Interesting… evolution of technology law issues…

August 23, 2009

On BitchBuzz a post by my friend Maria Diaz: Model Liskula Cohen Fights Hate Blogger In Court

This is really interesting and I’m kind of bummed that the charges were dropped so fast… Though I understand why they were (and, agree with the decision – sometimes it is better just to move on than continue to cause a pit of anxiety and stress in your stomach over the “anonymous” actions of some person who abjectly hates you.)

I think that it is increasingly important that some sort of standard be created to hold people accountable for what they say and do online.  Granted, as was explained to me by Tyler, it is difficult to do this or create this kind of litmus because much of what is written online is considered “protected speech” because it is construed as subjective opinion.  Were they to state it as fact it could be considered defamation – but, that charge is one that is really hard to get to stick.  You have to prove capital damages and the burden of proof is on you… it’s just messy.

According to T, it is much easier to compell people doing this kind of “hate blogging” to remove content based on copyright violation.  Which someplace like the Reblogging NonSociety (hate blog devoted to Julia Allison) would be subject to.  Technically you have to have written permission to repost content – even the fair use practice of linking to and giving credit for doesn’t completely cover you.  Though, again, it’s really rare that anyone pursues this course of action as it’s complicated and messy and hard to prove intent.  Because you have to prove intent to break copyright?  I dunno, this is why T is a lawyer and I am not…

Anyhow – it’s an interesting subject to observe as the conversation evolves… While I agree with Maria in some respect that the anonymity of the Internet needs to be respected – I don’t know that I agree that the anonymity of the Internet should give license to hateful people to say shitty things about other people in attempts to either damage their careers or hurt them personally.  Props to Liskula for pushing this issue further forward…

Seriously it should all start with teaching people Internet ettiquette.  You should have to take a class b/4 you’re allowed to start a blog or participate in an online community…

Granted, I’d probably have failed that class… so… do as I say, not as I do.

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2 Responses to “Interesting… evolution of technology law issues…”

  1. mariamargarita Says:

    Reblogging would probably be covered under parody. Julia tried to delete her hate bloggers from Tumblr earlier this year and that created such a shit storm that Tumblr just put them all back up.

    I think Cohen dropped the lawsuit once she realized her hate blogger did not have $3 million to pay, and also to avoid having to prove that she was not a “skank.” Who wants to go through that?

    • adorkablegrrl Says:

      Hm… true. And, I’m familiar with the shit storm that trying to delete hate bloggers causes. Sometimes – though it might take eons to realize – it is better to ignore.

      And, funny how parody can hurt.

      I’m sure that Cohen probably did drop the suit for lack of $$ and lack of desire to prove she isn’t a skank…

      How does one even go about doing that, anyhow? It’s not like you can tick off boxes on a list to prove you are or aren’t a skank…

      That’s the problem with this kind of thing — the burden of proof to establish damage is upon the person being damaged…

      Whatever…


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