Samizdata - 3:04 pm on Jun 1, 2011 (gmt 0)
Sometimes the best course of action is to keep your mouth shut
I know this to be good advice, but will add some more details of the case anyway.
The original suit was filed in San Mateo county on 6 April 2009 and concerns a WordPress hosted blog, which has not been updated since July 2009 but which is still online.
The plaintiffs complain of libel, false light invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. They request a jury trial.
The material complained of is extensive and scabrous. It is not difficult to see why the individuals in question might want to take action.
All parties being in England, this would normally be done in English courts. It has been suggested that the suit was filed in California solely to enable identification of the author, who could then be sued in the English courts.
What happened next is unclear.
The California court seems to have ordered WordPress to release details, but these were presumably insufficient for identification - the Twitter subpoena seems mainly designed to assist in identifying the author of the WordPress blog.
Details from five Twitter accounts were released to the plaintiffs, who are examining the data. Whether any tweets will be added to the suit is unknown.
The individual identified as operating two of the Twitter accounts denies involvement with the other three accounts or the WordPress blog.
He seems to have deliberately identified himself, and happens to be a political opponent on the same council. So far, he has apparently not been directly accused.
It's not rocket science to avoid getting easily caught, what a dummy!
Assuming they have the right man - not yet established - he didn't make it that easy.
My guess is that no libel case will be pursued in USA whatever the outcome.
It is a little local difficulty in England, the libel capital of the world.