Friday, February 7, 2014

"Bloggers equally protected as journalists"

"This was the recent ruling of the US Court of Appeals in  the case of Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox. In this case, Crystal Cox, a blogger, claimed that Obsidian finance company was guilty of tax fraud. The US District Court earlier found Cox guilty of defamation and awarded the finance company $ 2.5 in damages. The lower court issued its ruling anchored on the assumption that since Cox is a blogger and not a journalist, a complainant in a defamation suit is entitled to the presumption of” legal malice or a presumption that the defamatory statement is presumed malicious.

Further, Cox, as a mere blogger is not entitled to invoke the definition of actual malice established in the New York Times vs. Sullivan case.  The 1964 US Supreme Court ruling set the precedent for the rule that journalists can only be held liable for false information if they knew of its falsity or in utter disregard of the same. Ten years after Sullivan, the US Supreme Court ruled in Gertz v. Robert Welch that the First Amendment required only a “negligence standard for private defamation actions.”

"The US Court of Appeal’s decisions, in my view, correctly refused a distinction between institutional media and bloggers because to recognize such would also violate the equal protection clause. This is another constitutional guarantee that those similarly situated will be treated alike. Had the court limited the protection of freedom of expression to professional journalists alone, it would send the message that only professional journalists can contribute to the public debate on public issues. This is contrary to the basic tenet that freedom of expression is a human right and not just a right of journalists.

In any case, the fact that journalists are paid and bloggers are not does not constitute a real basis for distinction. In Abrams, Holmes wrote; “the true test of truth is the power of a thought to be accepted in the market place of ideas”. Certainly, Holmes did not write that only paid journalists could contribute to this market."

Source
http://verafiles.org/bloggers-equally-protected-as-journalists/


"Why a U.S. court ruled bloggers and journalists should be equally protected"

"Further, Cox, as a “mere” blogger is not entitled to invoke the definition of actual malice established in the New York Times vs. Sullivan case. The 1964 US Supreme Court ruling set the precedent for the rule that journalists can only be held liable for false information if they knew of its falsity or in utter disregard of the same. Ten years after Sullivan, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gertz v. Robert Welch that the First Amendment required only a “negligence standard for private defamation actions.”

The First Amendment refers to an amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. that guarantees the right to free expression that includes freedom of speech, freedom of the press; or the right of the people to peaceful assembly, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

"The dilemma is precisely because of a lack of precision on who are, in fact, in the law defined as journalists. In fact, a separate definition on who a journalist is indicates a lack of consensus even from those who profess to practice the profession. "

"The normative values of these two freedoms are identical: to discern the truth and to facilitate “open, robust and even virulent discussion of pubic issues.” If both freedoms have the same normative content, why should the courts distinguish between an input to the market place of ideas coming from one who earns a living by it and one who does so anyway as a public duty?

The U.S. Court of Appeal’s decisions, in my view, correctly refused a distinction between institutional media and bloggers because to recognize such would also violate the equal protection clause. This is another constitutional guarantee that those similarly situated will be treated alike.

Had the court limited the protection of freedom of expression to professional journalists alone, it would send the message that only professional journalists can contribute to the public debate on public issues. This is contrary to the basic tenet that freedom of expression is a human right, not just a right of journalists.

In any case, the fact that journalists are paid and bloggers are not does not constitute a real basis for distinction.

In Abrams, Holmes wrote; “the true test of truth is the power of a thought to be accepted in the market place of ideas.” Certainly, Holmes did not write that only paid journalists could contribute to this market. — KDM, GMA News "

Full Article and Source
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/347461/opinion/why-a-u-s-court-ruled-bloggers-and-journalists-should-be-equally-protected

Blogging is Here to Stay; “This case is the first one from a federal court of appeals that specifically protects the rights of bloggers."

"Obviously, blogging is here to stay… 

In case you haven't heard, an important ruling was handed down last Friday by a federal appeals court that directly impacts all bloggers.  According to 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…
Here is some background information.  A blogger named Crystal Cox made online accusations of 'fraud, corruption and other misconduct' against Obsidian Finance Group.  The company and one of its principals, Kevin D. Padrick, sued Cox. 
The Los Angeles Times reported:
A district court in Oregon held that all but one of Cox’s posts were constitutionally protected opinion. But the judge allowed a trial on a post that accused Padrick, in acting as a bankruptcy trustee, of failing to have paid taxes for a company that had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.
Cox represented herself at trial, and the jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $2.5 million in damages.
Cox appealed. She did not contest the jury’s finding that her post was false and damaged reputations, but she argued she could not be held liable unless it was shown she had acted with negligence.
An Associated Press article in USA Today revealed:
Because Cox's blog post addressed a matter of public concern, even assuming that Gertz is limited to such speech, the district court should have instructed the jury that it could not find Cox liable for defamation unless it found that she acted negligently," Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote. "We hold that liability for a defamatory blog post involving a matter of public concern cannot be imposed without proof of fault and actual damages."
The USA Today piece explained that a law professor at UCLA named Eugene Volokh, who had written an article on the issue, found out about Crystal Cox's case and offered to represent her in an appeal. The law professor explained that these kinds of cases are usually settled without trial and to see one reach the federal appeals court level was rare.
After the ruling in favor of Cox, her attorney (Volokh) had this to say:
"It makes clear that bloggers have the same First Amendment rights as professional journalists," he said. "There had been similar precedents before concerning advocacy groups, other writers and book authors. This follows a fairly well established chain of precedents. I believe it is the first federal appeals court level ruling that applies to bloggers."
The 9th Circuit (which made this final ruling) contended that the jury should have been required to find that Cox had acted negligently because her posts involved a matter of public concern.  Furthermore, the appeals court ruled that monetary damages could not be awarded for unproven damage to those about whom she wrote unless it could be proven that she acted with malice, "posting information she knew was false or with reckless disregard for the truth".
Eugene Volokh, who represented Crystal Cox pro bono, affirmed
“This case is the first one from a federal court of appeals that specifically protects the rights of bloggers."

