May 6, 2005 · Lessig
So it’s Saturday morning here in Australia, and I’m reading my email in reverse order. First the fantastic news about PublicKnowledge. Now this: The Stanford Center for Internet and Society has won an important case about anonymous speech. An anonymous participant in an online chat posted comments critical of Ampex and its chairman. They sued for defamation. The poster sued under the California anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute. Ampex tried to dismiss and run away. The Court of Appeals ruled at first that there remeained anti-SLAPP jurisdiction. The District Court then refused to award fees. The Court of Appeals has now reversed the District Court and ordered fees. The case was argued by a law student. It will have an important effect in stopping the abuse of process against online critics.