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Anonymity, Disclosure and First Amendment Balancing in the Internet Era: Developments in Libel, Copyright, and Election Speech

47 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2012 Last revised: 18 May 2014

Jason M. Shepard

California State University, Fullerton

Genelle I. Belmas

California State University, Fullerton

Date Written: October 31, 2012

Abstract

The Supreme Court has long protected anonymity for speakers and writers under the First Amendment. The Internet enables anonymity for individuals who post writings, download music, and participate in political discussion. However, this poses a challenge for plaintiffs who want to sue anonymous speakers for libel, copyright infringement, or election speech. This article evaluates current legal developments in these areas and makes recommendations about how the law should deal with these different but related areas of anonymous speech.

Keywords: Internet, anonymity, libel, copyright, campaign finance, disclosure, First Amendment

Suggested Citation

Shepard, Jason M. and Belmas, Genelle I., Anonymity, Disclosure and First Amendment Balancing in the Internet Era: Developments in Libel, Copyright, and Election Speech (October 31, 2012). Yale Journal of Law & Technology, Vol. 15, pp. 92, Fall/Winter 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2169495

Jason M. Shepard (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton ( email )

PO Box 6846
Fullerton, CA 92831
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jasonmshepard.com

Genelle I. Belmas

California State University, Fullerton ( email )

800 N State College St
Fullerton, CA 92831
United States

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