Source
 http://thewartburgwatch.com/2014/01/22/court-rules-bloggers-have-first-amendment-protection/

"IT’S THE USA BUT THE LAW IS STARTING TO REALISE TIMES HAVE CHANGED IN THE MEDIA"

"The world is waking up and in a very similar case in the US a blogger has been found by the Appeals Court to have 1st Amendment protections as media in a defamation case.

Sure it is US law and a US jurisdiction but the news is circulating fast.

A federal appeals court unanimously overturned a defamation award against a blogger Friday, ruling that 1st Amendment protections for traditional news media extend to individuals posting on the Web.

“The protections of the 1st Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities,”  Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The panel said its holding was the first of its kind within the 9th Circuit but that other circuit courts already have extended protections for journalists to individual speakers.

The case was brought by Obsidian Finance Group and one of its principals, Kevin D. Padrick. Writing on several websites she created, blogger Crystal Cox accused them of fraud, corruption and other misconduct.

“Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction,” the court said.

A district court in Oregon held that all but one of Cox’s posts were constitutionally protected opinion. But the judge allowed a trial on a post that accused Padrick, in acting as a bankruptcy trustee, of failing to have paid taxes for a company that had filed for Chapter 11 reorganization.

Cox represented herself at trial, and the jury awarded the plaintiffs a total of $2.5 million in damages.

Cox appealed. She did not contest the jury’s finding that her post was false and damaged reputations, but she argued she could not be held liable unless it was shown she had acted with negligence.

The 9th Circuit agreed the jury should have been required to find that Cox had acted negligently because her posts involved a matter of public concern.

The court also ruled that a jury could not award monetary damages for presumed, unproven harm to the subjects of her posts unless it found that Cox had acted with malice, posting information she knew was false or with reckless disregard for the truth.

“This case is the first one from a federal court of appeals that specifically protects the rights of bloggers,” said UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh, who represented Cox without charge on appeal.

He said the ruling would also protect other individuals, including those who leaflet and who speak out on behalf of politicians or activist groups."

Source
http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/01/us-law-starting-realise-times-changed-media/

Cox's Motion to Redact “Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction,”
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzn2NurXrSkib1NraEFFb1Rac2M/edit

Cox's Statement After Her Win
http://www.crystalcoxcase.com/2014/01/investigative-blogger-monica-foster.html

A Law Firm Get's it Right. Haynes and Boone Lawfirm Check the Facts and Redact, Rewrite.

Original  Haynes and Boone's Article



Crystal Cox asks for a Retraction and Change of Facts

"Regarding this statement in your article. " there was evidence that she had a history of making similar allegations against other companies and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction. "

You have distorted the facts in this matter, the ruling said "apparently" and there is NO EVIDENCE anywhere that I had a history of this action, PERIOD."

Haynes and Boone, IMMEDIATLEY eMails this

"We have taken down the article in question. It is part of an internal newsletter but will be published down the line. In consulting with Nick on your complaint, we will change that paragraph to read:

"Cox was not a professional journalist, and the appeals court would later note, citing to a New York Times column about Cox, that she “apparently had a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction.”  (Cox has since asked the court to amend its opinion to remove this statement, which Cox says is not supported by adjudicated evidence and is not an accurate representation of the New York Times column.)"

Here is New Article,



More on Cox asking the Court to Amend
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzn2NurXrSkib1NraEFFb1Rac2M/edit


Crystal Cox Marc Randazza, Ninth Circuit Implies Cox is an Extortionist; Has Crystal Cox been convicted in the Criminal Justice System of Extortion? If not then a Ninth Circuit "pot shot" is NOT the Place to make this RULING. A Bit on the William Peacock version of Reality.

"Ninth Circuit Implies That She is an Extortionist

"Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations
 and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction. 
See David Carr, When Truth Survives Free Speech, 
N.Y. Times, Dec. 11, 2011, at B1."

That subtle reference to Cox's extortionist tendencies is what Cox, and her famed counsel, Eugene Volokh, took issue with in their request for rehearing. They want the court to remove the sentence, which bears little relevance to the holding.

It also implies misconduct on her part, even with "apparently" preceding the claims. Volokh cites media reports where "apparently" was not repeated and argues that such an assertion, which relies on a single source, should not be included.

Scott Greenfield, at Simple Justice, is wondering why Volokh is still involved, now that the First Amendment remains intact, and the only issue remaining is the reputation of a blogger with a record of domain squatting, cyber-bullying, and extortion."

