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Ninth Circuit Opinion Re. Anonymous Blogging

Ninth Circuit Opinion Re. Anonymous Blogging

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Published by kevin_thompson
Ninth Circuit held that First Amendment protections does not extend to protect commercial speech with the intent of harming a company. If an anonymous blogger disparages a business, their identity might be discoverable depending on the circumstances.
Ninth Circuit held that First Amendment protections does not extend to protect commercial speech with the intent of harming a company. If an anonymous blogger disparages a business, their identity might be discoverable depending on the circumstances.

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Published by: kevin_thompson on Nov 03, 2010
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11/28/2010

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FOR PUBLICATION
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALSFOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
 
In re: A
NONYMOUS
O
NLINE
S
PEAKERS
,A
NONYMOUS
O
NLINE
S
PEAKERS
,
Petitioner,
v.U
NITED
S
TATES
D
ISTRICT
No. 09-71265C
OURT FOR THE
D
ISTRICT OF
D.C. No.N
EVADA
R
ENO
,3:07-cv-00505-
 Respondent,
ECR-RAMQ
UIXTAR
, I
NC
.; S
IGNATURE
OPINIONM
ANAGEMENT
T
EAM
, LLC; A
POLLO
W
ORKS
H
OLDINGS
, I
NC
.; G
REEN
G
EMINI
E
NTERPRISES
, I
NC
.; N
ORTH
S
TAR
S
OLUTIONS
, I
NC
.; N
ORTHERN
L
IGHTS
S
ERVICES
, I
NC
.; S
UNSET
R
ESOURCES
, I
NC
.; S
KY
S
COPE
T
EAM
,I
NC
.,
 Real Parties in Interest.
Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the District of NevadaEdward C. Reed, Senior District Judge, PresidingArgued and SubmittedMarch 2, 2010—Las Vegas, NevadaFiled July 12, 2010Before: Sidney R. Thomas, M. Margaret McKeown, andJay S. Bybee, Circuit Judges.
9907
Case: 09-71265 07/12/2010 Page: 1 of 15 ID: 7400323 DktEntry: 28-1
 
Opinion by Judge McKeown
9908I
N RE
A
NONYMOUS
O
NLINE
S
PEAKERS
Case: 09-71265 07/12/2010 Page: 2 of 15 ID: 7400323 DktEntry: 28-1
 
COUNSEL
John P. Desmond, Jones Vargas, Reno, Nevada, for the peti-tioner.Cedric C. Chao, Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco,California, for the real party in interest and cross-petitioner.
OPINION
McKEOWN, Circuit Judge:The proceeding before us is but a short chapter in an acri-monious and long-running business dispute between Quixtar,Inc. (“Quixtar”), successor to the well-known Amway Corpo-ration, and Signature Management TEAM, LLC (“TEAM”).Quixtar sued TEAM, claiming that TEAM orchestrated anInternet smear campaign via anonymous postings and videosdisparaging Quixtar and its business practices. As part of thediscovery process, Quixtar sought testimony from BenjaminDickie, a TEAM employee, regarding the identity of fiveanonymous online speakers who allegedly made defamatorycomments about Quixtar. Dickie refused to identify the anon-ymous speakers on First Amendment grounds. The districtcourt ordered Dickie to disclose the identity of three of thefive speakers.The Anonymous Online Speakers seek a writ of mandamusdirecting the district court to vacate its order regarding theidentity of the three speakers. Quixtar cross-petitions for awrit of mandamus directing the district court to order Dickieto testify regarding the identity of the anonymous speakersfrom the remaining two sources. Because neither party hasestablished that it is entitled to the extraordinary remedy of mandamus, we deny both petitions.
9910I
N RE
A
NONYMOUS
O
NLINE
S
PEAKERS
Case: 09-71265 07/12/2010 Page: 3 of 15 ID: 7400323 DktEntry: 28-1

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