Sunday, November 16, 2003

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, what's the case worth anyway?

One of the things I've been reading about today is that some lawyer out in California sent a letter to a woman (who also happens to be a lawyer) threatening to sue over the comments written by others to one of the posts on her weblog. See, for example, these posts at CalBlog (the threatened blogger), Citizen Smash, Instapundit, and SoCalLawBlog, all of which have links and details.

Also, today I read this post by Curmudgeonly Clerk about what good are blogs anyhow, since many are soon abandoned and none are as widely read as the number of views for the worst show on television.

Putting these two together, I'm wondering what are the damages for defamation on a web log if no one in particular reads it (and everyone knows that). I had to wrestle with something similar in connection with a possible claim for defamation where the entire universe of publication was one guy, on whom the allegedly defamatory information had no effect whatsoever, other than to call back to my client and let them know what had happened. Fortunately, I won't be writing any briefs on the issue.

I also wonder, who thinks that they can threaten to sue a blogger for blogging without all the other bloggers finding out about it? Now I expect there's a few hundred or a few thousand bloggers who think that this lawyer who wrote the letter is, um, doing something they with which they disagree.

No comments: