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.

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Law Student Sues Google Over Allegedly Defamatory Blog Posts”

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Delboy says:


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?!?!?

Gracey (user link) says:

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?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: 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.

average_joe says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:

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!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

average_joe says:

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? 😉

oliviayai says:

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…

average_joe says:

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.

Dinglehopper says:

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.

chasinDumbasses says:

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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