by Mike Masnick
Wed, Oct 31st 2007 2:03am
We've seen so many cases recently of companies trying to shut down negative criticism online by suing critics, it's nice to point out a case where those cases get shot down by the courts. Eric Goldman has the details on how a court has thrown out the lawsuit filed by BidZirk, one of many, many companies that will sell your stuff on eBay for you, against a blogger for criticizing BidZirk's service in a blog post. The lawsuit claimed defamation, privacy invasion and trademark violations -- all of which seem like a stretch. If anything, this sounds like a SLAPP situation, where the company isn't suing because anything wrong was done, but because it just doesn't like criticism. In this case, the court found no defamation, as the blog post was clearly the guy's opinion. It found no trademark violation because the guy used the company's name in the course of reporting on the company, which is perfectly legal. As Goldman notes, the unfortunate part of this story is that a blogger had to spend a year and a half in court dealing with this lawsuit. While it's great that he eventually won, many bloggers wouldn't have the time, money or stamina to deal with such lawsuits -- which is why they're likely to keep happening.
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