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Q: What are the specific lawsuits filed thus far against bloggers? ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: What are the specific lawsuits filed thus far against bloggers?
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: wordbiz-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 22 Sep 2005 09:29 PDT
Expires: 22 Oct 2005 09:29 PDT
Question ID: 571009
This is for the book I'm writing for Penguin: The Corporate Blogging

I need links to specific examples. And I am particularly interested in
cases or examples that are relevant to companies who are blogging (not
personal blogs). I know about two: the Apple suit
against the Harvard student who publishes the ThinkSecret blog for Mac
lovers. And the recent suit filed against Aaron Wall who runs the
SEOBook blog for comments left on his blog by a third party. What else
is there? What am I  missing?

Here's my blog post about lawsuits against bloggers:

Thanks in advance. Look forward to your sleuthing!

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 22 Sep 2005 09:40 PDT

Are you absolutely limiting your question to blogs?

I ask, because I know there have been lawsuits agains bulletin board
and forum type postings as well -- these are certainly similar enough
to blogs to warrant some attention, I would think.

Let me know your thoughts on this.


Clarification of Question by wordbiz-ga on 22 Sep 2005 09:52 PDT
Tx for quick response. I know that the whole issue of the Internet and
legal issues quickly gets very complicated. So... the short answer is
yes, I want specifics related to blogs and blogging. The longer answer
is... if you can provide useful historical context that would be
helpful. But it won't answer my question! Are the two cases I've
identified the *only two* that are public thus far? Be sure to read my
whole post on blogging and lawsuits.

Clarification of Question by wordbiz-ga on 22 Sep 2005 10:24 PDT
Do you need more clarification?
Subject: Re: What are the specific lawsuits filed thus far against bloggers?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 22 Sep 2005 12:31 PDT

My very first thought when I read your question was: "I need to look
at what's on the EFF site".  So I was glad to see them referenced in
your article.

There isn't much out there in the way of blog-related lawsuits beyond
what you're already identified. But there are at least a few tidbits
here and there, some of them on EFF itself.  There have also been
numerous threats of suits, even though nothing has (yet)
materialized...I included mention of a few of these as well.

I trust the information below fully answers your question.

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If there's anything more I can do for you, just post a Request
for Clarification, and I'm happy to assist you further.

And best of luck with your book project.



August 17, 2005
Anonymous Online Critics Should Not Be Silenced by Lawsuit
EFF Opposes Subpoenas Seeking to Reveal the Identities of Web Writers, Bloggers

Utah - A case brought in a US district court by a Utah man threatens
to undermine the First Amendment right to speak anonymously on issues
of public concern. In Merkey v. Yahoo SCOX et al., the plaintiff
requested an expedited process for serving subpoenas that would unmask
anonymous "John Doe" critics who participated in a discussion of
another court case, in which Utah-based technology company The SCO
Group, Inc., is suing IBM.

...The case arose out of several anonymous postings that appeared in a
Yahoo group, as well as the weblogs Groklaw and


August 1, 2005
Internet Critic of Delaware Politician Has Right to Anonymity, Public
Citizen Tells Court

...The Internet critic, known in court documents as John Doe No. 1,
posted two messages on the Smyrna/Clayton Issues Blog (web log) in
September 2004.

[and here's a link to the amicus in the case]



[the following are from a legal news/journals database, so there's no hyperlink]

American Bar Association  
ABA Journal

July, 2005

FEAR OF BLOGGING: As the Law Catches Up to the Technology, Bloggers
Look for a Few Good Attorneys

LAST DECEMBER, JEFF JARVIS called for a few good lawyers. "We need all
the many blogging lawyers to band together to provide legal help for
their fellow bloggers," Jarvis wrote on his Web log, BuzzMachine.

Jarvis...posted his plea after blogger Jason Kottke landed in hot
water with Sony Pictures Television. Kottke had tweaked Sony by
posting an audio clip of Ken Jennings losing on Jeopardy, after
winning 74 games in a row and more than $ 2.5 million in prize was Kottke's blog that riled Sony, the show's producer,
enough to spark threats of litigation for copyright infringement.
That, in turn, prompted Jarvis' call to action..."Civilians can't
afford the fight. And that's just the point, of course," he wrote on
his blog. "So we need our own lawyers."

...The institutions that bloggers attack often push back. MBA founder
Robert Cox, who runs a blog called The National Debate, had problems
last year with The New York Times after parodying the Times'
corrections policy....The newspaper's lawyers contacted Cox and his
ISP, claiming that the satirical posting violated the Times'
intellectual property rights under the Digital Millennium Copyright
Act--which provides that copyright holders can take action against
hosting companies as well as the individual that allegedly violated
the copyright....As word of the dispute spread through the
blog-osphere, Cox became a populist hero and secured Coleman as his
lawyer. Cox also added a disclaimer to his page saying it was a
parody, and the Times dropped its demands.

...Blogger Mark Jen was fired in January from his job at Google--a
search engine that itself is one of the largest providers of free
blog-hosting services. Jen, who had worked at Google for only two
weeks, wrote about the company on his blog.

...Delta Air Lines first suspended and later let go a flight attendant
who blogged under the name "Queen of Sky" for posting pictures of
herself in uniform.


Here's one (from a legal database, hence, no link) of a blogger filing suit!

DOES 1-10, Defendants

Civil File No. 03-6472 (MJD/JGL) 

April 27, 2005

...Plaintiffs Faegre & Benson, LLP ("Faegre"), Felicia Boyd, and John
H. Hinderaker filed a complaint against William S. Purdy, Sr., Please
Don't KILL Your Baby ("PDKYB"), and Does 1-10, on December 15, 2003,
alleging that Defendants registered numerous internet domain names
that are confusingly similar to Faegre's protected mark and that
statements on the web sites were defamatory.

...Plaintiff John Hinderaker publishes a popular internet blog -- or
web log -- entitled "Power Line," located at, under
the pseudonym "Hindrocket." Hinderaker [**9]  Decl. P 5. On September
13, 2004, a statement appeared on the discussion board on that purported to be by
Hinderaker. Exh. 107 to Seventh Beutz Decl. Hinderaker did not create
or authorize use of the posting attributed to his name. Hinderaker
Decl. P 3.

...On November 6, 2004, Purdy registered the domain name
"" and directed that domain name to a web page
proclaiming to be the "Official John Hinderaker Site." Exhs. 108-09 to
Seventh Beutz Decl.; Exh. 122 to Eighth Beutz Decl. The web page
contains criticism of Hinderaker related to his alleged stance on

I looked through a number of other databases and sources, but nothing
else popped up.  Like I said, this is a new-enough phenomenon that
there simply doesn't seem to be a whole lot of published case law yet.
 Hopefully, there are a few interesting examples in the above
materials, though.

Again, let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.


search strategy -- Searched Google and a number of newspaper, legal
journal, and court case databases for [ (blog OR blogger OR blogging)
and (lawsuit OR suits OR suing OR sued OR filed ) ]
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