Bush Justice
Department convicts
Don Siegelman
Bally Total Fitness v. Faber
Posted June 24th, 2008
by Arthur Bright
LawsuitDate:  02/23/1998

In February 1998, Bally Total Fitness sued Andrew
Faber, a former Bally customer who created a
website entitled BallySucks (now defunct), which
was dedicated to collecting complaints about
Bally's health club business and included
modified versions of Bally's trademarks with the
word "sucks" across them.  The complaint alleged
trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and
unfair competition.

Bally moved for a temporary restraining order
against Faber to force him to take down the
website, but the court denied Bally's motion in April
1998. In October 1998, Bally moved for summary
judgment on its claims. The court again rejected
the motion, and instead ordered Faber to bring a
motion for summary judgment. Faber so moved,
and the court granted the motion in December
1998.

The court found that Faber's "Bally sucks" site
promoted separate, distinct "goods" from Bally's
services and would not confuse reasonable
consumers. Further, the court said that even if the
two "goods" had been related, the trademark
infringement balancing test from AMF Inc. v.
Sleekcraft Boats, 599 F.2d 341, 348-49 (9th Cir.
1979) weighed heavily in favor of Faber.

Following the grant of summary judgment, Bally
appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
However, on June 13, 2000, the appeal was
dismissed by stipulation of the parties.

United States District Court for the Central District
of California

Legal Counsel for Sending/Suing Party:
A. Sidney Katz, Eric D. Cohen, Eric E. Cohen, Julie
A. Katz (Welsh & Katz); David Huebner (Coudert
Brothers); Glenn W. Trost (White and Case LLP)

Legal Counsel for Receiving/Defending Party:
Gary P. Simonian
(Keats McFarland and Wilson);
Kirk N. Sullivan,
Jody Damon Angel
(Moore Winter Skebba & McLennan)
Schuster v. The Fresno Bee

by David Ardia

Threat type:  Subpoena
Date:  01/23/2008  

Party Issuing Threat:
Larissa Schuster
Party Receiving Threat:
The Fresno Bee


Status:Concluded
Disposition:Dismissed

A defense attorney for Larissa Schuster,
who was convicted of murder,
subpoenaed The Fresno Bee seeking the
Internet protocol addresses and dates of
access for all users of the paper's
website and blog during the period
surrounding the time of his client's trial to
determine whether jurors violated a
judge's order barring them from reading
online news stories about the case before
they reached a verdict.

The subpoena, which was sent to the
"Custodian of Records" at The Fresno
Bee, sought IP addresses and dates of
access for all users of
www.fresnobee.com, the paper's main
website, www.fresnobeehive.com, the
paper's blog, and "any other internet site
associated with The Fresno Bee."

Betsy Lumbye, executive editor and
senior vice president of The Fresno Bee,
stated that the newspaper would not
voluntarily turn over the IP address data
of its users.

The idea that we'd violate readers'
privacy by digging up that kind of
information and disclosing it is
preposterous," she said. "We would fight
it tooth and nail and I'm confident we'd
prevail.

On February 4, 2008, a Fresno County
judge quashed the subpoena, concluding
that Schuster's lawyer had not provided
compelling reasons to force The Bee to
turn over the information and
characterizing the subpoena as "a fishing
expedition."


Court Type:State
Location of Filing/Threat:
California Court Name:
Superior Court of California, County of
Fresno
Case Number:F03904715-0
Legal Counsel for Sending/Suing Party:
Roger T. Nuttall (Nuttall & Coleman)

CaliforniaWeb Sites Involved:
http://www.fresnobee.com

http://www.fresnobeehive.com
"Fair" Housing Lawsuit Has Been
Dismissed by the US District Court in
Chicago, as of November 14, 2006.

We're pleased the Court agreed that
online service providers like craigslist
should not be held liable as
"publishers" of content submitted by
their users,
and view this outcome as a
win for the general public's ability to
self-publish content (such as free
classified ads) on the internet.

Just as importantly, this ruling is a victory
for fair housing in the city of Chicago,
since this misguided suit sought to force
craigslist to regress to ineffective and
intrusive "horse and buggy" technologies,
which would have resulted in a big step
backward for fair housing from the
industry-leading standard that craigslist
users have set through fair housing
education and community
self-moderation.

Summary:

A group of lawyers is suing craigslist over
a handful of allegedly discriminatory
housing ads posted by our users,
ignoring the fact that craigslist is not a
publisher, but rather a
community-moderated commons run by
and for its users, who self-publish and
manage their own ads and use a
flagging system to police the site. These
lawyers demand that we impose
ill-conceived, mistake-prone, and
potentially illegal controls on the
craigslist community, which if adopted
would actually reduce fair housing
opportunity, while eroding important free
speech and privacy rights. In reality, the
craigslist community already excels at
ensuring equal opportunity housing, and
continues to improve in this regard,
earning praise from fair housing groups.
This lawsuit will likely be dismissed as
groundless, but more importantly the
craigslist community will be recognized
for its exemplary record in promoting fair
housing for all, while fully respecting
each person's constitutional right to free
speech and free association.

The Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil
Rights Under Law is suing craigslist for
100 allegedly discriminatory ads posted
by our Chicago users in a 6 month

period, out of 200,000 housing ads
submitted to chicago.craigslist.org in that
timeframe.

While craigslist takes fair housing issues
very seriously, and we want to do
everything we can to assist our users in
promoting fair housing for everyone, the
100 ads cited were a little surprising.
Some were roommate ads involving
constitutionally protected speech and the
right to free association, such as "prefer
christian roommate", or were ads
containing incidental and harmless
remarks such as "near St Gertrude's
church," and "Buddhist temple nearby."..

Although in all likelihood this suit will be
dismissed on the grounds that internet
sites can not legally be held liable for
content posted by users, craigslist has
no need to hide behind this
well-established
immunity...Discriminatory postings are
exceedingly uncommon, and those few
that do reach the site are typically
removed quickly by our users through the
flagging system that accompanies each
ad...

Though possibly well-intentioned, this
lawsuit ignores the essential nature of
craigslist, demanding that we cease
treating our users with trust and respect,
and instead impose inappropriate,
mistake-prone, and generally
counter-productive centralized controls
(such as manual review by our staff of the
nearly 2 million free housing ads of
unlimited length posted each month, a
volume of ads greater than that received
by all US newspapers combined),
controls which would actually be less
effective in catching discriminatory ads
than what we have in place currently...

Overreaching further, the suit demands
that craigslist proactively volunteer
personal information about posters who
post a discriminatory preference (e.g.
"church next door") to regulatory
authorities for prosecution, without
subpoena or warrant -- clearly a violation
of privacy rights, this demand may
actually run counter to federal law
governing the handling of user
information...

Jim Buckmaster
CEO, craigslist

http://www.craigslist.org/about/fair.housin
g.html
Parent to Parent
Message Boards

GreatSchools, Inc.
says I'm not allowed
to use their content
to discuss on the
Internet the
possibility that school
district attorneys use
parent message
boards to undermine
parents suing schools
Free Speech

In March 2000, AnswerThink, a
business and technology
consulting firm,
fired Gregory P.
Hackett for allegedly criticizing
the company on a Yahoo! forum
and sued him for breach of
contract, breach of fiduciary duty
and loyalty, and defamation in
Florida federal court.

AnswerThink fired and sued
Hackett after subpoenaing
Yahoo! and learning Hackett's
identity during a related lawsuit,
AnswerThink Consulting Group
v. Doe. In that lawsuit,
AnswerThink sued Hackett and
several others as John Does for
defamation.

Hackett and AnswerThink settled
both cases in July 2000.

In a related matter, Hackett sued
Yahoo! in California federal court
in May 2000 for violating his
privacy when it complied with
AnswerThink's subpoena.
Hackett and Yahoo! settled in
August 2000.
San Diego
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PORT
Man Gets Prison for
Insulting Monarchy
By AMBIKA AHUJA
AP
Jan. 19, 2009
BANGKOK, Thailand

An Australian writer was sentenced Monday
to three years in prison for insulting
Thailand's royal family in his novel, a rare
conviction of a foreigner amid a crackdown
on people and Web sites deemed critical of
the monarchy.

Bangkok's Criminal Court sentenced Harry
Nicolaides to six years behind bars but
reduced the term because he had entered a
guilty plea, the judge said.

Australian writer Harry Nicolaides looks out
from a cell in court Monday in Bangkok,
Thailand. He was sentenced to three years in
prison for insulting Thailand's royal family in
his 2005 novel "Verisimilitude," which sold
seven copies. The offending passage was
just a few sentences long and referred to the
marital relations of a fictional prince.
(Note: Please disable your pop-up blocker)

Nicolaides, a 41-year-old from Melbourne,
was charged with insulting Thailand's King
Bhumibol Adulyadej and the crown prince in
his 2005 book "Verisimilitude," a piece of

fiction that only sold seven copies.

"This can't be real. It feels like a bad
dream," a tearful Nicolaides told
reporters earlier Monday.

A passage in the book that discussed the
personal life of a fictional prince "suggested
that there was abuse of royal power," the
presiding judge told the court.
Bangkok, Thailand
Site Map
Alabama, USA
All Roads Lead to Rove
New York Times:
Rove Named in Alabama
Controversy
CBS 60 Minutes
Feb. 24, 2008
Report on Don Siegelman case

"Is Don Siegelman in prison
because he’s a criminal or because
he belonged to the wrong political
party in Alabama? Siegelman is the
former governor of Alabama, and
he was the most successful
Democrat in that Republican state.
But while he was governor, the U.
S. Justice Department launched
multiple investigations that went
on year after year until, finally, a
jury convicted Siegelman of
bribery..."
Who is worse, Thailand's King Adulyadej or America's
President Bush?
Who wanted Siegelman
out of the way?

Bill Canary, Republican kingmaker,
friend and confidant of Karl Rove,
campaign advisor to William Pryor
and Bob Riley, and,
not
coincidentally, husband of U.S.
Attorney, Leura Canary

U.S. Attorney Alice Martin
"Fair" Housing
Lawsuit Has Been
Dismissed