Law Student Sues Google Over Allegedly Defamatory Blog Posts

from the they-don't-teach-section-230? dept

Eric Goldman points us to a new lawsuit filed by a law student against Google over allegedly defamatory blog posts. The student also sues the individual who made the posts, but the inclusion of Google in the lawsuit is the odd part:
As Goldman (who teaches cyberlaw) notes, perhaps this student should take a cyberlaw class, in order to better understand liability and safe harbors, such as Section 230 when it comes to defamation claims.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), Sep 23rd, 2010 @ 11:24pm

    Well

    That's a rather clever way to get a head start on paying back their student loans

     

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  2.  
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    Pierre Wolff (profile), Sep 23rd, 2010 @ 11:28pm

    Wondering...

    If the blog post is removed by the original author but Google's search engine retains the defamatory post in its archives and continues to make it accessible despite it no longer being accessible from the blog, could they be considered guilty of some sort of contributory harm?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 12:02am

    fail!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 12:03am

    I like the part where its written and not typed!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 12:03am

    I like the part where its written and not typed!

     

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  6.  
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    Delboy, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 2:12am

    Hmm

    Ok a dude knocked me over in a car park. So not only am I sueing his ass, but Ford as well. As long as they manufacture cars that can knock me over they are liable to ME!!!!!.

    Give me money, because I cannot afford a printer & I have to hand write everything - Yeah also, I cannot afford to fund a handwriting course.

    Car was made from plenet earth, the dude evolved on planet earth - So I'm sueing it as well.

    Dah dee dah.... Lets all sue each other & why not?!?!?

     

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  7.  
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    Gracey (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 3:14am

    If you read the documents the reason he included Google is because he's requested removal of the blog post (Blogger has provisions for this) and they haven't done it. Probably because he couldn't satisfactorily backup his claim. Without reading the actual blog post...if the defendant's post is "opinion based" Blogger won't do anything about it. People are entitled to their opinions. Either that, or they simply haven't gotten to it yet. This is only Sept. and the blog post he refers to is dated August 2010...it usually takes Blogger a while (long while) to get to this sort of thing.

    And he may think he can get some money out of them...$110,000 seems like an odd amount to select...tuition maybe? Or the yearly salary of a lost job?

     

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  8.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 3:16am

    Re:

    If you read the documents the reason he included Google is because he's requested removal of the blog post (Blogger has provisions for this) and they haven't done it

    Yeah, but Section 230 caselaw has already made it clear that that doesn't matter. You can request the removal of anything and it doesn't add liability.

     

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  9.  
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    Gracey (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 3:37am

    Mike - I didn't mean it was right, just that it was why.

     

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  10.  
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    cc (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 4:05am

    Little lawyer is growing up and starting to do what lawyers do. He'll proudly put this on his CV.

     

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  11.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 4:30am

    indiana

    hahahahaha this is indiana in a nutshell. It's like the texas of the north.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    Re:

    Could hand written be an attempt not to have his name found by google bots?

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 5:30am

    Its becoming more apparent every day that law students barely understand the law.

     

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  14.  
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    ComputerAddict (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Smartest Thing he did.... Not request Jury... this way only the judge can laugh at him, not a whole panel of his peers.

     

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  15.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    As Goldman (who teaches cyberlaw) notes, perhaps this student should take a cyberlaw class, in order to better understand liability and safe harbors, such as Section 230 when it comes to defamation claims.

    We don't have anything like cyberlaw at my school. I wish we did. It seems kind of silly to me in this day and age not to.

    The closest thing we have is computer law, which focuses on software and hardware issues like copyright, trademark, patents, trade dress, licensing, antitrust, etc.

    I just checked the textbook, and I found one case about defamation and section 230 at the back of the book. The professor I had never assigned that case.

     

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  16.  
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    Sean T Henry (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 7:09am

    Re: Wondering...

    No

     

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  17.  
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    Sean T Henry (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    What he will place on his CV "Failed to sue Google and had the case thrown out since I did not do two separate filings."

     

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  18.  
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    Strang, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    plaintiff should be found guilty of failure to learn

    Assuming that the plaintiff was born and raised in America, they fail in their ability to write a coherent argument that is not rife with spelling and grammatical errors.
    This was written by a LAW student??

     

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  19.  
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    taoareyou (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 8:28am

    haha

    If this guy thinks the blog entry hurt business opportunities, this document of his is exponentially damaging as it will be forever available for the rest of his life. Seriously, not only is he basically illiterate, but it really backs up the whole "scam artist" comment on the blog. hehe

     

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  20.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 8:42am

    Re: plaintiff should be found guilty of failure to learn

    He's actually from Ivory Coast, Africa, so I'm assuming English is not his first language: http://www.state.in.us/judiciary//press/2009/cleo/millogo.html

    Still, this is one shoddy complaint.

     

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  21.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 24th, 2010 @ 8:45am

     

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  22.  
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    Skip Hire, Sep 24th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    why bother..

    There is no need to waste time in dealing with people who does his or her own insights towards negative activities
    online. Just as long as they don't bother other peoples job.

     

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  23.  
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    oliviayai, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    read the complaint

    I believe he added Google to the complaint because the blog was anonymous and only Google could identify her.How else can he establish the blogger's identity?

