Newsletters
Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Business Intelligence Sales & Marketing More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

On Force.com
World Wide Web
24/7/365 Network Uptime!
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Internet Giants Eye Cheerleader
Internet Giants Eye Cheerleader's Defamation Suit

By Amanda Lee Myers
May 5, 2014 9:39AM

Bookmark and Share
Tech companies as large as Google and Facebook have a stake in the legal drama between the owner of a gossip Web site and a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader. Sarah Jones sued for defamation after The Dirty published posts about her and her ex-husband's sexual history. The site's owner, Nik Richie, wants to nullify the verdict.
 



An appeals court heard arguments Thursday over whether a gossip website should have been immune from a defamation lawsuit brought by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, a case that Internet giants such as Google and Facebook are watching closely.

Nik Richie, owner of The Dirty, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, should have been granted immunity in the case under a 1996 federal law that provides broad immunity to Web sites, his attorney argued to a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

Former Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones, also a former high school teacher in northern Kentucky, sued Richie in December 2012 over posts about her and her ex-husband's sexual history. Jones, 29, said the posts were untrue and caused mental anguish and embarrassment.

In July, after federal Judge William Bertelsman rejected arguments that Richie should be granted immunity, jurors found that the posts about Jones were substantially false and that Richie had acted with malice or reckless disregard by publishing them. They awarded Jones $338,000.

The posts about Jones were unrelated to a criminal case that emerged against her in March 2012 in which she was accused of having sex with a teenage former student. Jones later pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct and custodial interference as part of a plea deal that allowed her to avoid jail time but prohibited her from teaching again.

Jones and the student, then 17, say they're engaged to be married.

Richie, 35, is asking the 6th Circuit to find that Bertelsman should never have allowed Jones' lawsuit against him, which would nullify the verdict. The court could rule at any time.

In November, some of the Internet's heaviest hitters said that if Bertelsman's decision is upheld, the case has the potential to "significantly chill online speech."

"If websites are subject to liability for failing to remove third-party content whenever someone objects, they will be subject to the 'heckler's veto,' giving anyone who complains unfettered power to censor speech," according to briefs filed Nov. 19 by lawyers for Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, Gawker and BuzzFeed, among others.

After Thursday's arguments, Richie's attorney reiterated the magnitude of the case.

"If Judge Bertelsman's ruling stands, the Internet will have a nuclear meltdown," Arizona attorney David Gingras said. "It'll change the rules across the board for everyone. ... Mark Zuckerberg could be dragged into court for what users post on Facebook."

Thursday's arguments centered on the federal Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996 to give websites immunity from liability for content posted by users. Judges and courts across the country have upheld the law in hundreds of cases, including other lawsuits involving Richie's Web site.

But Bertelsman has ruled four times against Richie's arguments involving the Communications Decency Act, finding that the very name of Richie's W eb site, the way he manages it and the personal comments that he adds to many posts all encourage offensive content.

Richie's website allows users to submit posts -- anonymously if they want -- about anyone from the girl next door to professional athletes and politicians, often accusing them of promiscuity, criticizing their plastic surgery or picking apart their looks. Richie screens each post, decides what goes up and often adds his own commentary.

Most recently, Richie broke the news of Anthony Weiner's latest round of marital indiscretions.
 


© 2014 Associated Press under contract with NewsEdge. All rights reserved.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Jake Melbourne West:

Posted: 2014-05-06 @ 9:15pm PT
That Is excellent result for Defamation
The Supreme Court of Victoria proceeding
Trkulja v Google Inc in 2012 and
Trkulja v Yahoo
The Australian Landmarks Defamation opened the gate in the world wide



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 World Wide Web
1.   New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
2.   Verizon Launches Rewards Program
3.   Social Media Feeds Rare Syndrome
4.   NY Proposes Virtual Currency Rules
5.   Visa Intros Online Payment Service


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
New Web Tracking Technologies Defeat Privacy Protections
Recently developed Web tracking tools are able to circumvent even the best privacy defenses, according to a new study by researchers at Princeton and the University of Leuven in Belgium.
 
Juniper DDoS Solution Aims at High-IQ Networks
In the face of more complex attacks, Juniper Networks is boosting its DDoS Secure solution to help companies mitigate the threats with more effective security intelligence throughout the network fabric.
 
Large-Volume DDoS Attacks Hit Record in 2014
The number of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks set a record in the first half of 2014, according to a report by Arbor Networks. The number of attacks over 20 GB/sec doubled.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Contact Centers | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.