Sam Bayard's blog

PreCYdent: Another Useful Resource for Free Online Judicial Decisions

Below is a video explaining how to use PreCYdent, a new resource for free online court opinions. The coverage of the database is quite impressive -- Supreme Court cases going back to 1759, federal appellate cases going back to 1950, and a good number of federal district court cases since 2004. The site also has a sophisticated search engine and lots of neat Web 2.0 features like a browser widget and a Facebook application.

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Kentucky Legislator Introduces Bill to Stop Anonymous Posting

Last week, Republican Tim Couch of Kentucky introduced a bill in the state legislature that would impose criminal fines on Kentucky-based website operators who fail to collect "a legal name, address, and electronic mail address" before allowing a user to post a comment.

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Anthony Ciolli, former AutoAdmit Defendant, Sues Everyone

Breaking news from Above the Law: Anthony Ciolli, former defendant in the controversial AutoAdmit case, has filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court against the two plaintiffs in that case, their lawyers, ReputationDefender and one of its employees, and the shadowy "T14 Talent." He alleges wrongful initiation of civil proceedings, abuse of process, libel, slander, false light invasion of privacy, tortious interference wi

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Lawyer Preemptively Threatens Sports Blogger with Lawsuit

The preemptive legal threat, while not as worrisome as preemptive war, is a pretty unsavory tactic. Don't know what I mean by "preemptive legal threat?" Not to worry, here is an example. The Wall Street Journal's Law Blog reports that a lawyer for Denver Nuggets coach George Karl has threatened blogger Andrew Feinstein with legal action (well, sort of).

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International Olympic Committee Thinks Blogging Is Not About Journalism

Ars Technica reports that the International Olympic Committee has lifted its ban on blogging. Athletes competing in Beijing 2008 will be allowed to blog about the Olympics, so long as they follow some, well, restrictive guidelines.

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Swartz v. Does: Tennessee Couple Sues Anonymous Author(s) of Local Blog for Defamation and Invasion of Privacy

On Monday, a prominent couple from Old Hickory, Tennessee sued three anonymous defendants for defamation and invasion of privacy over statements appearing on the Stop Swartz blog and craigslist. The plaintiffs, Donald and Terry Keller Swartz, buy and sell a lot of real estate in Old Hickory, and a bit of local political maneuvering on their part seems to have earned them some enemies.

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Krinsky v. Doe 6: New Decision from California Provides Strong Protection for Anonymous Speech

A California appellate court issued a new anonymity decision yesterday in Krinsky v. Doe 6, H030767 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 6, 2008). (For background on the facts of the case, see the CMLP database entry, Krinsky v.

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Savage v. CAIR: The Council on American-Islamic Relations Asks Court to Dismiss Michael Savage's Lawsuit

I've blogged before about the Savage v. CAIR lawsuit, in which the conservative talk show host claims that CAIR violated his copyright (and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act!) by posting and commenting critically on an audio clip from one of his shows, in which Savage makes all sorts of hateful and inaccurate claims about Muslims and the Islamic faith.

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CUNY Journalism School Launches Website to Help Citizen Journalists Avoid Legal Risk

In a project headed by Associate Professor Geanne Rosenberg, CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism has launched a new website -- Top 10 Rules for Limiting Legal Risk. The project, which is carried out in collaboration with the John S. and James L.

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Court Awards Perez Hilton Nearly $85,000 in Attorneys Fees in Ronsen Suit

I previously blogged at length about Mario Lavandeira's victory under California's anti-SLAPP statute (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16) in the libel lawsuit brought against him by celebrity DJ and Lindsey Lohan pal Samantha Ronsen.

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Mashups, DVD Ripping, and Fair Use

Chris Soghoian at CNET Blogs published an interesting post yesterday -- Did Slate violate copyright law? It talks about a hilarious mashup video that Slate posted a few days ago called Hillary's Inner Tracy Flick, which juxtaposes images from the 1999 film Election and current footage of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.

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Gawker Defies Demand from Church of Scientology to Remove Creepy Tom Cruise Video

Earlier this week, a promotional/inspirational video for the Church of Scientology featuring Tom Cruise began circulating online. The video is bizarre -- against the background of what sounds like the Mission Impossible theme, Cruise extols the virtues of Scientology and urges viewers to embrace its ethics and worldview. Among many, many other things, he drops gems like "We are the authorities on getting people off drugs. We are the authorities on the mind.

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