Saturday, January 25, 2014

Courtney Love cleared in the case nobody was calling Twibel

There's a lot of guff being wafted around the decision in the libel action bought against Courtney Love by her former attorney Rhonda Holmes. The LA Times both claims this to be a the case people were calling "Twibel" (they weren't) and that it's somehow a landmark.

But, really, it's not that much of a landmark:

A jury of six men and six women listened to eight days of testimony and statements, then deliberated for just three hours. They determined that although Love's statement had a natural tendency to injure Holmes' business, they did not believe she knew the statement was false.
There's nothing different about this from the finding in hundreds of similar cases; the only vaguely noteworthy thing about it is Courtney Love winning a case against her. That it concerns a Twitter message might make it, at best, a footnote.

But nothing has changed here; there are no sudden clarification of legal issues. It's a bog standard libel action that has failed on the same test used by juries to settle generations of perceived slights.