Status: Subpeona for information to reveal anonymous bloggers quashed in part
In a posting on the 43rd State Blues / Democrats for Idaho blog (www.43rdstateblues.com), an anonymous blogger with the pseudonym “Tom Paine,” posted comments reporting the “unverified” “rumor” that court documents showed “a deliberate series of payoffs for questionable expenses & honoraria to US Senator Larry Craig” by Melaleuca, Inc.
Melaleuca sent a letter to the website’s administrator demanding that the posting be removed. The original posting was removed, but the demand letter itself was posted on the site by someone with the pseudonym “d2.”
Melaleuca then sent a letter to the host of the website, seeking removal of the letter. The letter cited the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (“DMCA”), which allows copyright holders to demand that website hosts removed copyrighted material posted by users to a website. Melaleuca also sought the identity of “Tom Paine.”
On June 7, 2007, Melaleuca sent a pre-litigation subpoena to counsel for the website owner, demanding the production of all server logs and other information that could be used to identify “Tom Paine” and “d2.” 43SB filed a motion to quash the subpoena with the federal district court., which partially denied the motion to quash as to “sb”, thus requiring 43SB to reveal the information that could be used to identify “sb” (who had posted the takedown demand letter). But the court also partially granted the motion in regards to information regarding “Tom Paine,” since that person’s posting – the original rumors – were not subject to the DMCA takedown provisions.
Links and Court Documents:
District Court opinion partially granting motion to quash subpoena: http://www.citmedialaw.org/sites/citmedialaw.org/files/2007-11-16-Report%20and%20Recommendation%20of%20Magistrate%20Judge%20--%20District%20of%20Idaho.pdf