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Legal experts says the effect on press freedom from the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker case is likely to be limited

New York Times

You might have heard: A Florida jury ordered Gawker to pay $115 million to Hulk Hogan and found Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor Albert Daulerio personally liable in the case (Ars Technica)

But did you know: Before a verdict in the Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker lawsuit, some were saying that a ruling against Gawker would limit news organizations’ ability to report on unflattering details about public figures online. But legal experts are now saying that even if the verdict against Gawker is not reversed in appeals, the effect on news organizations’ freedom is likely to be limited. George Freeman, the executive director of the Media Law Resource Center, says “I think the damages are crazy, but I just don’t see this as a terrible blow to the First Amendment. … [If the ruling stands] that could be bad for the future of sex tapes, but I’m not sure it would be a threat to anything else.”

+ Gawker will appeal the ruling, and CNN Money’s Tom Kludt reports that Gawker’s attorneys, as well as legal experts, are confident that they will land a more favorable ruling (CNN Money)

+ The case raises issues about privacy online for everyone, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s Mary Anne Franks says: “People are thinking a little bit more about the concept of what is newsworthy, because what’s changed is the concept of who a public figure is” (Los Angeles Times)

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