Source of Above and Full William Peacock Article
http://blogs.findlaw.com/ninth_circuit/2014/02/update-protected-blogger-wants-elaboration-on-alleged-extortion.html

Crystal Cox Says;  Folks, the Issue is NOT about Crystal Cox's reputation.

It is about setting a precedent that will chill the speech of ALL Citizen Journalists, Anti-Corruption Bloggers and Whistleblower. It is about making a stand for what is right for the Liberty and Justice of all bloggers "breaking news" that big media refuses to. And reporting on corruption that big media does not dare to.

It is not lawful or constitutional to discredit these bloggers by a "pot shot" in a Ninth Circuit Appeal at an Investigative Blogger exposing corruption within the Justice System.

Here we have another attorney flat out saying that Crystal Cox is "with a record" of "extortion", when there is NO Record of Extortion. This is Marc Randazza's Gang Stalking attorney fraternity that distort the facts of cases in order to force settlements, control clients, and control the outcome of legal cases.

The Issue is not about my personal reputation.
 I don't care what anyone "thinks" of me, personally. 


I care that Judges obey the LAW and the 
Constitution of the United States of America. 

I Care that this does not happen to other Citizen Journalists, Anti-Corruption Bloggers and Whistleblowers. As, I see extremely retaliation by attorneys and judges against bloggers exposing corruption, all the time.

I do not believe is it LAWFUL or the proper venue for Ninth Circuit Judges to make a ruling as important of this and simply toss in that a litigant is a criminal, without that litigant, in this case Crystal Cox, being given due process as a matter of law in the criminal justice system.

The accusation of extortion came from the attorneys Crystal Cox was reporting were acting unethical, unlawful and unconstitutional.

The alleged accusation of extortion have not been adjudicated in a court of law, nor has any extortion evidence been presented and reviewed in the criminal justice system. Crystal Cox is an Extortionist is simply something attorneys Marc Randazza, Kevin Padrick, and David Aman created in order to hide their own unethical and unconstitutional actions.

More on the Real Issues of this Motion to Rehear
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sfa6KPy3ur6pBOcUF64CfvRFKM-n0ASMWhpUPC4G43Q/edit

More on the Real Motives of Marc Randazza
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PJLtqD3SQ_twfQdTClEHNgP-Kt3scT0n6EewWWcNF-Y/edit


A Bit More BULL from the Article Quoted Above, oh and Flat Out Lies

"Mark J. Randazza has a history with Cox. When he turned down her request for representation, she bought marcrandazzasucks.com, along with other domain names using his name.."
http://blogs.findlaw.com/ninth_circuit/2014/02/update-protected-blogger-wants-elaboration-on-alleged-extortion.html

Folks, Marc Randazza seems to be telling attorneys that he turned me down at my request for representation, that is NOT True. He offered to represent me and told others at the First Amendment Bar that he represented me and had long conversations with Eugene Volokh, my current counsel, about his negotiations with the Opposition ( Obsidian's Attorneys).

Marc Randazza DID NOT turn down a request by me. 

I did NOT request Marc Randazza to represent me. 

There are emails from him posted online and into evidence in Nevada, there is true "evidence" as to the FACT that Marc Randazza did not REFUSE to represent me. I chose Eugene Volokh as I wanted him to be the face of this masssively important social issue. Marc Randazza represented me for about a week, and I let him know he was FIRED. He acted "cool" about it, but then HE retaliated against ME, as the record clearly shows.

I did NOT buy domain names to "retaliate" because this asshole, porn scum attorney would not represent me. I bought domain names, which is my legal and constitutional right and started blogs to expose the aggressive, unethical, unconstitutional behavior and bullying of attorney Marc Randazza and warn the Public at Large. ( to REPORT on his activities, actions and connections to organized crime in the porn industry, and how he and his attorney friends bully insiders, porn actors, whistle blowers and anyone who threatens to expose them.)

I gave MarcRandazza.com to a Porn Industry Investigative Blogger, he posted her car make and model and insinuations of her dying. She was afraid and gave it back, I decided to stand up to Marc Randazza and stand up for all his VICTIMS. 

Some More William Peacock BULL

"Or, better yet, the Ninth Circuit could properly take judicial notice of the orders of another court. And there are orders a plenty that describe Cox's conduct, including these two from Randazza's case:
  • A district court in Nevada noted that Cox has been "shown to have engaged in a pattern of cybersquatting and cyber-extortion."
  • A World Intellectual Property Organization opinion noted that "Respondent then offers to provide 'reputation management' services to her target in return for a fee. Such websites are not 'criticism sites' but merely a pretext for the Respondent's bad faith extortionate use."

THERE were NO "properly adjudicated facts" for the crime of extortion at any time.

The Nevada Court case is another example of Judges simply accusing Cox of extortion in a "pot shot" in a ruling that gave Marc Randazza an unconstitutional preliminary injunction against blogger Crystal Cox.

