RE: Celebrity Gifs

From: Tal Herman <talares[_at_]sirius.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 1996 11:11:08 -0700

On 9/17/96, Harold Federow wrote:
>
> On Mon, 16 Sep 96, CUMBR[_at_]perkinscoie.com (Cumbow,Robert-SEA) wrote:

>>
>> Andrew Friedman wrote:
>>> 
>>> [Cindy Crawford fake nude photo hypothetical omitted]

>
> One way to think about this might be: all the tabloids stories on
> how OJ Simpson is guilty, or faking pictures of him in some guilty
> pose or other. Since he's been found not guilty, it must be
> defamatory I would think. (THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO DISCUSS
> THE MERITS)
The OJ Simpson hypothetical is flawed in at least one basic aspect. The fact that Simpson was found "not guilty" does not necessarily mean that he did not commit the murders he was charged with. A "not guilty" verdict simply means that there was a reasonable doubt in the jury's collective mind that he had committed the charged offenses. Thus, anyone portraying Simpson as guilty could still defend themselves in any action for defamation/libel/slander on the grounds that Simpson did in fact commit the murders. The fact that Simpson's guilt may still be legally debated is most aptly illustrated by the civil trial currently under way in which the survivors' families are suing Simpson for the wrongful deaths of the Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman.

An alternative hypothetical might be a case where a celebrity is labeled in a usenet newsgroup as the father of a child where it has been conclusively proven by genetic evidence and in court that he is not the father of the child. What liability would the online service carrying this newsgroup have? I suspect, however, that the answers to this hypothetical would take us far afield from the subject of copyright law.

Tal Herman
talares[_at_]sirius.com Received on Wed Sep 18 1996 - 18:17:32 GMT

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