A US judge has ordered a blogger to pay $2.5 million to an investment firm for writing several defamatory posts.The judge said that she was not a proper journalist therefore was not entitled to legal protection shielding the media.
Crystal Cox runs several websites including obsidianfinancesucks.com which critisises the Obsidian Finance Group. They didn’t take to kindly to the defamatory posts and threw a $10 million lawsuit in her direction. Judge Marco A. Hernandez threw out most of the claims except one..which is gonna set her back $2.5 million.
Ya…don’t think she’s laughing anymore.
The Obsidian Finance Group sued Cox in January for $10 million for writing several blog posts critical of the company and its co-founder, Kevin Padrick. Obsidian argued that the writing was defamatory. Cox represented herself in court.
The judge threw out all but one of the blog posts cited, focusing on just one (this one), which was more factual in tone than the rest of her writing. Cox said that was because she was being fed information from an inside source, whom she refused to name.
Without the source, she couldn’t prove the information in the post was true — and thus, according to the judge, she didn’t qualify for Oregon’s media shield law since she wasn’t employed by a media establishment. In the court’s eyes, she was a blogger, not a journalist. The penalty: $2.5 million. “[Mashable]
Come now blogger…i’m shaking my head. Everyone who watches legal dramas on tv knows that representing yourself in court is some dumb sh*t and always ends badly.
Scary thought though that bloggers can be hit with such a hefty fine.