Media Bloggers Association member Lance Dutson who blogs at Maine Web Report was recently served with a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Maine. The lawsuit alleges copyright infringement and defamation for reporting and commentary written and published by Dutson on his blog. (I am also an MBA member.)
Bloggers: please blog about and link to this story. We need to show that we will support each other.
“This case is nothing more than an attempt by a deep-pocketed litigant to bully a blogger for criticizing state officials and state contractors””, said MBA President Robert Cox. “We have successfully defended MBA members in nine previous cases and I don’t expect the outcome here to be be any different.”
Dutson went public this morning with news of the lawsuit and provided key links here including his account of the events leading up to the lawsuit and the complaint served on Dutson by the local sheriff at his home in Maine. Dutson has vowed to fight.
Incredibly, he’s being sued for pointing out that the phone number in a sate tourism ad actuallyled to a phone sex service. “Instead of owning up to the mistake, they’re suing me,” Dutson claims.
Dutson has secured the services of Greg Herbert of Greenberg Traurig, a specialist in media law and First Amendment/ defamation litigation. The MBA, through Coleman, will act as co-counsel.
Herbert noted, “Many of these cases, where a large corporation sues an individual for criticism over the internet, appear to be motivated, primarily, by an attempt to silence legitimate criticism and suppress speech.”