Welcome to the website of the Digital Media Law Project. The DMLP was a project of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society from 2007 to 2014. Due to popular demand the Berkman Klein Center is keeping the website online, but please note that the website and its contents are no longer being updated. Please check any information you find here for accuracy and completeness.
A doctor in New York and a dentist in Oregon have both found out that
it may not be easy to sue for libel over online reviews of their
services, after their separate lawsuits were both dismissed. And it turns out that most of the dentists and doctors who have sued over online reviews have reached similar results.
As a lawyer licensed in five states (MA, FL, CA, AZ, and NV) and who practices free speech law nationwide, I am in a position to comment on the relative merits of various states' views on First Amendment principles. Among the many states where I have worked on cases, Flori-duh is the worst. Hands down.
So this case slipped by me when it first came down in January, but it raises my ire enough to come back to a bit late. It's Sandholm v. Kuecker, the Illinois Supreme Court's attempt to make sense of the state's anti-SLAPP statute, and it's an impressively terrible piece of work.
Back in mid-June, Texas's new anti-SLAPP law finally took effect. (Since the bill passed both houses of the Texas legislature unanimously, it took effect immediately when Gov. Rick Perry signed it.) The CMLP's legal guide is updated to reflect the new statute.
Consider two cases: In Colorado, clothing company Façonnable is
attempting to sue an anonymous Wikipedia editor (or, possibly, more
than one; the number is sort of up in the air) over some unflattering
edits to the company's Wikipedia page. But first, Façonnable has to
figure out who the editors are--thus, a subpoena to the ISP allegedly
attached to the editors' IP address.
By now, you've perhaps heard of the plight of one Joseph Rakofsky, the man who sued everyone who ever wrote about him on the Internet. In short: Man represents defendant in murder trial; judge declares mistrial; judge says scathing things about man's professional competence; newspaper covers the unusual mistrial; law bloggers pick up story; man brings 75-defendant lawsuit against everybody who wrote about him. CMLP's full run-down of the lawsuit is live; give it a click for the nitty gritty. Go ahead, I'll wait.
We're pleased to announce that we have updated the CMLP Legal Guide on the District of Columbia's anti-SLAPP law to incorporate its brand new anti-SLAPP statute that came into effect on March 31, 2011.
A SLAPP, or "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation," is a lawsuit filed in retaliation for speaking out on a
public issue or controversy.
We are looking for contributing authors with expertise in media law, intellectual property, First Amendment, and other related fields to join us as guest bloggers. If you are interested, please contact us for more details.