Copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and potentially defamation claims could exist when your photo, naked, pornographic or otherwise, is posted on a website without your permission. CNN Reports on one lawsuit which is being brought against a revenge porn website where ex-boyfriends can post naked or pornographic pictures of girlfriends who have broken up with them. The website allegedly will take the picture down if you pay them money. For many web visitors, this smacks of extortion.
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Internet Defamation, Libel and Slander Cases: If you need an attorney who understands how to file a lawsuit for defamation, libel or slander which is posted online on a web site, review site, bulletin board or as a comment, our defamation attorneys can help. Defamation court cases are complex. When libel or slander occurs on the web, you need a lawyer who not only understands defamation law, specializes in Internet Law as well. Review the articles on this page and use the search box to find even more information about how to file or defend a court action or lawsuit for internet defamation. Or visit our "what is internet defamation" page to learn more."
Defamation on the Internet & the Constitutional Right to Post Anonymously. Michigan Court Will Decide....
Identifying an anonymous blogger or author of a comment on a website in an internet defamation case presents challenges for plaintiffs, defendants and the court. The plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit, of course, wants to identify the person who they believe engaged in online libel or slander, idneitifed int eh COmplaint as John Doe. But there is a constitutional right attaching to anonymous speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Thus, the person whose speech is alleged to be defamatory may have a constitutional right to remain anonymous. Courts in John Doe litigation are typically asked by plaintiff's attoreny is an ex parte fashion to allow discovery necessary to “identify” the John Doe defendant in the case.
In this interview of Paul Allen Levy, attorney for Public Citizen, we explore the so-called “Dendrite rule” and its potential application in Michigan to defamation cases. States that have applied a heightened standard of showing by plaintiffs in defamation cases in order to identify anonymous John Doe defendants include: Maryland, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Tennessee, New York, California, Connecticut, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and potentially Michigan in the near term.
- Doe subpoena - Wikipedia Definition
- Click here for more information on legal protections for anonymous speech.
- [Proposed] Memorandum of Public Citizen as Amicus Curiae Supporting Doe’s Motion to Quash or For Protective Order.
- Defamation Lawsuit Filed in Michigan by Cooley Law School against Ex-Student.
In Michigan, an internet defamation lawsuit was filed by Cooley Law School against a number of John Doe defendants by Attorney Michael P. Coakley of the law firm Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone, PLC. This defamation lawsuit has garnered national attention as initial subpoenas issued by Michael Coakley on behalf of plaintiff Thomas M. Cooley Law School sought to identify the anonymous blogger who had posted a blog at thomas-cooley-law-school-scam.weebly.com. The subpoena issued to the web hosting provider Weebly.com was accidentally responded to by Weebly.com disclosing the account holder’s identity prior to the subpoena response due date and after the anonymous blogger had indicated through his lawyer that objections were being filed. Knowing that objections were being filed, the plaintiff’s attorney Michael Coakley of Miller Canfield filed an amended complaint using the alleged confidential information to name the John Doe defendant. Mr. Coakley received some unwanted press for questionable litigation tactics and potential violation of the Michigan Rules of Professional Responsibility and the Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure. Essentially, Mr. Coakley decided to avoid having to argue the merits of whether or not his subpoena should be quashed by simply outing the John Doe defendant before the court could weigh in on the matter.
To those who want to “flame” people or companies on the internet, be aware that libel and defamation can bring defamation litigation against you. In one case back in 2006, a jury awarded an $11 million plus judgment against a defendant who had engaged in rampant defamation on an internet website. Before you make a false statement of fact which affects someone else’s reputation, think again. Are you prepared to deal with the consequences?
As reported on courthousenews.com, attorney claims internet libel by far-right bloggers including OverLawyered.com (Walter Olson), the Reason Foundation and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
In the matter of Wolk v. Olson, Philadelphia Aviation Attorney Arthur Wolk, who is known proponent of tort liability, claims he’s been the target of a vicious smear campaign launched at him in an effort to discredit him with the State Bar. Wolk claims that he was defamed by OverLawyered.com and others that formed an “internet tag team” to publish defamatory statements about him. Wolk says he came under attack because his position on tort liability, which did not match the groups’ position "to enact tort reform by getting rid of the proponents of tort liability…”
In the first Facebook internet libel lawsuit in the Philippines, Judge Mary Josephine Lazaro of the Antipolo City Regional Trial Court threw out the case stating that it could not be prosecuted because internet libel had jurisdictional constraint.
The online defamation lawsuit was brought against Lawyer Argee Guevarra for allegedly posting defamatory statements on his Facbook page about Cosmetic Surgeon Vicki Belo. Guevarra launched a smear campaign after his former client suffered complications from two surgeries performed by doctors at Belo’s clinic.
It all starts with a tweet. A moment in time where someone speaks her mind in 140 characters or less. By all appearances, it sounds harmless with so many tweets each day. However, a tweet may lead to a lawsuit for internet defamation. Internet defamation attorneys are very aware of this, but the ever-growing number of people on Twitter are finding out, sometimes the hard way, that statements made on social media platforms like Twitter are equally subject to claims for libel. A recent story on online defamation law highlights but one example where a National Basketball Association (NBA) referee is suing an Associated Press (AP) writer over a tweet made during a basketball game. The story notes:
Internet Lawyer Alert: Ninth Circuit Lowers the Standard for Identifying Anonymous Internet Speakers
The problem of identifying who wrote that vicious article, blog post or comment is a thorny one for anyone who has experienced defamation of character on the internet first hand. In deciding whether to grant a petition and/or cross-petition for a writ of mandamus the Ninth Circuit rejected application of the high-bar it had previously set with the Cahill standard for deciding whether to compel the identification of anonymous Internet speakers. This decision has implications for clients who have been the object of libel by an unknown author, on the internet.
Internet Defamation got you down? The owners behind the Cozy Kittens website, depicting absolutely adorable and exotic purebreds and crossbreeds of Persian and Himalayan cats, have been struggling in a fight to remove allegedly defamatory and libelous posts and comments about their cattery business from a consumer review website.
The online defamation case is in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, Johnson v. Arden, 2010 WL 3023660 (8th Cir. August 4, 2010). Susan and Robert Johnson who own and operate Cozy Kittens Cattery, LLC, brought this internet libel lawsuit against: the consumer review site www.ComplaintsBoard.com, two alleged publishers Elizabeth Arden and Michelle Reitenger, and two ComplaintsBoard users who comment on a complaint thread post about the Johnsons’ exotic Persian and Himalayan cattery business.
The Johnsons’ complaint alleges against all six defendants: injurious falsehood, defamation, and intentional infliction of emotional distress; and trademark infringement against Heineman in particular for his use of the Johnsons’ ‘COZY KITTENS’ trademark in the phrase "Cozy Kittens and Cuddly Cats" on used on his competing website www.BoutiqueKittens.com.
Be careful who you defame, and where you defame them. If they are located in a far away state, you might be dragged into court and sued for online defamation in a far away state. You probably don't know an internet slander attorney there. And it is going to cost you money to defend the case.