google, Inc. in Illinois state court, seeking an injunction requiring the company to take down a blog post written by deceased sports blogger Sean Healy.

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New Hampshire Court Tramples on Constitution, Reporter's Privilege, Section 230, What Have You

A reader recently tipped us off to a troubling ruling from a trial court in New Hampshire: The Mortgage Specialists, Inc. v. Implode-Explode Heavy Industries, Inc., No. 08-E-0572 (N.H. Super. Ct. Mar.

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