AAN News

Circuit Court Rules Anonymous Poster's Identity Must be Revealednew

The Associated Press via Editor & Publisher  |  11-10-2009  12:35 pm  |  Legal News

Obama Signs Law Blocking Release of Detainee Torture Photosnew

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press  |  10-30-2009  9:37 am  |  Legal News

Judge Tosses Defamation Suit Against Facebooknew

A New York judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit against the social networking giant, ruling that the site isn't responsible for false posts by users. In her ruling, Judge Debra James said that "Facebook is entitled to the liability shield conferred by the Communications Decency Act," which protects websites from defamation suits based on user-generated content.
Online Media Daily  |  10-23-2009  9:23 am  |  Legal News

Federal Judge Tosses Sheriff's Suit Against Craigslistnew

A federal judge this week threw out Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart's lawsuit seeking to force Craigslist to pull its "adult services" ads, ruling that the ads aren't explicitly offering sex. The judge said the online classifieds site is merely an "intermediary" that is not legally "culpable for aiding and abetting" folks who may commit illegal acts. "Sheriff Dart may continue to use Craigslist's website to identify and pursue individuals who post allegedly unlawful content," the judge wrote in his ruling. "But he cannot sue Craigslist for their conduct."
Chicago Sun-Times  |  10-22-2009  10:03 am  |  Legal News

Secret Service Denies Access to White House Visitor Logsnew

Despite the Obama administration's recent legal settlement to begin releasing White House visitor logs later this year, it has denied Judicial Watch's recent request for those same records. "In refusing to abide by FOIA law, the Secret Service advanced the erroneous claim that the records belong to the Obama White House, not the agency, and are therefore may be kept secret under the Presidential Records Act," Judicial Watch says in a release.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press  |  10-20-2009  10:36 am  |  Legal News

Phoenix Media Sues Facebooknew

Phoenix Media, the parent company of the Phoenix alt-weeklies in Boston, Portland and Providence, filed a lawsuit yesterday alleging that Facebook infringed on a patent held by the company's Tele-Publishing Inc. (TPI) division for publishing personal pages on online dating services. A Facebook spokesperson tells the Boston Globe the suit is "without merit," something Phoenix Media executive editor Peter Kadzis disputes. "The intellectual concepts that Facebook uses to give its users maximum flexibility of choice while maintaining the highest level of privacy replicate/duplicate those developed by TPI many years ago," he says. "It's not a frivolous suit."
Mass High Tech | The Boston Globe  |  10-08-2009  1:36 pm  |  Legal News

Judge Dismisses Defamation Suit Against The Independent Weeklynew

A judge has dismissed former Stanford Group Company vice president Tiffany Angelle's defamation claim against the Lafayette, La., paper. Angelle had sued the Independent over a story that reported she had given a reluctant investor a Rolex watch and a lavish trip to keep his money in Stanford, which was shut down earlier this year by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly perpetrating an $8 billion investment scam. In making his ruling, the judge noted that Independent editorial director Leslie Turk, who was also named in the suit, "reasonably relied on a confidential informant whom she believed to be telling the truth and confirmed the accuracy of the source's statement by making a second call to [the confidential source]."
The Independent Weekly  |  09-22-2009  10:14 am  |  Legal News

Progress on Shield Bill Slows in Senate Judiciary Committeenew

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press  |  09-18-2009  8:59 am  |  Legal News

AAN Joins Amicus in Support of Texas' Open Meeting Lawnew

The brief filed yesterday asks the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a highly unusual opinion issued earlier this year by a panel of the same court, which ruled that the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA) violates the First Amendment. The case began when two former city councilors in Alpine, Tex., were indicted under TOMA for discussing city business via private e-mail messages. Although the charges were dropped, the politicians filed a lawsuit charging that TOMA violated their right to free speech. AAN joined two dozen other media organizations in signing onto the amicus brief, which was written and organized by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press  |  09-04-2009  3:19 pm  |  Legal News

Cleveland Scene and Reporter Settle Lawsuitnew

The suit against the Times-Shamrock alt-weekly was filed earlier this year by James Renner, who claimed he was unjustly fired over an unpublished story about an alleged affair involving an Ohio state senator and his former campaign aide. The Columbus Dispatch reports that terms of the agreement are confidential.
The Columbus Dispatch  |  09-04-2009  3:16 pm  |  Legal News

White House Opens Visitors Logsnew

In what special counsel to the president Norm Eisen calls "a historic new policy," the Obama Administration announced this morning that "(a)side from a small group of appointments that cannot be disclosed because of national security imperatives or their necessarily confidential nature (such as a visit by a possible Supreme Court nominee), the record of every visitor who comes to the White House for an appointment, a tour, or to conduct business will be released." The administration also announced that it settled a lawsuit demanding specific visitor records, "including those dating from the Bush administration."
The White House  |  09-04-2009  11:24 am  |  Legal News

Judge Removes Politician from Lawsuit by Ex-Scene Reporternew

Ohio state Sen. Kevin Coughlin has been dismissed as a defendant in James Renner's lawsuit over his termination by the Scene, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. The alt-weekly has requested the rest of the suit be tossed out as well; the judge is reportedly considering that request now. Renner's suit alleges he was unjustly fired over an unpublished story about an alleged affair involving Coughlin and a former campaign aide.
Akron Beacon Journal  |  09-02-2009  9:56 am  |  Legal News

Judge Rules Blogger's Identity Must be Revealednew

A judge ruled this week that model Liskula Cohen is entitled to learn the identity of the person who wrote the blog Skanks in NYC, which referred to Cohen as a "skank" and "ho." The judge said that the blog potentially defamed Cohen, rejecting the blogger's argument that the comments were mere opinion and hyperbole.
Online Media Daily  |  08-19-2009  11:37 am  |  Legal News

D.C. Court of Appeals Sets New Standard for IDing Anonymous Commentersnew

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press  |  08-17-2009  10:02 am  |  Legal News

Real Estate Co. Drops Trademark Infringement Suit Against Craigslistnew

The Texas real estate company First Call Properties, which sued Craigslist for trademark infringement based on ads posted by users, has withdrawn the suit against the online listings website. First Call will continue its suit against AAA Apartment Locating, the company it says posted Craigslist ads using the phrases "first call," "call first," and "call us first" in a deliberate attempt to confuse consumers.
Online Media Daily  |  07-28-2009  9:09 am  |  Legal News