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Old 03-22-2006, 02:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tucker Max is being sued... (again)

Web liability under question

Lawsuit asks: Does ‘annoyance’ law apply to Internet message boards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro
CENTER CITY — A lawsuit from local socialite and PR man Anthony DiMeo III against New York Internet celebrity Tucker Max could challenge a new law that makes it illegal to annoy someone anonymously using a computer.

DiMeo’s suit alleges that comments made on TuckerMax.com message boards are libelous and violate new rules placed into the federal Communications Act as part of the Violence Against Women Act and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act.

The lawsuit says comments made on TuckerMax.com about DiMeo are libelous against new wording in the law, which makes it a crime to “annoy, abuse, threaten or harass” someone anonymously on the Internet. Posters have been making fun of DiMeo on Max’s Web site for a few years and began belittling him even more after a failed New Years’ Eve party organized by DiMeo’s Renamity PR firm.


Message boards included?

Ronald Collins, a scholar at the nonprofit First Amendment Center, said that the new wording in the anti-stalking law was meant to use rules against harassing telephone calls with Internet technologies such as e-mail, not message boards, which are seen as public conversations.

“This strikes me as a real stretch,” Collins said of the suit.

One of the lawmakers that helped craft the act, Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., said that it doesn’t pertain to message boards.

“I don’t think it has to say yes to message boards,” said DiMeo’s attorney, Matthew B. Weisberg. “It talks about any device. ... It sounds counterintuitive that Congress would pass a law prohibiting the type of behavior and then confine that prohibition to minimal areas.”


Law not settled

Max, a Duke law school grad who is representing himself, said he’s confident comments on his site aren’t libelous toward DiMeo. But, he said, the law over whether message boards are included in the new rules is unsettled.

“[DiMeo’s] trying to ...bully someone into limiting their own speech or trying to get the government to get something he can’t get on his own,” Max said. “He wants it so that no one can say anything mean about him or things people don’t like. That’s just not the way the world works.”


Annoying, but illegal?

• A new law signed by the president earlier this year makes it a crime to anonymously “annoy, abuse, threaten or harass” someone on the Internet.

• According to First Amendment scholar Ronald Collins, the law is worrisome because of its vague and overly broad interpretation of “annoy.”

• “It does tend to chill and even bar clearly protected speech,” he said.

• One Nevada company has gone to court to challenge the constitutionality of barring annoying speech.

this decision could effect some ppl around here...

link to article

link to Tuckers message board discussions


more interesting info

link to Tuckers take on it
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Old 03-22-2006, 03:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Note to everyone- this is getting ridiculous.

From here on, you post content of personal opinion, something at least a couple of lines to get the conversation rolling.

IF YOU DO NOT: The thread is getting closed and you're getting a PM to write something up for the article before it's reopened. If I see people putting down 3 lines of BS filler in a lame attempt to skirt the rules, the same result will follow, only with a request for explanation why the "filler" used seemed pertinent or useful, and to rewrite it.

Threads end up directionless and with pointless bickering because they're given no direction at the start of the thread- this is part of the reason why it's required (and in the rules) to have a brief editorial of your own opinions on the article- why it's important to you, why it should be important to others, something like that.

This problem has worsened in the last month- and I am also not the only Mod to make this rather unpleasant observation. It's not hard- and if you really can't come up with something to say about it, it can't really be something to discuss, now can it?

- analog.

Last edited by analog; 03-22-2006 at 03:32 AM..
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