No. of Recommendations: 3
this makes it interesting that CSFB is suing the posters directly and not suing Yahoo at all.

Yahoo, the Motley Fool, AOL and every other provider of message boards, has been granted immunity from defamation suits for comments made by forum participants (section 270 of the Commuications Decency Act). The US Supreme Court has affirmed the validity of that immunity in Zeran v. AOL.

In addition, TMF, AOL, Yahoo and others, can edit and delete posts at will without fear of retribution. They do not become editors liable for the commens of others merely because they have edited.

The comments by TMF Max were, in my opinion, appalling. I have seen many of the messages, and they amount to little more than 3rd grade name calling. Folks have a right to act like this. We take the bad with the good when we talk about free speech. Required reading in this regard is the seminal case of NY Times v. Sullivan, which can be found here:
http://caselaw.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=us&vol=376&invol=254

This ELN suit, and others like it (I am defense counsel in one such suit) appear to be intended to chill the free speech that people enjoy, and to punish them with legal fees.

This is a fundamentally improper use of the Courts, and an attempt to infringe on the rights of others to participate in free speech.

This suit was brought in New York, and from reading comments on the Yahoo board, it appears that many of the people involved (if not all) do not live in New York and likely have no contact with New York. Thus, it is likley the Court will have no jurisdiction to hear the matter if John Does 1-10 are served with papers, as these people must have some type of minumum contacts with New York in order to be haled into Court here.

If the case is pursued, it is likely to be dismissed, and the plaintiffs know this if their counsel knows what he is doing.

Thus, it appears that this suit was brought for its intimidation factor only, and to punish with legal fees.

--ETurkey
(formerly TMF Turk and formerly Fool Counsel)
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