On June 29, 2006, FreeAdvice.com filed a lawsuit against an unknown user of their site because of rude and offensive behavior. Shortly afterwards, the Superior Court of Marin County, California issued a Temporary Restraining Order against the individual, enjoining the individual from using FreeAdvice.com or any of the other websites maintained by its parent, Advice Company. Robert F. Knox is the lead attorney on the lawsuit and joins Denise to discuss the litigation.
Knox first gives the background of the site, as well as details about the anonymous individual. He talks about how the person became more abusive over time and what the site did to curb the situation. The case is particularly unusual because there was not enough information available to identify the person. Knox also reviews how the individual was identified and the current status of the case.
Given the explosion of online forums, the discussion is both informative and interesting, particularly given the anonymous nature of many of them. Knox clearly shows how this case may become especially important for future similar situations.
This free podcast is from our Sound Policy with Denise Howell series.