On December 5, 2014 the Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus letter in the Supreme Court of California on behalf of Global Voices Advocacy and the Media Legal Defence Initiative in the case of Wineland-Thomson Adventures, Inc. v. Doe 1, No. S222624.
In the brief, we argue that California’s anti -SLAPP law, Cal. Code Civ. P. § 425.16, should not allow a defamation plaintiff to survive a motion to strike if their complaint does not specify which statements on the defendant’s website they allege to be defamatory. The brief further argues that courts should not place a lower burden on defamation plaintiffs to prove a valid claim under anti-SLAPP law when suing anonymous online speakers. The amicus letter – a special form of brief allowed by the Supreme Court of California when they are considering taking on a case – demonstrates why the decision below can have particularly negative effects on independent online media operating internationally, who rely on Internet services in California to get their message out to the world.