Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, stands in court during his trial against Gawker Media, in St Petersburg, Florida March 17, 2016.  New York based media company Gawker is being sued for $100 million by wrestling celebrity Hogan, who says the release of a sex tape violated his privacy.  REUTERS/Dirk Shadd/Tampa Bay Times/Pool via Reuters

Hulk Hogan v. Gawker: Invasion of Privacy & Free Speech in a Digital World

Hulk Hogan, a former wrestler whose real name is Terry Bolleau, sued Gawker Media for invasion of privacy after it published a sex tape of him and friend’s wife. Hogan’s suit was financially backed by Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’d been been outed as being gay by Gawker. A jury awarded a $140 million judgement to Hogan. Gawker initially[Read More…]

August 30, 2018 Privacy
FILE PHOTO: Tablets of the opioid-based Hydrocodone at a pharmacy in Portsmouth, Ohio, U.S. on June 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Bryan Woolston/File Photo

Ballard Spahr: W. Virginia Court Rejects Claim Opioid Reports Defamed Pharmacist

Reprinted with Permission from Ballard Spahr August 23, 2018 A West Virginia federal court has rejected defamation claims arising from two Peabody Award-winning CBS Evening News reports about the opioid epidemic. Granting CBS’s motion for summary judgment on Tuesday, Judge Joseph Goodwin wrote that CBS’s journalists had “thoroughly investigated” this ongoing crisis, and described their reporting as “applaudable.” In 2016, CBS aired a series of[Read More…]

August 23, 2018 Libel, Privacy
Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz walks back in court as his attorney Assistant Public Defender Melisa McNeill (L) looks on in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S. April 27, 2018.      Taimy Alvarez/Sun-Sentinel/Pool via REUTERS

Florida School Board Wants To Hold Newspaper In Contempt For Publishing Parkland Shooter’s Records

August 15, 2018:”I find it shameful”: Judge Reprimands Newspaper For Publishing Redacted Material A Broward County judge lambasted the Sun Sentinel for publishing disclosed information contained in a redacted report that the paper says it obtained legally, because the information was already made public.  In response to the judge’s claim that she was under the impression that the newspaper would[Read More…]

Knight First Amendment Institute: Supreme Court Strengthens Digital-Era Privacy Rights and First Amendment Freedoms in Carpenter Decision

Knight First Amendment Institute: Supreme Court Strengthens Digital-Era Privacy Rights and First Amendment Freedoms in Carpenter Decision

Reprinted with Permission From Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University June 22, 2018 In a landmark decision for the freedoms of speech and association as well as digital privacy, the Supreme Court today ruled in Carpenter v. United States that the government may not acquire certain cellphone location data without a warrant. Last fall, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia[Read More…]

June 22, 2018 Privacy, Speech, Top Stories
Newseum’s Lata Nott on Facebook, Hate Speech, Fake News, and Data Privacy

Newseum’s Lata Nott on Facebook, Hate Speech, Fake News, and Data Privacy

Executive Director of the First Amendment Center at the Newseum Institute, Lata Nott, reviews the the evolving landscape that social media giants must now navigate with the increasing scrutiny and pressure being placed on them.

April 17, 2018 Fake News, Privacy, Speech, Top Stories
J3NE4D Ohio, USA. 19th Apr, 2017. Robert Murray, the 77-year-old founder and CEO of Murray Energy Corporation, talks in his office in St. Clairsville in Ohio, United States, 19 April 2017. The coal industry in the state has set its hopes on president Donald Trump and fracking. Photo: Andreas Hoenig/dpa/Alamy Live News

Defamation Suit By Coal Baron Against John Oliver Dismissed

Coal magnate Robert Murray has a long history of suing the media – at least nine organizations at last count. He targeted HBO’s John Oliver and The New York Times claiming that both misrepresented safety at his coal mines and attacked him personally. He even asked for an emergency “gag order” against rebroadcast of Oliver’s segment arguing it was hurting business and threatening employees. A federal judge ruled that Murray’s case against Oliver should proceed in state court. But after the case was remanded,HBO and Partially Important Productions submitted motions to dismiss which were granted. Murray intends to appeal.

February 25, 2018 Below the Fold, Libel, Privacy, Speech
United States Supreme Court Building

Privacy: Newsworthiness is a Strong Defense

Privacy (Embarrassing Private Facts) Disclosure of private facts about an individual, according to the Restatement (Second) of Torts, can give rise to liability if it involves information that “(a) would be highly offensive to a reasonable person and (b) is not of legitimate concern to the public.” Truth is not a defense to a private facts claim—the plaintiff is in[Read More…]

June 20, 2017 Legal Cases, Privacy