Obsidian Finance Group LLC and Kevin Padrick vs. Crystal Cox | Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press- 9th Circuit court

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Obsidian Finance Group LLC and Kevin Padrick vs. Crystal Cox | Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press- 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court

Obsidian Finance Group LLC and Kevin Padrick vs. Crystal Cox | Blogger gets same speech protections as traditional press- 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals  court

Reuters-

A blogger is entitled to the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist and cannot be liable for defamation unless she acted negligently, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

Crystal Cox lost a defamation trial in 2011 over a blog post she wrote accusing a bankruptcy trustee and Obsidian Finance Group of tax fraud. A lower court judge had found that Obsidian did not have to prove that Cox acted negligently because Cox failed to submit evidence of her status as a journalist.

But in the ruling, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Cox deserved a new trial, regardless of the fact that she is not a traditional reporter.

“As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable,” 9th Circuit Judge Andrew Hurwitz wrote for a unanimous three judge panel.

[…]

However, the 9th Circuit found that the tax fraud allegations were a matter of public concern, which means Obsidian had to show evidence of Cox’s negligent behavior.

[REUTERS]

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