     

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  24.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 26th, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Re: read the complaint

    You would sue the person who posted the defamatory comments as a Doe defendant, and then you'd get leave of the court to subpoena Google to turn over the commenter's identifying information.

    In this case though, he knows who posted the comments. He is suing the commenter and Google.

    Did you read the complaint? ;)

     

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  25.  
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    oliviayai, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Re:

    Mike-I checked the blogs, there are both anonymous. How else can he proves who wrote them? I think only google can since they own the blogs! what do you think?

     

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  26.  
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    oliviayai, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: read the complaint

    Yea, It might actually be saving himself some money. I am no lawyer but the process you mention could be costly and time consuming. if you bring all of them in the same suit then you get things done faster!! no? Plus I doubt he knows who wrote them for sure, he might have an idea but they are anonymous...

     

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  27.  
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    average_joe (profile), Sep 26th, 2010 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: read the complaint

    He names "Tara Ann Buck" in the complaint like he's sure it's her. And he is holding Google responsible as well. It's all right there in the complaint.

    If all you wanted from Google was for them to turn over information about the commenter, you wouldn't sue Google too. You'd simply subpoena them.

     

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  28.  
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    oliviayai, Sep 26th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: read the complaint

    I guess that is how it is done.His complaint also says only Google can confirm the blogger identity. Plus I doubt he expects to get any $$ from this

     

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  29.  
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    Dinglehopper, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 3:10am

    Sue himself.

    I think he should sue himself while he's at it. He must have done something to get the bloggers attention to begin with, otherwise no blog. Also sue his parents! If they weren't so reckless with their intimacy, there would be nobody to blog about. Sue his parents again, if they would've managed to raise a reasonable human being, there might have been enough maturity to go around to prevent another bullshebick civil suit from clogging the courtrooms, making time for something a little more important than a measly blog.

     

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  30.  
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    chasinDumbasses, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Re: Sue himself.

    "Must have done something" is not a legal standard nor it should be a basis for slander. If what in the blogs are justifiable by "must have done something" I suggest you disclose your name and I will wrote a slander blog about you since you "just did something" by insulting family. I was a victim of defamation and slander from a business competitor 3 years ago and it is not pleasant at all. You can loose a lot because a coward can hide himself behind a computer and write damaging things about you.

     

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  31.  
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    chasinDumbasses, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re: Sue himself.

    PS: I just read the blogs again and these are accusations that should be taken to a court of law if they were true. I am assuming the blogger cannot do that so he chose the cowardice.I would be livid if I was in his shoes!!

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    Re: Re: Sue himself.

    .

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2010 @ 9:16pm

    Re: haha

    This whole thred is interesting. I read the blogs and complaint. It seems very odd! Maybe the blogs are anonymous because the people/person who wrote them are concerned with the plaintiff. Just a thought. When you view the original docket it now shows there has been a motion to seal the case due to the plaintiff's asylee status; or maybe because of your comment tao? I am not a lawyer nor do I study law but something seems strange about this. A law student would know this would be a public file, correct? Why the sudden motion to seal the case, why not do that when filing? Interesting!

     

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  34.  
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    first resume, Dec 9th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Google

    I don't think that'll do with google, too much money ))

     

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  35.  
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    Jim, Jan 9th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Re: Hmm

    He was required to add Google to the suit because Google will not remove blogs or even posts without a court order. Google actually requires a court order before it will do anything, which means that you must sue them in a court of law.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 2:49pm

    Re: plaintiff should be found guilty of failure to learn

    He was not born and raised in the US. But he still should know enough about the language if he lives, works, attends school, etc.... And yes if he is studying legal and files a legal document you would think he would be smart enough to make sure his filing is correct. The least he could have done is have one of his fellow American law class mates review it!

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Anonymous Coward

    My personal opinion but I am like 99.9% certain that every comment on this blog and the original blog which created the law suit that is made by Anonymous Coward is Arsene Millogo. Who else would be following and commenting sooooo much? Plus knowing him personally, just seems to fit.

     

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  38.  
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    unknown, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 3:04pm

    Re: Re: Anonymous Coward

    so i didn't know as I was posting that if u fail to put a name in the name section that by default it puts "Anonymous Coward" so the except the comment I just left (above this one) and like 1 or 2 others posted Anonymously, he is responsible for the rest.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 8:11pm

    oliviayai = A.Millogo

     

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  40.  
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    research paper, Mar 24th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    research paper

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include almost all vital infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    student loan, Jul 20th, 2011 @ 10:55pm

    RE

    That might be written by some blogger! isn't it?

     

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  42.  
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    in the know, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 5:41am

    Speaking from experience, the person writing the blogs in 100% right on. He is a manipulator. I found out the hard way. This blogger is just one of MANY to experience Arsene Millogo.

     

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  43.  
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    in the know, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 5:45am

    Oh, and the reason he needs the case to be sealed isn't because of his asylum status, it's because there are so many people like me who google his name to find out where he is (since he owes me money) that he doesn't like the fact that his address is on the top of the document! hahaha, i think it's hilarious!

     

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  44.  
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    in the know, Jul 26th, 2011 @ 6:04am

    OH - and in case those comments are taken the wrong way... please know, I don't want ANY revenge, nor do I want my money back. He is reaping what he sows and being able to read about it is good enough for me! I'm a firm believer in KARMA!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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