Blogs

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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Florida Governor Announces New Initiatives For Open Government

Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently announced two new open government initiatives that will go a long way in improving public access to government documents and meetings in Florida.

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1.8 Million Steps Forward in the Direction of a Comprehensive Public Case Law Archive

Public.Resource.Org and Fastcase, Inc. announced this week that they will make 1.8 million pages of federal case law, including all Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since 1754, available in a free public archive. The entire archive will be in the public domain and usable by anyone for any purpose.

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Citizen Media Law Podcast #4: Ciolli Dropped from AutoAdmit Suit; Libel Claim Against Perez Hilton Dismissed

This week, David Ardia talks about the lawsuit against AutoAdmit and Colin Rhinesmith speaks with Sam Bayard about a recent decision involving the celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.

Download the MP3 (time: 6:20)

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Ronson v. Lavandeira: Court Puts Smack Down on Libel Claim Against Perez Hilton

As anyone who follows the celebrity rags already knows, a California judge dealt a mortal blow to Samantha Ronson's libel suit againt litigation-magnet Mario Lavandeira (aka Perez Hilton) two weeks ago. Sadly, we've missed the scoop on this one, but I do have a copy of the transcript of the court's November 1st ruling. Surely the gossip hounds among you won't mind if I delve into the details a little.

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Snyder v. Phelps: Westboro Verdict Criticized as Unconstitutional

Following up on my earlier post about the $10.9 million jury verdict against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, I wanted to point our readers in the direction of some excellent commentary on the topic by Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy.

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Assessment of California's Open Government Reform Initiatives for 2007

Last week, the California First Amendment Coalition published an assessment of several open government reform bills in California's 2007 legislative session. The report shows that while there were some victories, several important reform proposals failed in the legislature or died on the Governor's desk.

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Citizen Media Law Podcast #3: News Media Clampdown in Pakistan; Sam Bayard Interview on Internet Solutions v. Marshall

This week, David Ardia talks about threats to the Internet in Pakistan and Colin Rhinesmith speaks with Sam Bayard about a recent entry in our new legal threats database.

Download the MP3 (time: 7:30)

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Anthony Ciolli, Former Director of AutoAdmit, Dropped From Lawsuit

Yesterday, lawyers for two female Yale Law School students, captioned as Does I & II, filed an amended complaint dropping Anthony Ciolli as a defendant from the lawsuit they filed against a host of pseudonymous users of the popular law school admissions forum, AutoAdmit.

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