Cohen v. Google (Blogger)

NOTE: The information and commentary contained in this database entry are based on court filings and other informational sources that may contain unproven allegations made by the parties. The truthfulness and accuracy of such information is likely to be in dispute. Information contained in this entry is current as of the last event mentioned in the "Description" section below; additional proceedings might have taken place in this matter since this event.

Summary

Threat Type: 

Subpoena

Date: 

01/02/2009

Status: 

Concluded

Location: 

New York

Disposition: 

Material Removed
Subpoena Enforced

Verdict or Settlement Amount: 

N/A
In January 2009, Fashion model Liskula Cohen petitioned a New York state court for "pre-action" discovery from Google Inc. (on behalf of its subsidiary Blogger.com), seeking the identity of the anonymous operator of the Skanks in NYC blog.  The blog... read full description
Parties

Party Receiving Legal Threat: 

Google, Inc. (parent of Blogger.com)

Type of Party: 

Individual

Type of Party: 

Large Organization
Intermediary

Location of Party: 

  • New York

Location of Party: 

  • California
  • New York

Legal Counsel: 

Gregory P. Vidler, Debra J. Guzov, Matthew A. Pek, Anne W. Salisbury - Guzov Ofsink, LLC (for the anonymous blogger)
Description

In January 2009, Fashion model Liskula Cohen petitioned a New York state court for "pre-action" discovery from Google Inc. (on behalf of its subsidiary Blogger.com), seeking the identity of the anonymous operator of the Skanks in NYC blog.  The blog consists of only 5 posts, all posted on the same day in August 2008, and all making derogatory comments about Cohen.  According to court documents, Cohen alleges that the blog entries, including photographs, captions to photographs, and commentary describe her as a "skank" and a "ho," and otherwise depict her as sexually promiscuous, dishonest, and unclean.  She claims that these postings are libelous per se because they impugn her chastity and negatively reflect on her qualifications as a model.

On January 5, the court issued an "order to show cause," which required Google to appear before the court on January 26 for argument about whether disclosure of the blogger's identity should be ordered. 

Update:

1/26/09 - At a hearing, the court ordered Google to notify the anonymous blogger of the pending discovery request.

2/18/09 - Through counsel, the anonymous blogger filed a brief in opposition to Cohen's application for pre-action discovery. 

03/20/09 - The blog went offline sometime in March. The parties reportedly dispute what that means for the case.

8/17/09 - The court granted Cohen's petition, ruling that the statements on the blog were reasonably susceptible of defamatory meaning.

8/21/09 - Press reports indicate that the anonymous blogger's name is Rosemary Port.

Details

Content Type: 

  • Photo
  • Text

Publication Medium: 

Blog

Subject Area: 

  • Defamation
  • Anonymity
Court Information & Documents

Jurisdiction: 

  • New York

Source of Law: 

  • New York

Court Name: 

Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York

Court Type: 

State

Case Number: 

100012/2009

Relevant Documents: 

CMLP Information (Private)

Threat Source: 

Google Blogs