“A federal appeals court has tossed a $10 million defamation suit by a resort in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., that was ranked No. 1 on a 2011 ‘dirtiest hotels’ list by TripAdvisor.” The Sixth Circuit “said the list is opinion protected by the First Amendment.” [ABA Journal, Digital Media Law]
Courtesy Stanley Fish, Prof. Jeremy Waldron gets a long, favorable hearing in the New York Times for his let’s-suppress-hate-speech proposals [Opinionator]
On the other hand, free speech scores huge victory in Canada as parliament mostly along party lines votes to repeal notorious Section 13 of Canadian Human Rights Act, authorizing private federal complaints over alleged hate speech [Jonathan Kay]
“Christian Nation” historical writer and Texas curriculum reshaper David Barton sues critics; don’t let him find out what Ed Brayton keeps writing [Reason]
Pennsylvania bill: “Crime for Minor to Post or Send Messages That ‘Emotional[ly] Distress’ Another Minor?” [Volokh]
Norfolk, Va. business puts up a big sign protesting eminent domain scheme to seize its property; guess what happens next [Marc Scribner, Open Market]
After his nastygram aimed at Matthew Inman of humor site The Oatmeal backfired spectacularly — Inman turned his resistance into a much-publicized fundraiser for two nonprofit recipients, the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society — a California attorney proceeded to go a remarkable step further, with train-wreck consequences outlined at BoingBoing, Popehat, and Lowering the Bar. More: Inman, Lowering the Bar.
Max Mosley, former head of the Formula One racing organization, has been the subject of a number of lurid allegations in the European press. Now he is suing Google in France and Germany, and contemplating suit in California, “in an attempt to force the internet company to monitor and censor search results about” the allegations. “It is understood Google has removed hundreds of references to the defamatory claims after requests from Mosley’s solicitors. However, Mosley is attempting to force Google to monitor its search results so the material never appears” in the first place. [Guardian] More: Above the Law.
“When people like Rachel Kane stand up to bullies, it makes it a little bit easier for each and every one of us to stand up to bullies,” writes Ken at Popehat about the blogger who runs a site making fun of some of the wares of the fashion chain Forever 21, and who’s not knuckling under despite a cease-and-desist letter from the store’s lawyer. More coverage: Atlantic Wire; press roundup at WTForever 21.
After being widely criticized for his handling of a criminal case, a lawyer is now suing his critics by the dozen, including a raft of leading law bloggers; the case is already being dubbed “Rakofsky v. Internet.” A list of the many defendants is here (PDF) courtesy of defendant Mark Bennett, who has also compiled a compendium of blog posts that discuss the new action. Among defendants and others talking back: Eric Turkewitz, Colin Samuels, Scott Greenfield, Avvo, Keith Lee.
Nova Scotia, Canada: “A Couple in their 70s Wave at A Kid…And In Swoop the Cops” [Free-Range Kids]
Barbra Streisand loses suit over aerial photo of her Malibu home taken by environmental group; by suing, she ensures that many thousands more people will see the photograph, in what is dubbed “Streisand effect” [six years ago on Overlawyered]
Ralph Lauren experiences Streisand Effect over skinny-model nastygram [Althouse, earlier]
High-profile L.A. plaintiff’s lawyer Walter Lack speaks under questioning about role in Nicaraguan banana-worker suit against Dole [Recorder, earlier, background] And: “Dole on a Roll: Court Declines to Enforce $97M Judgment” [WSJ Law Blog, Bloomberg]
Daniel Kalder speculates on why the New York Times editorially “purred with approval” of the new FTC blogger regulations in such an “impressively superficial” way [Guardian Books Blog]. More on FTC’s semi-backtracking on the controversy: Media Bistro “Galleycat”, Publisher’s Weekly, Galleysmith. And having been hoping for ages to get a link some day from blogging legend Jason Kottke, this one will go in the souvenir file [Kottke.org]
Get your copy today!My new book tackles the question of why so many bad ideas come from the law schools. "Cutting-edge commentary, hard-hitting, witty, astute." -- Publisher's Weekly. "Excellent... A fine dissection of these strangely powerful institutions" -- Wall Street Journal.