You know the same Marc Randazza who said:

"“RKA sought extraordinary relief in the form of prior restraint to enjoin .. . This relief is not recognized in this State, nor anywhere else in the Country. In addition to ignoring the First Amendment Rights and almost a century’s worth of common law, the .. court ignored virtually all procedural requirements for the issue of a preliminary injunction.” Page 5 Paragraph ii of Opening Brief Appellate Case No. 3D12-3189, Irina Chevaldina Appellant vs. R.K./FI Management Inc.;et.al., Appellees. Attorney for Appellant Marc J. Randazza Florida Bar No. 325566, Randazza Legal Group Miami Florida."

More on this Issue

Here is Marc Randazza's hypocritical brief, even though he Got a Preliminary Injunction against me, blogger Crystal Cox.

And the Same Marc Randazza who WON this ruling
"Injuction against blogger critical of Miami Heat owner is overturned by appeals court"

Yet this same Marc Randazza wants an unconstitutional Preliminary Injunction he got against Blogger Crystal Cox, and the judges over reaching "pot shots" in a RULING to Grant Marc Randazza an Unconstitutional Preliminary Injunction that did not adjudicated Crystal Cox's First Amendment Rights, to be some proven, adjudicated evidence that Cox is guilty of the Felony Crime of Extortion? Oh the hypocrisy.

Would you want this to happen to you folks, or would you want due process of LAW?

Is the WIPO "pot shots" evidence that Crystal Cox and Eliot Bernstein are Extortionists? NO

Oh and YEP, WIPO also takes a "pot shot" and flat out accuse Cox of Extortion and the man she was reporting on, Eliot Bernstein of iViewit Technology, which is the biggest technology theft in the world. WIPO was about Domain Names, and was not about extortion. There was no adjudication for the crime of extortion in a WIPO arbritration panel process. WIPO is not a criminal court. WIPO did not formal investigation into the crime of extortion. A WIPO attorney, a friend and connection of Marc Randazzas from INTA, simply took "pot shots" at Cox and Bernstein to help Marc Randazza paint Cox out as an Extortionist and to discredit the Eliot Bernstein, iViewit Technology Story.

A Bit More ...

"As Randazza notes, one of the most important aspects of the Ninth Circuit's opinion was that it "sent the signal that even criminals deserve First Amendment rights -- thus dispelling the usual truism that 'bad facts make bad law.'" Well played, Mr. Randazza."

Crystal Cox says;   it is NOT bad law to want the LAW to apply to ALL Citizen Journalists, Anti-Corruption Bloggers and Whistleblowers Equally. It is not bad law to want a clean ruling that affects all those on the ground out there exposing injustice every day. This ruling affects their life, their family, their safety and it is a matter of LAW and Constitutional Rights. Not what the world thinks of me personal, I really do not give a shit what anyone thinks of me. I care about a clean ruling, based in the rule of law rather then the rule of overreaching attorneys and pot shot taking judges that retaliate against those exposing corruption in our justice system and among attorney fraternities.

This is about people's real lives and NOT about Marc Randazza's EGO Trip

Marc Randazza may want some First Amendment ruling that says criminals have First Amendment rights and well he has those as he defends the First Amendment of criminals and yes criminals rightly do have First Amendment. However, Crystal Cox is not a CRIMINAL. 


The most important aspect of the ruling and the whole point of my fighting to stay in the appeal no matter what Marc Randazza did over 2 years to STOP ME, was to END the monopoly of Free Speech in which Big Media had, to level the playing field in the courts and as a matter of law and constitutional rights between Citizen Journalists, Anti-Corruption Bloggers, Whistleblowers AND traditional media, big media, mainstream media.

This is the most important aspect, as those reporting on the news that big media will not, and those reporting on corruption that traditional journalists cannot, NEED Equal Protection in the courts so that their SPEECH is not chilled. This is not about all bloggers, not about the rights of the criminals, this is about the Equal Rights, as a matter of law, of legal precedent for Bloggers to report the news and not be afraid of extreme and radical retaliation; especially by attorneys and judges who have all the power.
A Bit More on WIPO, and the Civil Conspiracy, RICO against Investigative Blogger Crystal Cox

Here is the Florida Case, Cox v. Randazza Legal Group


Cox v. WIPO and Peter L. Michaelson, WIPO Panelist


Oh and William Peacock's Last Line

"It's a hilarious ending to one of the least sympathetic people to ever make legal history."

Yes I have made legal history. And I have taken this POWERFUL stand for the rights of all who expose corruption and are victims of corruption. This is a massive constitutional rights issue, human rights issue, and incredibly important as to the equal rights of bloggers to EXPOSE CORRUPTION, as a matter of law.

And NOTE, I don't need or want sympathy from anyone, especially all of you gang stalking, lawless attorney THUGS and the Judges you convince of your "scheme". I have stood without your support my whole life, I think I can handle it if you THUGS and Liars don't like me.

I, Crystal L. Cox, DEMAND that Judges and Attorneys Obey the LAW 
and Obey the Constitution of the United States of America, PERIOD.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bar Association Journal, the First Amendment Caste System Article

Check out this recent article in the Bar Association Journal regarding my case
American Bar Association Litigation Journal Regarding the First Amendment and the Crystal Cox Case, Obsidian Finance Group V. Investigative Blogger Crystal Cox

"Ninth Circuit: Bloggers Protected by First Amendment" - North Caroline School of Law

"On January 17, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that bloggers have the same first amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation.

