Saturday, July 26, 2008
Security guards and the papparazzi fought it out at the Jolie/Pitt place. According to the gendarmes, some papparazzi who managed to get themselves onto the couple's property, apparently wanting photos of the new babies, got caught and had it out with the family's hired security. Each side said the other caused bodily harm. Read more here.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Eddie Davidson, the "spam king" who escaped from a minimum security facility in Colorado, has been found dead with his wife and child in a vehicle, apparently in a murder-suicide. Another child was found unhurt in the back of the SUV. A third child, who was shot, is being treated for her injuries. It's unclear whether she is related to Mr. Davidson. Read more here in a CBS story.
The Guardian reports that the major ISPs operating in the UK have agreed they will not be part of any attempt to gather personal information while increasing pressure on users not to download illegally. Concerns had been raised that such private information might be shared with the government by ISPs, but the service providers moved to allay user fears. Read more here.
Two friends have a fight. Not uncommon. But one of the ex-friends decides on revenge, and he carries it out by creating a fake profile on Facebook and posting "confidential details" about the other individual. It happened to businessman Mathew Firsht after he had a falling out with Grant Raphael, and Mr. Raphael created just such a profile for Mr. Firsht on Facebook. This week, a British judge found Mr. Raphael liable for 17,000 pounds in damages for libel and invasion of privacy to Mr. Firsht, and for 5000 pounds in damages to Mr. Firsht's company, Applause Store Productions, which handles work for such shows as Big Brother. Read more here.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) now knows who posted an ad on Craigslist offers tickets to this year's event. A state judge told the popular website it had to disclose who offered the goods for sale. AMPAS does not allow ticketholders to sell or otherwise transfer the tickets. Read more here.
Thirty one actors in Hollywood, including Amy Brenneman ("Private Practice", "Judging Amy") and Ned Vaughn ("Navy NCIS") have emerged as challengers to the Screen Actors Guild leadership and propose, under the name "Unite for Strength" to move the union off dead center and its refusal to negotiate with AMPTP to a position that they consider more productive. Unite for Strength is fielding a slate of candidates against incumbent President Alan Rosenberg and his supporters; elections are scheduled in August. But new talks with the studios are a problem; none are foreseen. Read more here.
FindLaw's Julie Hilden discusses how, in terms of defamation, the defendant-friendly Internet encourages the independent contractor model, and why Big Media might want to move toward it more vigorously--to cut down on economic losses and to minimize liability.
The Second Circuit has ordered the federal government to release much of the grand jury testimony in the treason trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, sealed since 1951. The George Washington University National Security Archive had initiated the action. The Rosenbergs were eventually convicted and executed in 1953. However, Judge Alvin Hellerstein refused to unseal the testimony of Douglas Greenglass, Mrs. Rosenberg's brother, who is still living, and had opposed the unsealing of his testimony. Mr. Greenglass is widely viewed as having been a key prosecution witness. Read more in a New York Times article here. Read more about the Rosenberg trial here at Doug Linder's excellent Famous Trials website.
Now, on to the next invasion of privacy suit--why, it's Sienna Miller's, and she's suing News of the World, the Sun, and a photo agency over pix and stories that have appeared about her and actor Balthazar Getty recently. Read more here in a Guardian article.
Max Mosley has won his invasion of privacy suit against News of the World, Mr. Justice Eady finding no newsworthiness in the paper's coverage of the sex acts that it revealed. "...[T]here was no public interest or other justification for the clandestine recording, for the publication of the resulting information and still photographs, or for the placing of the video extracts on the News of the World website - all of this on a massive scale." However, the judge did not award the punitive damages that the plaintiff had sought. News of the World also faces a large legal bill. Here's background from the Guardian on the Mosley case.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The ABA Journal's Martha Neil reports that a former coworker of Alycia Lane's apparently burrowed into her emails and also into her communications with her attorney, and as a result is being charged with a federal crime. Larry Mendte was "obsessed" with Ms. Lane, who lost her position with a Philadelphia TV station after her personal and professional life collided earlier this year. Mr. Mendte and Ms. Lane co-anchored the news at KYW-TV for four years. Here's more from the Philadelphia Daily News.