Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Balancing Defamation Law, Anonymity, and the First Amendment

Jason M. Shepard and Genelle I. Belmas, both of California State University, Fullerton, have published Anonymity, Disclosure and First Amendment Balancing in the Internet Era: Developments in Libel, Copyright, and Election Speech in volume 15 of the Yale Journal of Law & Technology (2012). Here is the abstract.

The Supreme Court has long protected anonymity for speakers and writers under the First Amendment. The Internet enables anonymity for individuals who post writings, download music, and participate in political discussion. However, this poses a challenge for plaintiffs who want to sue anonymous speakers for libel, copyright infringement, or election speech. This article evaluates current legal developments in these areas and makes recommendations about how the law should deal with these different but related areas of anonymous speech.

The full text is not available from SSRN.

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