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Online Defamation & Anonymity

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Laremy Tunsil’s Draft Slide May Result in Criminal or Civil Liability

If you watched the first round of the NFL Draft, the big story was the sliding of Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil out of the top five to number 13. As the draft was unfolding, someone released a video of him smoking marijuana through a gas mask.  You can read the story here.  You … Continue Reading

The Law Behind the Hulk Hogan $140 Million Verdict Against Gawker

A few days ago, a jury in Florida awarded Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea)  $140 million because Gawker posted a leaked sex video of the former wrestler. Rather than focus on the lurid details (which you can Google), let’s look at the law that led to the two-week trial.
To recap, Gawker allegedly received the … Continue Reading

Mizzou: A Personal Note on Racism, Firings and a Free Press

I have been watching the events at my alma mater that led to the resignation of MU System President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin from afar. While I had heard inklings of discontent, I had no idea it was at this point until the football team got involved.
On many levels, I am trying my … Continue Reading

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 5 (the conclusion)

Go to Part 4 – A decision in Schlumberger
Go to Part 3 – The Schlumberger case and employment disputes
Go to Part 2 – In Practice
Go to Part 1 – The basics of the Texas Anti-SLAPP law
To conclude the series, we look at one more opinion — Serafine v. Blunt, No. 03-12-00726-CV, 2015 WL 2061922 (Tex. … Continue Reading

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 4 – A decision in Schlumberger, sort of

Go to Part 3 – The Schlumberger case and employment disputes
Go to Part 2 – In Practice
Go to Part 1 – The basics of the Texas Anti-SLAPP law
Since we published Part 3 that discussed the details of an interesting case here in Houston, Schlumberger v. Rutherford, the First Court of Appeals issued its opinion on Tuesday. … Continue Reading

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 2

Part 2 – In Practice
Go to Part 1 – The basics of the Texas Anti-SLAPP law.
The exercise of the right to free speech on matters of public concern
             It is easy to see how this applies to your straightforward defamation case assuming the defendant engaged in the “exercise of the … Continue Reading

Texas eMediaLaw Legislative Update: 2015

It’s Spring in Texas which means one of two things – the bluebonnets are out and in odd years, our legislature is back at work.  One makes me grateful to be in Texas and the other only meets every other year.  Here are a few bills we are watching this session:
Service of Process Via Social Media- … Continue Reading

5 Most Popular eMediaLaw Posts of 2014

5.  Using Images Without Permission is No Monkey Business
From the Wikimedia Commons website
This was one of the more interesting stories of the year – does the photographer who set up everything to allow for a monkey to take a selfie own the copyright to that selfie?  This year we learned that no, the photographer does … Continue Reading

Thinking of buying your child their own laptop or smart phone? Read this first – a look at whether parents are liable for their kids’ online behavior

A Georgia seventh-grader created a fake Facebook profile that defamed a classmate, according to this Wall Street Journal story.   In middle school fashion (I am not looking forward to parenting through this period), a boy created a fake Facebook profile of a female classmate, used a “Fat Face” app to alter her appearance and … Continue Reading

Texas High Court Rules Improper Photography Law Unconstitutional; Or, Why You Care a Creepy Dude Is Not Guilty

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in a 8-1 decision yesterday that the “Improper Photography and Visual Recording Act” is facially unconstitutional.  The case involved a guy who allegedly took pictures of kids at a water park.  You can read more here.
Before you say, you are not a creepy person taking pictures of random … Continue Reading