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June 15, 2003

He Said, She Said

...Which brings to mind the legal fisticuffs between the beauty queen and the cad, involving the issues of free speech and privacy ("Internet Battle Raises Questions About Privacy and the First Amendment" - Adam Liptak, NYT, National, 6/2/03). According to the article, which has comments from several lawyers and legal scholars, "such orders prohibiting future publication or prior restraints are essentially unknown in American law." The judge's ruling seems problematic - the cad, Tucker Max, who at one point dated Katy Johnson (Miss Vermont, 1999, 2001), is forbidden to write about Johnson on his site. He can't use any part of her name, her full name, or the word "Vermont." He is prohibited from "disclosing any stories, facts or information, notwithstanding its truth, about any intimate or sexual acts engaged in by" Johnson, online or offline.

Also, he cannot link to her site - quite possibly one of the stupidest portions of the order. Again from the article:

"The prohibition on linking to Johnson's site is "kooky," said Susan Crawford, who teaches Internet law at Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.

"To block the ability to link," Crawford said, "is in effect to say her site is her own private property."

Clinton Fein has a lengthy, fairly evenhanded article about the case, including a copy of the order and other links at the bottom of the page. Neither party comes off winningly. What a mess.

Yours, &c., LC | 01:18 PM | Blogos , Internet & Tech , Legal