CA Supreme Court Hearing an Internet Libel Lawsuit - Important Reading for All

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  1. Here are two articles worthy of reading for all who participate on internet blogs, message boards/forums and groups where there is sharing of experiences, information, opinions, commentary, etc...discussing a case before the CA Supreme Court now re: Free Speech and the Internet.

    California justices frown on Internet libel lawsuits
    http://www.montereyherald.com/mld/montereyherald/news/15446330.htm+

    Calif. High Court Cold to Liability in Online Speech
    http://www.law.com/jsp/law/LawArticleFriendly.jsp?id=1157462050900
     
  2. That's so freaking stupid....

    ...and who would this apply to anyway? Only those within the US? Only those within California? Or everybody in the world?
     
  3. ^My thoughts exactly, after all the internet is worldwide.

    In the States anyone can sue for anything as it is known to be a litigious society.
     
  4. ^ agree.
     
  5. These suits are becoming more and more common. The problem is that even if the courts rule against a plaintiff in a case like this, the legal costs to the defendant are still huge. That's why it is really prudent to monitor comments that may be libelous on sites like this one. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to defend a suit like this even if it is found to be without merit.
     
  6. The latest...

    Calif. High Court Cold to Liability in Online Speech
    Mike McKee
    The Recorder
    09-06-2006

    "Oakland, Calif., attorney Christopher Grell's belief that certain Internet speech shouldn't be immune from liability was bombing Tuesday during oral arguments in the state Supreme Court.

    But the coup de grace came when Justice Ming Chin followed up Grell's presentation by immediately telling one of the opposing lawyers how surprised he was by Grell's "startling lack of legal authority."

    That statement apparently summed all seven justices' thoughts about Grell's argument, and effectively signaled that the court doesn’t intend to make untold numbers of Internet users liable for every allegedly defamatory posting on the Web."
     
  7. I have a feeling the SCOTUS will be deciding this one... it ain't ovah yet... :s

     
  8. A certain famous person with the initials PH could make a fortune if she could sue for libel every time someone posted something negative about her.:lol::lol:
     
  9. Well, the ones in CA will only apply to CA residents. If they want to get anyone else, they need something to pull people into their domain. And you can only get that through personal jurisdiction (if you are there), in rem (if you have property there), or quasi in rem (using your property to get you there).

    When it comes to internet, they look at the website (one being sued) depending on how "active" it is in that state (i.e. customers). Activity is dependent upon whether it is simply a blog (very inactive), place to order things (where customers fill in orders), or sale things right to the customer.


    So that is the very direct and easy way of answering, I hope it is what you were looking for. Hope it makes sense, lol. And just to add, this is fairly new case law... so who knows what they will do.
     
  10. Parisite Hilton? :lol:
     
  11. ugh, i've lost count of how many times i or people on one of the other forums i'm on have been threatened with a lawsuit over our posting about sellers on eBay selling fake purses... it'd be nice to have a some sort of law about it.

    Of course it's not libel when it's true, and many of the counterfeit sellers seem to think they can convince us they aren't selling fakes and think we'll run scared at the threat of a lawsuit.
     
  12. In my journalism class, the only weapon against a libel suit is the truth. If we have photographic evidence (and video clips) that she did what she did, she doesn't have anything on us.


    Funny joke, though!
     
  13. Thanks for posting this! Very valuable information... there are quite a few cases going on about this as we speak
     
  14. My pleasure Megs.



    As Thomas Jefferson said:
    "I am... for freedom of the press, and against all violations of the Constitution to silence by force and not by reason the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust, of our citizens against the conduct of their agents." --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:78

    "It is so difficult to draw a clear line of separation between the abuse and the wholesome use of the press, that as yet we have found it better to trust the public judgment, rather than the magistrate, with the discrimination between truth and falsehood. And hitherto the public judgment has performed that office with wonderful correctness." --Thomas Jefferson to M. Pictet, 1803. ME 10:356
     

  15. That's the one!
     
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