The founding fathers could never have imagined what path freedom of speech has taken since our country’s inception. Case in point, a character defamation lawsuit has been filed against a Yelp user who gave a negative review to a local contractor. The defendant, Dietz Development, claims that online feedback is one of the most important ways a potential buyer or client uses when they make a decision on whether or not to use a service and is seeking $750,000 in damages. The Yelp user, Jane Perez, has been defending her claims in court since late November, stating that she was simply exercising her freedom of speech after what she felt was an unsatisfying service. A Judge in Southern California has ordered her to edit her comments via a preliminary injunction. Read more
Is anyone even surprised by Madonna’s escapades anymore? At the age of 53, she still has the power to offend and insult pretty much anyone that steps in her path, including the president of France’s National Front Party, Marine Le Pen. On July 14, Madonna held a concert for her French fans at the Stade de France just north of Paris. To Le Pen’s astonishment and disgust, Madonna displayed a video during one of her songs, “Nobody Knows Me”, flashing images of political figures Pope Benedict, Hu Jintao, Sarah Palin (no surprise here), and Marine Le Pen. Maybe Le Pen would have been honored by her inclusion in a Madonna concert, but the world leaders were depicted as Neo Nazis with swastikas on their foreheads. This whole charade was Madonna’s response to Le Pen’s beliefs on Muslim immigration and their relations in the EU. Le Pen wants to return to the Franc and put a stop to illegal Muslim immigration, which Madonna describes as “intolerance”. Although Marine Le Pen has not taken action yet, there is talk of a lawsuit against the American singer for her onstage antics. And, of course, she has demanded an apology.
Anthrax members Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, and frequent VH1 panelist Scott Ian found themselves caught in a mosh in 2009 when Dan Nelson sued the group for some inaccurate statements they made after his departure from the band. The band published that an illness had caused the singer to leave and the band to cancel an upcoming concert tour. Nelson pursued a $2.65 million lawsuit to refute Anthrax’s “intentional defamation” and collect lost royalties. “I was never seriously ill or sick at all, as reported in Anthrax’s 7/17/09 press release,” said Nelson. “This statement misled fans, friends, and family members into believing that I was seriously ill when I was not.” To settle the suit, Nelson was offered a confidential, yet “fairly small”, monetary amount and was given co-writing credit on 11 of the 14 songs on the band’s 2011 release Worship Music.