False Light, the Ripoff Report and Defragmentation – Susan Brenner

30 07 2014

36th_Street_exit_Grand_Rapids_I-96This post examines a recent opinion from the Michigan Court of AppealsRooks v. Krzewski, 2014 WL 1351353 (2014). Joseph Krzewski appealed when, after a bench trial, a udge held he “portrayed” the two plaintiffs, Jonathan Rooks and Bradley Guizinga, “in a false light.” Rooks v. Krzewski, supra.  The judge ordered Krzewski to “remove the false statements about [them] from the Internet and enjoined him from republishing any of the false statements.” Rooks v. Krzewski, supra.  (For more on false light, check out this post.) Read the rest of this entry »





United States: Facebook, Cyberbullying and the First Amendment – Susan Brenner

27 07 2014

BulliesA “15-year-old high school student” who was “prosecuted for ‘cyberbullying’ under a local law enacted by the Albany County Legislature” pleaded guilty to one count of cyberbullying and then challenged his conviction on appeal.  People v. Marquan M., 2014 WL 2931482 (Court of Appeals of New York 2014).  In his appeal, Marquan M. claimed the statute violated the  First Amendment. People v. Marquan M., supra. Read the rest of this entry »





The “Recovering Drug Addict,” the Blog and Defamation – Susan Brenner

10 06 2014

T Boone Pickens JrAs Daily Mail explained at the time, a year (or so) ago, Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens, Jr. and three of his children — Elizabeth Cordia, Pamela Pickens, and Thomas B. Pickens III – sued his son Michael O. Pickens.  Pickens v. Cordia, 2014 WL 2134540 (Texas Court of Appeals 2014). Read the rest of this entry »





News: US phone hacking claim by Eunice Huthart dismissed by Federal Judge

22 05 2014

Eunice HuthartA phone hacking claim by stuntwomanEunice Huthart against News Corporation and others in the US District Court in California was dismissed by Federal Judge Michael W Fitzgerald in a judgment handed down on 21 May 2014 [pdf]. Read the rest of this entry »





Love Twitter: US and UK Style – Amber Melville-Brown

18 02 2014

courtney-loveCourtney Love has successfully defended her former lawyer’s US Twitter libel claim – ‘Twibel’ as it been labelled by media and on social media. The case has been lauded as breaking new ground in defining the nexus of social media and defamation. Read the rest of this entry »





Texas Bill Would Allow Publishers to Correct or Retract Content to Avoid Damages – Jillian Stonecipher

16 03 2013

texasccTexas State Representative Todd Hunter, R-Corpus Christi, has proposed a “retraction statute” that, if passed, will protect journalists both online and offline and promote truth and efficiency both in and out of court.

The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and the Texas Press Association assisted Hunter in drafting Texas House Bill 1759 (HB 1759), which would require a prospective plaintiff to give a publisher an opportunity to correct, clarify, or withdraw false content before filing a defamation lawsuit. Read the rest of this entry »





Hawaii’s new “anti-pap” laws – Michael Cameron

28 02 2013

gazetteHollywood’s war on being terrorized by paparazzi has moved from California to Hawaii. Michael Cameron reports from New York on the new fight between celebrities and the entertainment news industry. Read the rest of this entry »





Campaign Lies and the First Amendment – Jacob Rowbottom

11 11 2012

It is now a tradition that during an America presidential election year, commentators shall declare the campaigns to be the ‘nastiest’ and ‘dirtiest’ ever. It is difficult to know whether such a claim is true of the 2012 election, as tough campaigning has a long history in the USA (as a recent NY Times article explains). Read the rest of this entry »





US Case Law, Tattooing is constitutionally protected free speech, Coleman v City of Mesa

13 09 2012

We had, last week, another reminder of the extraordinary reach of the First Amendment right to free speech. Arizona’s Supreme Court has held that tattooing is a “constitutionally protected free speech”.  It appears that this is the first decision by a State Supreme Court giving such recognition to what the court described as “tattoo artists”. Read the rest of this entry »





US Freedom of Expression and Media Law round-up – 27 August 2012 – Gervase de Wilde

27 08 2012

The boom in litigation which features social media, both as a means of publication, and where its use plays a part in other proceedings, continues throughout the American court system. This phenomenon was highlighted here when Northcliffe Media tried and failed, in a California court last month, to force Twitter to reveal the identity of an anonymous poster behind a spoof account. Judges at all levels grapple with the difficulties presented by new technology and their decisions, as evidenced in the links below, receive more comment and scrutiny than ever. Read the rest of this entry »








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