Amazingly enough Hulk Hogan’s verdict may improve Internet privacy!

22 March 2016 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

The Washington Post opined that the “$115 million legal body slam Friday against Gawker Media could have deeper implications for the debate between the public’s right to know (and the media’s right to report) and an individual’s right to privacy.” The March 21, 2016 article entitled “Hulk Hogan’s $140.1 million KO in courtroom could have ‘chilling effect’ on media” included these comments from law professors:

Samantha Barbas (State University at Buffalo)this case will be important because it indicates a change in the cultural mood,… [The jury] is essentially saying too much free speech is dangerous. There are a lot of people who are disgusted with the way the media is corrupting the public sphere.

David Hudson Jr. (Vanderbilt Law School)It could have some implications for newsgathering,…I think it sort of ratchets up the notion that the public is very [protective] of privacy. It shows the pre-eminency of public concern about privacy.

The Washington Post included this background on Terry Bollea’s (aka Hulk Hogan) lawsuit against Gawker:

In 2012, it published excerpts of a video in which Hogan has sex with a friend’s wife. Hogan claimed that publication of the video caused him to lose endorsements and inflicted emotional harm. Gawker argued that publication was protected by the First Amendment and that Hogan/Bollea had waived some of his right to privacy by bragging about his sexual exploits in interviews.

Since this case will be appealed, it’s too soon to know the true impact.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.

Authors

Related Services