The case, Obsidian Finance v. Fox, was brought by Kevin Padrick, a bankruptcy trustee at Obsidian Finance Group, and Obsidian against blogger Crystal Cox after Cox wrote a blog post accusing Padrick and Obsidian of fraud, money-laundering, corruption, and other illegal activities.

In 2011, a jury awarded $2.5 million to the plaintiffs.  On appeal, the Ninth Circuit reversed and ordered a new trial because the district court’s jury instruction applied an erroneous standard."

"This ruling is a huge win for bloggers and other online speakers.

While the rule does have its limits, because it only protects individuals writing about issues of public concern, it recognizes that individuals do not have to be associated with a media outlet to be afforded First Amendment protections.

UCLA Law professor Eugene Volokh, who represented Cox on the appeal, also warns “that the court’s reasoning is limited to First Amendment protections; it doesn’t discuss state or federal statutes that provide extra protection to the ‘media’ or to other subsets of speakers.”  So, while bloggers are not equitable to media under all laws, the Ninth Circuit ruling assures bloggers that they are protected by the First Amendment."

Source and Full Article
http://ncjolt.org/ninth-circuit-bloggers-protected-by-first-amendment/

"Federal appeals court boosts blogger First Amendment rights"

"The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled for a blogger in a defamation case, stating that First Amendment protected bloggers as well as reporters for traditional news outlets. The blogger, Crystal Cox, had accused a firm dispensing financial advice of fraud, corruption and bribery. (The Los Angeles Times, January 17, 2014, by Maura Dolan)

Eugene Volokh, who represented Cox, hailed the decision for reaffirming that First Amendment protections extend to “all who speak to the public.” (The Volokh Conspiracy, January 17, 2014, by Eugene Volokh)
Cox lost in federal district court in Oregon when the court held that “Cox was not entitled to Gertz‘s protection because she was (a) not a journalist and (b) writing only about matters of private concern.” 
 While applauding the court’s reversal of the lower court, Jeff Hermes objected to one aspect of the Ninth Circuit’s findings,  “The decision also relies on the fact that Cox’s blog was ‘a non-professional website’ in finding that statements thereon were likely to be statements of opinion. Id. But a statement that is one-sided or even unreliable is not the equivalent of one that is incapable of being proven true or false, and a lack of professionalism is not an indication of an inability to convey facts.” (Digital Media Law Project, January 17, 2014, by Jeff Hermes)"

Source
https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/2014/01/federal-appeals-court-boosts-blogger-first-amendment-rights/

"Senate Narrows Definition of “Journalist” for Proposed Shield Law"

"The U.S. Senate is considering a change to the Free Flow of Information Act (FFIA), which protects journalists from having to reveal their confidential sources. Under the proposed amendment (pdf), a “journalist” would be more narrowly defined, and it would exclude many independent reporters and bloggers from avoiding court subpoenas.

The change in the shield law, which was adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee, focuses on protecting the profession of journalism rather than the activity of the profession, according to Carey Shenkman at AlterNet.
Freelance journalists, bloggers, nontraditional media and whistleblower organizations would be left unprotected by the statute if the change goes into effect.
The proposed amendment arrives a few months after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California) first proposed the narrowing of the “journalist” definition in the bill sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York).
“More fundamentally, the distinctions created by the bill reinforce a privileged club for journalists,” Shenkman wrote. “In essence, the government is licensing the press, and treading down a path that courts have for decades cautioned “present[s] practical and conceptual difficulties of a high order.”
The courts have acknowledged that today’s media encompasses a broad range of people, and that technology has blurred the lines between being a journalist and an ordinary citizen.
In 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals said in Glik v. Cunniffe, which involved a man using his cellphone to videotape police, that “Changes in technology and society have made the lines between private citizen and journalist exceedingly difficult to draw [and] news stories are now just as likely to be broken by a blogger at her computer as a reporter at a major newspaper. Such developments make clear why the news-gathering protections of the First Amendment cannot turn on professional credentials or status.”
UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh concurs, writing in a 2004 Op-ed: “Freedom of the press should apply to people equally, regardless of who they are, why they write or how popular they are.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff"
Source
http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/senate-narrows-definition-of-journalist-for-proposed-shield-law-130926?news=851236

Blogger Crystal Cox says that BIG Media should not have special privilege and a National Shield Law should protect all speakers to the public equally as per constitutional rights.

Institutional Media NO Longer has a Monopoly on FREE SPEECH.

"The ruling provides support for the view that the First Amendment applies more broadly to protect speech by all American citizens and acts of journalism, as opposed to solely protecting publications by institutional, credentialed media."

Source
http://e-pluribusunum.com/2014/01/17/california-court-ruling-blogger-first-amendment-protections/

"The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that bloggers are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as traditional journalists in cases of alleged defamation."

"The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that bloggers are entitled to the same First Amendment protections as traditional journalists in cases of alleged defamation.

In Obsidian Finance Group v. Cox (pdf), the appellate justices overturned a lower court decision that found blogger Crystal Cox liable for her blog postscriticizing Obsidian Finance Group, a bankruptcy trustee.

