Court: Bloggers have First Amendment protections

Jan 18, 2014 by Jeff Barnard

A federal appeals court has ruled bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ordered a new trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by an Oregon bankruptcy trustee against a Montana blogger who wrote online that the trustee mishandled a bankruptcy case.

The appeals court ruled that the trustee was not a public figure, but the issue was of , so the negligence standard applied.

Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press says the ruling affirms what many have long argued: Standards set by a 1974 U.S. Supreme Court ruling apply to everyone, not just journalists.

Explore further: Former federal agent pleads guilty to stealing bitcoins

Related Stories

Federal judge: Montana blogger is not journalist

Dec 08, 2011

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled that a Montana woman sued for defamation was not a journalist when she posted online that an Oregon lawyer acted criminally during a bankruptcy case, a decision with implications for bloggers ...

US spy court: NSA to keep collecting phone records

Jan 04, 2014

(AP)—A secretive U.S. spy court has ruled again that the National Security Agency can keep collecting every American's telephone records every day, in the midst of dueling decisions in two other federal courts about whether ...

Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

May 04, 2007

A U.S. appeals court denies a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications.

Recommended for you

Former federal agent pleads guilty to stealing bitcoins

4 hours ago

A former undercover federal agent pleaded guilty to extortion and related charges after acknowledging he channeled more than $700,000 in digital currency from the Silk Road online drug bazaar he was investigating.

New approach to online compatibility

Jun 30, 2015

Many of the online social networks match users with each other based on common keywords and assumed shared interests based on their activity. A new approach that could help users find new friends and contacts with a greater ...

Most internet anonymity software leaks users' details

Jun 29, 2015

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are legal and increasingly popular for individuals wanting to circumvent censorship, avoid mass surveillance or access geographically limited services like Netflix and BBC ...

WikiLeaks says NSA spied on French business

Jun 29, 2015

WikiLeaks has released documents that it says show that the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on France's top finance officials and high-stakes French export bids over a decade in what the group called targeted economic ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Returners
1 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2014
So for example, I can say that I think our government was incompetent on the issues of the "War on Terror," and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that I think it was foolish to be paying Pakistan for usage of their roads and air space.

I can also say, for example, that I believe Pakistan was funneling our own money back to Al Queada, and they probably even used some of it to build Bin Laden's retirement compound. They secretly welcomed him as a "War Hero," and our naive, incompetent political and military leaders fell for it the whole way.

Thankfully, somebody eventually caught on. They know this, and we know this, but for "PC" BS international relations reasons, our leaders still won't come out and say it like they should.

Or I can say that I believe the reason Obama doesn't approve the oil pipeline is because he doesn't want to have a backlash and be seen as the "Democrat who went against the environment," even though he wants the pipeline too; pass the buck to the next guy.
VENDItardE
1 / 5 (2) Jan 18, 2014

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.