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Citizen Media Law Podcast #6: Copyright and Fair Use in Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations

This week, Colin Rhinesmith speaks with Sam Bayard about copyright and fair use issues involved in a recent lawsuit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Download the MP3 (time: 9:40)

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Essent v. Doe: Anonymous Blogger Wins on Appeal

The anonymous blogger who runs "The-Paris-site" will remain anonymous, at least for now. Yesterday, a Texas appellate court ordered the trial court to vacate its previous order compelling the blogger's ISP to reveal his name and address to Essent Healthcare, Inc. (For background on the case, see our database entry, Essent v.

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Best Buy Apologizes for Cease-and-Desist Blooper

Yesterday, Best Buy sent a cease-and-desist letter to Scott Beale of Laughing Squid for reporting on an "Improv Everywhere" prank and their sales of T-shirts mocking the Best Buy logo. Best Buy claimed the post infringed its trademarks and copyrights by "promoting" sales of a T-shirt that mocked the Best Buy logo.

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Massachusetts Wiretapping Law Strikes Again

Boston Now reports that Peter Lowney, a political activist from Newton, Massachusetts, was convicted last week of violating the Massachusetts wiretapping statute (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 272, § 99) and sentenced to six months probation and fined $500. The criminal case arose out of Lowney's concealed videotaping of a Boston University police sergeant during a political protest in 2006.

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Democrats Accepting Applications from Bloggers to Cover 2008 Convention

CyberJournalist.net is reporting that the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) is  accepting applications from bloggers interested in being part of the credentialed blogger pool at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado:

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Stanford's Fair Use Project to Represent RDR Books in Harry Potter Lexicon Lawsuit

The Fair Use Project of Stanford Law Schools Center for Internet and Society announced Tuesday that it is joining as co-counsel to defend RDR Books in the copyright infringement lawsuit filed in federal court in New York by Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling in October 2007.

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'DontDateHim' Lawyer Todd Hollis Back in Court With Second Lawsuit Against Dating Advice Site

Pittsburgh lawyer Todd Hollis is back in court with a second lawsuit against the dating advice site Don'tDateHimGirl.com, whose users accused him of infidelity and infecting women with herpes. Hollis had previously filed a defamation lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court against the owner of the site back in June 2006.

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Town of Manalapan, New Jersey, Versus Free Speech

Follow the links from Electronic Frontier Foundation page on the bizarre Manalapan v. Moskovitz lawsuit to see a local government running wild against free speech. The town is suing to get the identity of -- and all kinds of other information about -- a critical anonymous blogger.

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Savage v. Council on American-Islamic Relations: A Breathtaking Misunderstanding of Copyright Law

Conservative talk show host Michael Savage sued the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in federal district court in California on Monday for copyright infringement. Savage posted a copy of the complaint on his website. He claims that CAIR violated his copyrights in the October 29, 2007 program of the "Michael Savage Show" by excerpting a four-plus minute portion of the show and posting it on CAIR's website.

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Neuwirth v. Silverstein: Court Grants Anti-SLAPP Motion in Politically Charged Online Dispute

Last week, a California state court dismissed Rachel Neuwirth's libel claim against Washington-state blogger Richard Silverstein and university professor Joel Beinin pursuant to California's anti-SLAPP statute (Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 425.16).

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iBrattleboro Founders Move to Dismiss Libel Lawsuit Under Section 230 of Communications Decency Act

Last week, I blogged about a lawsuit filed by Effie Mayhew against Chris Grotke and Lise LePage, co-founders and owners of iBrattleboro.com, in which Mayhew claims that Grotke and LePage bear liability for a comment a user posted on the iBrattleboro site.

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Citizen Media Law Podcast #5: Libel Suit Against iBrattleboro.com; Important Decision on Anonymity

This week, David Ardia talks about a recent lawsuit against iBrattleboro.com and Colin Rhinesmith speaks with Sam Bayard about an important decision on anonymity.

Download the MP3 (time: 8:20)

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YouTube Suspends Account of Prominent Egyptian Blogger and Anti-Torture Activist

I've blogged before about Wael Abbas, an Egyptian blogger and political activist who has gained renown by, among other things, posting videos on YouTube revealing brutal scenes of torture from inside Egypt's police stations.

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Mobilisa v. Doe: Another Big Win for Anonymous Speech Online

An Arizona appellate court handed down an important decision yesterday in Mobilisa, Inc. v. Doe, 1 CA-CV 06-521 (Ariz. Ct. App. Nov. 27, 2007), a case involving the thorny legal question of what standard should govern requests for discovery of the identity of an anonymous Internet speaker whose speech allegedly violated a plaintiff's rights.

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Libel Lawsuit Filed Against iBrattleboro Founders Grotke & LePage

Chris Grotke and Lise LePage, co-founders and owners of iBrattleboro.com, a widely acclaimed citizen journalism site based in Brattleboro, Vermont, were sued on November 16 for libel based on a comment submitted by one of the site's users.

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Missouri Town Makes Online Harassment a Crime After Megan Meier's Suicide

City officials in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri unanimously passed a measure on November 21 making online harassment a crime, punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail. The city's six-member Board of Aldermen passed the ordinance in response to 13-year-old Megan Meier's suicide.

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CNET on Libel and User-Generated Content

Before the Thanksgiving holiday, Steve Tobak at CNET published a useful post -- "Bloggers beware: You're liable to commit libel." In it, he gives a straightforward and largely accurate account of the elements of a defamation claim and some good general advice:

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New School of Orlando v. McSween: Florida School Sues Blogging Parent for Defamation

On October 26, 2007, the New School of Orlando sued Sonjia McSween, the parent of a former student, in Florida state court, asserting claims of libel, slander, and tortious interference with business relations.

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A Nation of Infringers?

John Tehranian, a law professor at the University of Utah, has an article coming out in the Utah Law Review in which he concludes that the dichotomy between copyright law and social norms "is so profound that on any given day even the most law-abiding American engages in thousands of actions that likely constitute copyright infringement."

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