The panel wrote: “The protections of the First Amendment do not turn on whether the defendant was a trained journalist, formally affiliated with traditional news entities, engaged in conflict-of-interest disclosure, went beyond just assembling others’ writings, or tried to get both sides of a story.”

“As the Supreme Court has accurately warned, a First Amendment distinction between the institutional press and other speakers is unworkable: ‘With the advent of the Internet and the decline of print and broadcast media…the line between the media and others who wish to comment on political and social issues becomes far more blurred.’ Citizens United, 558 U.S. at 352. 

In defamation cases, the public-figure status of a plaintiff and the public importance of the statement at issue—not the identity of the speaker—provide the First Amendment touchstones,” the court added.

The justices determined that Cox’s blog post “addressed a matter of public concern, and the district court should have instructed the jury that it could not find the blogger liable for defamation unless it found that she acted negligently.”

The case will now return to district court, where a new trial will commence, per the ruling.
-Noel Brinkerhoff"

Source

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

I, Crystal Cox, Agree, I too "I'm not a particular fan of judicial decisions that purport to protect speech by devaluing it;" AND "respecting speech means evaluating it on its merits, instead of assuming that it has none"

Crystal Cox Says, I don't want to devalue the speech that anti-corruption bloggers are trying to use to expose corruption. We all have our unique style and "hyperbole". The point is to bring attention to these issues in our own way. 

I never asked for the Summary Judgement that threw all those posts out, the Judge simply decided it was best for me, granted the Summary Judgement I did not ask for and threw the posts out suggesting they were so over the top no one would believe them. As you see in the Summary Judgement on this issue, from the Summer of 2011.

Judge Hernandez Said, "Defendant did not cross-move for summary judgment. However, given my conclusion, I gave notice in the July 7, 2011 Opinion that I intended to grant summary judgment for defendant "independent of the motion." See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(f)."
Source, Partial Summary Judgement
http://www.dmlp.org/sites/citmedialaw.org/files/2011-08-23-Partial%20SJ%20Granted.pdf

Also Keep in mind that NO Blog Posts were stated in the Complaint, and no Retraction was asked for. Here is my motion asking for the courts to make the Plaintiff tell me which posts, as I had thousands over 3 years.
http://www.dmlp.org/sites/citmedialaw.org/files/2011-04-11-More%20Definite%20Statement%20Request.pdf

I, Anti-Corruption Blogger Crystal Cox want bloggers who are reporting on the news, on corruption to have equality and not to be disgraced in the very court case that gives them Equality.

I, Crystal L. Cox, Stand for the Rights of All Citizen Journalists, Whistle Blower, Anti-Corruption Bloggers and the victims of the corruption they are reporting on, the news they are "breaking".


"A Quick Thought on Bloggers, Opinion, and Today's Ruling from the Ninth Circuit
Posted January 17th, 2014 by Jeff Hermes

"Earlier today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit released its decision in Obsidian Finance Group, LLC, v. Cox, No. 12-35238 (9th Cir. Jan. 17, 2014), a case involving defamation claims brought against a blogger who wrote about alleged financial improprieties  in connection with a corporate bankruptcy. 

The case was the subject of considerable controversy among defenders of Internet speech, after a federal district court judge in Oregon ruled that the blogger, Crystal Cox, was not entitled to First Amendment protection under the Supreme Court's decision in Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974). 

Gertz imposes a baseline negligence standard in defamation cases, but the district court held that Cox was not entitled to Gertz's protection because she was (a) not a journalist and (b) writing only about matters of private concern.


The Ninth Circuit properly reversed, finding that the First Amendment protects bloggers no less than the institutional press and that Cox was writing about issues of legitimate public concern.  On retrial, the plaintiffs will have to establish that Cox was negligent in publishing the statements at issue -- and that's all well and good.  

I want to spend a little time, though, thinking about the tail end of the decision, in which the Ninth Circuit discusses a specific group of Cox's statements that both the Ninth Circuit and the district court held to be non-actionable opinion.

I'm not a particular fan of judicial decisions that purport to protect speech by devaluing it; there's been a disturbing line of thinking among some judges that the content of blogs and online forums is inherently opinion because no reasonable person could believe what is written there. See, e.g., Ghanam v. Does, No. 312201 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 2, 2014) ("Courts that have considered the matter have concluded that Internet message boards and similar communications are generally regarded as containing statements of pure opinion rather than statements or implications of actual, provable fact."); Summit Bank v. Rogers, 206 Cal.App.4th 669, 697 (2012) ("[C]ourts ... have recognized that online blogs and message boards are places where readers expect to see strongly worded opinions rather than objective facts."); Doe v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451, 465 (Del. 2005) ("Blogs and chat rooms tend to be vehicles for the expression of opinions; by their very nature, they are not a source of facts or data upon which a reasonable person would rely."). 

Rulings like these invite courts to treat the Internet as a gutter of second-class speech.

That's why it is surprising to see echoes of this kind of reasoning in the Ninth Circuit's decision today, a decision that in its earlier analysis resoundingly rejects a constitutional distinction between institutional media and citizen speech online.  

