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Paul Levy
Cyberlitigator on free speech issues at Public Citizen
Recent Activity
by Paul Alan Levy Judge Vincent Chabbria ruled that an anonymous Twitter user using the pseudonym “Mr. Money Bags” could not be identified pursuant to a DMCA subpoena, both because her display of copyrighted photographs to taunt a venture capitalist... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
A similar consumer experience was the origin story for my first domain name case: my client Bill Porta's luggage disappeared when he was on his way (via Alitalia) to be the best man at a friend's wedding. The result was Alitaliasucks.com. The site is no longer available but you can read it on the Wayback Machine https://web.archive.org/web/20040327141003/http://www.alitaliasucks.com/
by Paul Alan Levy The effort by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (a/k/a Jehovah’s Witnesses) to identify a dissident member, "Kevin McFree," through a spurious claim of copyright infringement has ended with a whimper rather than a bang... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2022 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
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Do Copyright Holders Get a Free Pass to Identify Alleged Infringers? by Paul Alan Levy Suppose that, on June 4, 2022 the owner of a China-based Twitter account were to post this 2005 photo of the Gate of Heavenly Peace,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2022 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy This is a sad tale of hypocrisy on the part of a group whose litigation over the past eighty-five years has set many of our most important First Amendment precedents. But over the past four to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2022 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Late last year, Harrison Greenbaum, a New York comedian and magician, included Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos, better known in the magician trade as Criss Angel, who is, apparently, a very well known magic act, in an annual... Continue reading
Posted Jan 18, 2022 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
I first posted about this case about early last month. In releasing documents electronically pursuant to a public records request, a local government body in New Jersey made a rookie error: using software (presumably Word) to perform redactions in a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy An important case about anonymous online speech is hurtling toward a decision in the Second Circuit. The situation is worrisome because defendants are so unsympathetic and the plaintiff’s legal claims seem to me very strong. The... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy It’s been some time since I have had occasion to write about Mathew Higbee’s use of baseless threats of litigation seeking to wring undeserved dollars out of alleged copyright infringers. To be sure, many of his... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In releasing documents electronically pursuant to a public records request, a local government body in New Jersey made a rookie error: using software (presumably Word) to perform redactions in a manner that was easily undone when... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Our latest effort to defend the right to speak anonymously about issues of public concern brings us up against Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Last summer, Kennedy spoke at an August 29 rally convened by the German... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy I recently had the pleasure of representing Dan McCall again — author of such wicked parodies as NSA – the Only Part of Government That Actually Listens (we got to sue the NSA for a declaratory... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Today we entered an important case that will determine whether New York’s new and improved anti-SLAPP law protects the authors of consumer reviews against being sued for defamation when they reveal publicly that they were less... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
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by Paul Alan Levy Civil rights activists in Cobb County, Georgia, have been urging members of the community to come in force to the impending school board meeting on June Tenth to celebrate Juneteenth by signing up to speak in... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy When Keep Pushing, a St. Louis community organization devoted to protecting the unhoused, went door-to-door to speak to tenants facing eviction orders and hand out a flyer about their rights under the CDC eviction moratorium, one... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Our latest case about the right to speak anonymously is in federal court in Chicago, flowing from a dispute between a prominent vlogger named Cristina Villegas and a plastic surgeon named David Shifrin who, Villegas complained,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Last month, a Fells Point restaurant was able to use an apparently baseless threat of defamation litigation to secure a vote renewing its liquor license by the liquor control board despite considerable neighborhood complaints. Baltimore attorney... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a decision issued his afternoon, Judge Barbara Rothstein has denied a motion by the infamous web site Parler seeking a preliminary injunction compelling Amazon to reverse its decision to terminate its hosting of Parler's web... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2021 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Although Maryland was one of the first states to adopt an anti-SLAPP law, its weaknesses have become apparent over the years as other states have adopted stronger protections against suits brought to suppress free speech. Two... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy A couple of months ago, South Carolina lawyer B. Craig Killough advanced vague intellectual property claims in objecting to a blog post by a California health policy expert who commented on some aspects of the pricing... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy With a signature last week from Governor Cuomo, New York has become the latest state to enact a strong anti-SLAPP law. Addressing flaws that came to the fore in our recent defense of Richard Robbins, the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Yesterday, we filed a motion to quash a search warrant seeking to obtain from Facebook the confidential files of an activist group that has been protesting the refusal of Virginia authorities to step in to protect... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Last week I explained the many fallacies in a contention by Jill Sprague, General Counsel of the Alameda-Contra Costa County Transit District, that Victoria Fierce, a candidate for election to the ACT Transit Board of Directors,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
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by Paul Alan Levy Much like the case of Jeremy Whittaker a few years ago, a demand letter from the general counsel of an elective transit district in the East Bay seeks to interfere with the political campaign of a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 24, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog
Over the past several months, I have posted a number of articles about the campaign of intimidating copyright demand letters from Mathew Higbee, who tries to extract money from individuals, nonprofits and small businesses by threatening to file frivolous copyright... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2020 at Consumer Law & Policy Blog