Sam Bayard's blog

First Twitter Libel Suit, Starring Courtney Love

Twitter gets a lot of attention these days.  In recent weeks, we've seen jurors twittering from the jury box, lawmakers twittering during Obama's first address to Congress, and celebrity ghos

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Citizen Media Law Project and Berkman Cyberlaw Clinic Lead Amicus Effort to Protect Anonymous Online Speech in Illinois

Yesterday, CMLP and a number of media and advocacy organizations asked an Illinois appellate court for permission to file an amicus curiae brief in Maxon v. Ottawa Publishing.  The brief urges the Illinois Appellate Court for the Third District to protect the rights of anonymous Internet speakers by imposing important procedural safeguards before ordering disclosure of their identities. 

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Breaking News: First Circuit Denies Rehearing in Noonan v. Staples

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued an order today denying Staples' petition for rehearing en banc in Noonan v.

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Swartz v. Does: Tennessee Court Protects Anonymous Speech Online

Last Friday, a circuit judge in Nashville, Tennessee ruled from the bench that the First Amendment protects anoynymous Internet speech and adopted the Dendrite International v. Doe standard for balancing the speaker's First Amendment right against the would-be plaintiff's right to legal redress for actionable speech.

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Coalition of Media Organizations Urges First Circuit to Reverse Dangerous Defamation Decision

Today, the Citizen Media Law Project joined numerous other media organizations and media law advocacy groups in filing an amicus curiae brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to grant rehearing en banc in Noonan v.

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Virginia Blogger Invokes Reporter's Privilege to Challenge Subpoena Seeking Anonymous Commenters

Waldo Jacquith, the Virginia blogger targeted with an outrageously broad subpoena back in January (see my previous post), filed a brief last week arguing that he should not be required to turn over the IP addresses of those who viewed and commented on an article posted to his blog, as well as his email correspondence relating to the article.  Paul Alan Levy of

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John Palfrey and Adam Thierer on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

"Skanks in NYC" Blogger Fights Back to Preserve Anonymity

Wendy Davis of MediaPost reports that the blogger behind the Skanks in NYC blog has appeared through counsel to challenge model Liskula Cohen's request for discovery from Google regarding his/her identity.  Two weeks ago, the anonymous blogger filed a

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Maryland High Court Joins Growing Consensus Protecting Anonymous Speech Online

On Friday, the Court of Appeals of Maryland quashed a subpoena seeking the identity of five anonymous commenters and provided guidance to lower courts regarding what showing an aggrieved plaintiff must make before a court will order a website operator to reveal the identity of an anonymous commenter.  In Independent Newspapers, Inc. v. Brodie, the Maryland high court concluded that

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Do Ads in Google News Search Change the Fair Use Analysis?

First Circuit Upends Accepted Understanding of Truth Defense in Defamation Cases

Last Friday, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upended the generally accepted notion that U.S. defamation law does not impose liability for truthful statements.  In Noonan v.

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Neuwirth v. Silverstein: California Appellate Court Reverses Ruling Granting Motion to Strike

On Monday, a California appellate court reversed a trial court that had granted Richard Silverstein and Joel Beinin's motion to strike

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Egyptian Security Police Detain Blogger and Graduate Student Philip Rizk

Reuters, the LA Times, and the International Herald Tribune report that Egyptian state security police detained blogger Philip Rizk on Friday night, when he was returning to Cairo after a march

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California Anti-SLAPP Project Takes Up Case for Yelp and Parents Sued Over Negative Dentist Review

On January 21, the California Anti-SLAPP Project (CASP) filed a special motion to strike the complaint of Yvonne Wong, a pediatric dentist who sued Yelp! Inc. and two parents based on a negative review of her services the parents posted on Yelp

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Virginia Blogger Targeted With Outrageous Subpoena

In perhaps the most blatant misuse of the subpoena power we've seen since the subpoena served on Kathleen Seidel of Neurodiversity last March, a lawyer for Thomas Garrett of Virginia has served a patently overbroad subpoena on blogger Waldo Jaquith, who publishes cvillenews.com, a community news blog about Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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Judge Orders Google to Notify "Skanks in NYC" Blogger of Discovery Request

Wendy Davis of MediaPost reports that the blogger behind the Skanks in NYC blog will keep his/her identity secret for another four weeks.  In a hearing yesterday in New York Supreme Court, Judge Joan Madden refused to rule on model Li

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Dixie Chicks Face Defamation Lawsuit After Using Court Records

The defamation lawsuit against Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines and her band mates over an open letter published on the band's website has recently garnered the attention of legal bloggers (

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