For example, the Ninth Circuit quotes the district court in stating that
The statements were posted on obsidianfinancesucks.com, a website name that leads “the reader of the statements [to be] predisposed to view them with a certain amount of skepticism and with an understanding that they will likely present one-sided view points rather than assertions of provable facts.”
Slip op. at 17. The decision also relies on the fact that Cox's blog was "a non-professional website" in finding that statements thereon were likely to be statements of opinion. Id. But a statement that is one-sided or even unreliable is not the equivalent of one that is incapable of being proven true or false, and a lack of professionalism is not an indication of an inability to convey facts.

The Ninth Circuit's analysis also takes into account the use of frequent hyperbole and "almost 'stream of consciousness'-like sentences," which in context might indicate a figurative rather than literal use of language

Nevertheless, it is still a challenge to see how accusations of  "money laundering" or "tax crimes" could be figurative statements. I certainly don't mean to suggest that the statements that the Ninth Circuit held to be opinion were in fact actionable. However, respecting speech means evaluating it on its merits, instead of assuming that it has none."

Source of Quote and Full Article
http://www.dmlp.org/blog/2014/quick-thought-bloggers-opinion-and-todays-ruling-from-ninth-circuit

"It’s a leap forward in extending the First Amendment, which protects expression and other cherished freedoms, to people who do not necessarily make a living working for a newspaper or a broadcast station"

"Hello, Bloggers. Welcome to the club.

A federal appeals court from the West appropriately ruled Jan. 17 that bloggers and other citizen journalists are entitled to protection from lawsuits in the same way that professional journalists are.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for a former Montana blogger who wrote controversial online postings; she contended that a court-appointed trustee in Oregon criminally mishandled a bankruptcy case. What’s important about the case is it extends First Amendment protections — traditionally extended to journalists sued for defamation — to people who blog and to other citizen journalists. The ruling applies to states covered by the 9th Circuit, such as Montana.

It’s a leap forward in extending the First Amendment, which protects expression and other cherished freedoms, to people who do not necessarily make a living working for a newspaper or a broadcast station.";


"In the latest development, a group of journalists praised the appeals court ruling in the Oregon case.

“It’s not a special right to the news media,” said Gregg Leslie of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. “So it’s a good thing for bloggers and citizen journalists and others.”

Source




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crystal Cox pokes fun at Big Media, Kashmir Hill, David Carr and the issue of Defamation.

Independent Anti-Corruption Bloggers, Citizen Journalists and Whistleblowers Face Extreme Prejudice and Retaliation in the Court System, as they are exposing Judges and Attorneys. Thus making fair and impartial rulings nearly impossible nationwide.

Anti-Corruption Blogger Crystal Cox Makes a Stand Against Overreaching Judges.

Defendant Crystal Cox files a Motion to Rehear, Redact, accusations by a Ninth Circuit Appellate Court of her alleged criminal activity. And thereby CALLS OUT a very important issue, in which most anti-corruption bloggers, citizen journalists and whistle blowers face in our court system nationwide.

"I, Defendant Crystal Cox have fought against fraud and corruption for nearly a decade. I have fought against great odds to hold on to this appeal. I am proud of this victory for all Citizen Journalists, Whistle Blower, and Anti-Corruption Bloggers. I am thankful to Mayer Brown and Eugene Volokh for defending the case I made, the First Amendment case I preserved and fought for.

However, I cannot stand by and let the lie continue to replace the truth, as this affects not only all other Citizen Journalists, Whistle Blower, and Anti-Corruption Bloggers exposing corruption, but it also affects the credibility of the corruption I am reporting on and the victims of that corruption.

I am proud of this Ninth Circuit ruling, however, not at the expense of a lie, and the discrediting of what the anti-corruption bloggers are reporting on that really does expose corruption within in our judicial system on ever level.

I am not willing to let the lie stand as the Truth, and have the public at large believe that bloggers such as I am, exposing corrupt judges, senators, attorneys, law firms, disciplary committees, commissions and other important issues of the day, be seen as extortionists, blackmailers or painted out to be the "bad guy".

Defendant Crystal Cox is not simply a "blogger", Crystal Cox is an Anti-Corruption blogger and faces extreme retaliation and prejudice in the courts for exposing court corruption.

The issues at play here are not just about giving bloggers equal rights as journalists, but also equal credibility, as bloggers who expose corruption and are telling / reporting the stories that no other media outlet will Report on. These bloggers (whistleblowers, citizen journalists) are crucial to a true free society. And to the TRUE liberty and justice for all, as a matter of law and constitutional rights. These bloggers desperately need equal rights in a court of law, so that true justice and real journalism will prevail. 

Judges and attorneys are abusing our court process.

It is crucial to protect the voice of bloggers who are exposing those judges and attorneys and are therefore targeted by these judges, other judges, and gangs of attorneys painting the blogger out to be a criminal, a "bad guy" and thereby discrediting the very corruption regarding attorneys and judges that the anti-corruption bloggers are reporting on, exposing.

Mainstream media such as CNBC, Forbes, the New York Times, Reuters are not reporting on the corruption in our courts, our judicial process.

Bloggers are, and need protected from the overreaching judges who paint them out to be the problem, when in actuality the bloggers are really exposing the problem.

It is, indeed, important to have equal rights in a court of law, as an anti-corruption blogger, however the First Amendment equality is not the only issue. The shield law should also protect these front runners in exposing corruption. And the other issue, as show by this very ruling, is that the "word" of the blogger should have equal credibility in the eyes of the courts, as a matter of law.

