Monthly Archives: February 2013

Anonymous Defamation: Can I Sue If I Only Know The Defamer’s Alias?

anonymous defamation
Kelly Warner Law Successfully Secured an Injunction Against Anonymous Online Defamer

Can you sue an anonymous person for defamation? An Arizona Superior Court judge recently ruled “yes,” it’s possible to get an injunction against an unidentified person engaging in anonymous defamation.

Anonymous Defamation Lawsuit: Background

Several months ago, a tech-savvy bounder posted false and vile statements about a group of professionals. Being well-versed in the ways of online obfuscation, in addition to using aliases, the legal heckler connected to the Internet via a virtual private network (VPN). The VPN hid the perpetrator’s actual IP address, which made it difficult to identify the offending party. After all, filing a lawsuit without knowing the defendant’s name(s) is no small feat.

Thwarted by the defendant’s effective online privacy protections, the victims found themselves at an impasse. They had originally subpoenaed the defamer’s service provider for information, only to discover the user worked behind a VPN. Then they tried to get identifying information from the VPN service, but were denied. Not willing to throw in the gavel, the group turned to Kelly Warner – a respected AV-rated law firm that focuses on Internet defamation cases.

Daniel Warner filed a motion listing the available identifying information – their online aliases.

Anonymous Defamation Lawsuit: Arizona Court Ruling

The Arizona court agreed with Warner’s arguments and handed down a ruling in favor of the claimants, ordering both the removal of the defamatory material and an injunction to protect against future defamatory statements. Lastly, the Maricopa County Superior Court left the door open for the plaintiffs to seek monetary damages “when and if they deem it appropriate.”

Kelly Warner successfully handled this anonymous online defamation lawsuit – we can do the same for you.

California Exempts Online Music Retailers From Parts Of Credit Card Act

Credit Card ActCalifornia’s Song-Beverly Credit Card Act made things difficult for online businesses. But a Supreme Court ruling will have online sellers jumping for joy.

Did the California Supreme Court inadvertently create a shady cottage industry? In a little discussed case, California’s highest court ruled that music retailers (i.e., Apple) aren’t subject to data collection parameters outlined in the state’s credit card act.

California’s Credit Card Act

Passed in 1971, California’s Song-Beverly Act established regulations for credit card privacy. Specifically, the law forbids retailers from collecting identifying information, without permission.

Why The California Supreme Court Exempted Online Sellers From Credit Card Act

Since an actual card cannot be inspected in an online marketplace, to ensure a secure checkout, e-tailers use other signals (like zip codes) to authenticate a card. As such, the Song-Beverly Act made it difficult for online retailers to properly authentic credit cards, without breaking the law.

Writing for the majority, Justice Goodwin Liu reasoned that the “legislature did not intend to achieve privacy protection without regard to exposing consumers and retailers to undue risk of fraud.”

Not everyone on the bench agreed with Liu’s position. Justice Joyce L. Kennard dissented:

“Internet retailers are free to demand personal identification information from their credit-card-using customers and to resell that information to others. The majority’s decision is a major win for these sellers, but a major loss for consumers, who in their online activities already face an ever-increasing encroachment upon their privacy.”

Regardless of your stance, legal precedence in California asserts that online music retailers are now exempt from certain privacy parameters outlined in California’s credit card act.

If you’re an online business in need of a law firm that deals in Internet law, get in touch with Kelly / Warner today.