Yes, MySpace Is Allowed To Delete MySpace Page That Tries To Show Fake And Real MySpace Celebs

from the nice-try dept

Last year, we wrote about a case brought by a woman named Julie Riggs against MySpace. The complaint itself is somewhat of an amusing read ("At this point Plaintiff was literally seething with anger to the point that she was now consumed by it"). The main issue was that Riggs had created a website that tried to determine which celebrity profiles on MySpace were real and which were fake. She was upset (among other things) because (1) there were fake profiles on MySpace (2) MySpace later did something similar itself and (3) MySpace deleted her profile. After we wrote about the case, we received an angry email from Ms. Riggs telling us we "missed the point" and that MySpace "stole" her idea -- and that we needed to get our story straight. She never explains how coming up with the same idea is illegal, of course. Also, my favorite: "What can you expect from site such as yours though." Indeed.

Unfortunately, it appears that the district court also "missed the point" and did not get the story straight, because as Eric Goldman points out, it has dismissed the lawsuit. However, in this case, it may actually be true that the court missed the point. As Goldman notes in his discussion of the ruling, the court seems a bit confused about how Section 230 of the CDA works, and may have dismissed parts of the case for rather confused reasons. Riggs has appealed, so hopefully the Appeals Court fixes the problems (but still dismisses it). However, again as Goldman notes, this is taking place in the notoriously nutty Ninth Circuit, which often has a problem with reading Section 230 the way everyone else reads Section 230. Hopefully, they get this one right.

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  • identicon
    Confused, 9 Dec 2009 @ 6:00am

    "... Riggs had created a website that tried to determine ..."

    Did she create a separate website or just a myspace page ?

    I can see myspace taking down any page is does not like, but they will have a more dificult time taking down a separate website not within their perview.

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

    • icon
      scarr (profile), 9 Dec 2009 @ 6:58am


      Looking at the original article, it's a MySpace profile page that was shutdown, not an external website. Therefore, MySpace has every right to take it down, with the possible risk of alienating some users.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Dec 2009 @ 8:36am

    "nutty ninth circuit"?

    Another "smart - dumb" deal there Mike? The Ninth Circuit is known for looking at things with a broader eye, and often turns up interesting judgements that carefully read the laws. I am sure if they were being "nutty" about extending fair use like that other judge you wrote about, they would be your best buddies.

    How slanted can you get?

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

  • identicon
    Julie, 14 Dec 2009 @ 1:57pm

    Mr. Masnick,

    I'm hoping you will do a follow up when the Ninth Circuit releases the Opinion. You have no idea what the evidence is on record, but Mr. Goldman does have a copy of my brief. Why do you think he said they may do something crazy? I guess you would have to read the brief to understand. He chose only to review the District Court's Decision at this time since the Ninth Circuit has not read the brief yet. He didn't even mention the celebrity site, which was solely dismissed because the Judge overlooked a paragraph in the Amended Complaint. I can pretty much guarantee you that claim will be reversed. It's undisputed that paragraph exists with that needed element.

    Please research breach of implied in fact contracts. Why don't you actually go onto the PACER system and look at the docket. There are phone records and letters in the evidence detailing the idea of MySpace Celebrity.

    Before making your uninformed opinion about my case, do a little research on your own. Don't always believe Mr. Goldman's viewpoint is the Gospel. There is a very good chance this case is getting reversed.

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

  • identicon
    Cyber News Desk, 2 Jan 2010 @ 10:09pm

    Seething with Anger

    Obviously our News group is not the only one abused by this woman. You've gotten a mail "seething with anger" as well. Not saying who we are because I'd like to be free to say flat out, that this woman gets no love from the media community. You can't write a balanced piece or you get the wrong end of her ugly stick. She is relentlessly nasty.

    She didn't win this case; I predict she never will and she definitely does not win any support for the news community at large. Good Luck Mike she'll probably beat this like the dead horse it is.

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

    • identicon
      Julie, 5 Jan 2010 @ 1:44pm

      Anonymous Post Aye?

      Folks, if MySpace and News Corp would have arbitrated this suit (according to the terms of use), it never would have been made public. Yes, that's right, they breached the TOU.

      I never wanted to be involved in a public lawsuit. However, if you're going to criticize me, I have every right to defend myself. And btw, I know exactly who you are "Cyber News Desk". If people talk negatively about a person in public, a rebuttal should be expected.

      I'm not a nasty person at all. Like you or Mike really know me? I don't believe if I were a nasty person that I would have had the opportunity to communicate with the celebrities that were on my site, some of whom I still speak with. I only wish I could make some of the emails from them public, but that would be a breach of confidence.

      I guess we'll see what the Ninth Circuit decides. Maybe Cyber will have another shot at writing a more "balanced piece".

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

  • identicon
    Confused, 6 Jan 2010 @ 4:58pm

    looks like she is beating the dead horse as predicted

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

  • identicon
    salik fleming, 25 Mar 2010 @ 10:53pm

    fake page

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

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