I am not saying either report on or post fact, let the news consumer decide who they want to "believe". However, a court of law should not, as a matter of law, and constitutional rights use a New York Times article to convict an anti-corruption blogger, a citizen journalist, a whistle blower of a crime.

Those reporting on corruption in our courts do not have a voice other than blogs. 

It is imperative in our times that Citizen Journalists, Investigative Bloggers, AntiCorruption Bloggers and Whistleblowers have equal rights to those in traditional media. Otherwise corruption and greed that violates human rights, will continue to be rampant, and the lives of the victims of corruption will continue to suffer in every way.

This Ninth Circuit Ruling, levels the playing field for those reporting on corruption in their town, their expertise, their personal research, and experience. 

Now they have equal rights to protection under the law. This means that Traditional Journalists and Big Media can no longer have a Super Power to distort the news, post fake facts simply to support ad dollars, politicians and corporations, as a matter of law.

Yet this very ruling makes the word of a New York Times Journalist, a fact of LAW and evidence in a higher court ruling against that same blogger that just won equality.

This ruling contradicts itself by using the New York Times and David Carr as a legal precedent and authority to "convict" blogger Crystal Cox of behavior and crimes she is NOT guilty of. Thereby opening the door for all traditional media, institutional press to easily discredit and shut down anti-corruption bloggers, by reporting the LIE and having courts such as this use those lies as factual evidence to discredit, defame, slander and humiliate the blogger exposing corruption and trying to do the right thing.

Oftentimes when bloggers expose corruption, those bloggers are stripped of their rights within the very judicial system they are reporting corruption on. 

This WIN ends this, at least, in theory, and in a higher court judicial ruling. The public at large will decide what they want to believe and from whom. However, now bloggers reporting on the story ALL have an equal say, as a matter of LAW and Constitutional Rights.

Yet, this ruling also gives the institutional press the power to "MAKE LAW", to "Convict" who they don't like or want in their "camp" and that is unlawful and unconstitutional.

This Ninth Circuit Win ends the Monopoly of Free Speech Big Media has unconstitutionally held for so long, as a matter of LAW. However, at the same time it enables And speaks to the matter that courts value the New York Times reports, articles, opinions, lies and slander as facts and evidence in a court of law over the word of the "blogger", who now has those equal rights.

by Defendant Crystal L. Cox"


Source of Crystal Cox's Statement in Favor of Motion to Rehear, to Redact Extortion Allegations
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sfa6KPy3ur6pBOcUF64CfvRFKM-n0ASMWhpUPC4G43Q/edit

To View UCLA Constitutional Law Professor, Lawyer Eugene Volokh's Motion to Rehear Click Below
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzn2NurXrSkib1NraEFFb1Rac2M/edit


Overreaching Judges Suppressing speech that exposes Corruption Needs Called Out

"Despite her First Amendment court victory, Montana blogger Crystal Cox doesn’t like the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals suggestion that she shakes down reporting subjects for money in exchange for retractions.  So she has asked for a retraction of her own from the court."

Source
http://www.trialinsider.com/?p=4569

Crystal Cox says it is not Ethical, Lawful, Nor Constitutional for a Judicial Ruling to accuse litigants of crimes they have not been convicted of. Crystal Cox says this is HOW Judges and Lawyers silence those exposing corruption.

"Despite her First Amendment court victory, Montana blogger Crystal Cox doesn’t like the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals suggestion that she shakes down reporting subjects for money in exchange for retractions.  So she has asked for a retraction of her own from the court.

In January, the circuit held for the first time that bloggers like Cox have the same First Amendment protections as traditional media.  That was a big victory for blogger s generally and included overturning a $2.5 million libel verdict against Cox based on her accusations of fraud against a bankruptcy trustee.

What Cox didn’t like was a single sentence in the opinion by Judge Andrew Hurwitz that stated, “Cox apparently has a history of making similar allegations and seeking payoffs in exchange for retraction.”

Last week, her lawyer Eugene Volokh asked the court to amend its opinion, not to change the substance of the ruling, but to delete the offending sentence.  The claim of “payoffs” was based on a single New York Times article in 2011.

“A judicial assertion of misconduct by a named person, even a judicial assertion modified with the word ‘apparently,’ could be based on the record in a case, or authoritative finding by another court.  But it ought not be based on a newspaper column, which was written without the benefit of cross-examination, sworn testimony, or the other safeguards of the judicial process,” Volokh wrote. He said there “seems to be no ‘history’ of ‘seeking payoffs’ claimed in the article, he said.

Not surprisingly, some news outlets repeated the sentence but omitted the term “apparently,” he said.  Journalists may perceive it as a factual finding, not just recitation of a newspaper column’s claim.

Thus Cox has asked for the court to redact the sentence from its opinion."

Source of Post
http://www.trialinsider.com/?p=4569


Here is Eugene Volokh's Motion to Rehear
https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bzn2NurXrSkib1NraEFFb1Rac2M/edit


Check Out Crystal Cox's Statement In Support of Motion to Rehear
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Sfa6KPy3ur6pBOcUF64CfvRFKM-n0ASMWhpUPC4G43Q/edit