FC: Appeals court says mall critic may keep his site online -- for now

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Mon Mar 11 2002 - 14:52:46 PST

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    Politech archive in this case:
    Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 16:42:17 -0500
    From: "Paul Levy" <PLEVYat_private>
    To: <declanat_private>
    Subject: More in the litigation against the critic of abusive litigation by 
    Taubman Company
    For Immediate Release:			Contact: Paul Alan Levy (202) 588-1000
    March 11, 2002				              Shannon Little (202) 588-7742
    Court Cannot Prevent Texan from Criticizing
    Shopping Mall Developer
    Critical Web Site Can Stay Online While Court Considers Appeals
    	WASHINGTON, D.C.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth 
    Circuit today suspended an order issued last fall by a district court that 
    had shut down a Web site while appeals on the First Amendment status of the 
    site were considered.
    	Computer consultant Henry Mishkoff has been involved in a dispute with the 
    nationwide shopping mall developer Taubman Company, which is building a 
    mall in Plano, Texas, near his Dallas home. Mishkoff originally built a 
    "fan site" praising the mall, but after Taubman claimed his site violated 
    its trademark and demanded it be taken down, he developed a site 
    criticizing the company.
    	Last fall, the Michigan district court ordered Mishkoff to remove both of 
    his sites from the Web, taking a dangerous step toward restricting 
    non-commercial speech on the Internet.
    	"I was stunned and dismayed when the District Court ordered me to remove 
    my 'complaint' site from the Web," Mishkoff said. "That decision seemed to 
    fly in the face of everything I've learned about our First Amendment rights 
    since my high-school civics class. Although this experience has left me 
    feeling a little uneasy about the process, Public Citizen's help and the 
    Appeals Court decision have gone a long way toward restoring my faith in 
    the American legal system."
    	Following the district court's injunctions, Mishkoff took both sites down, 
    although he has created a third site explaining the case in detail, 
    http://www.giffordkrassgrohsprinklesucks.com/. Mishkoff is in the process 
    of restoring the Taubmansucks site to the Web; however, it may take one or 
    two days for the site to be fully available to the public.
    	Mishkoff was represented by Paul Alan Levy of the Public Citizen 
    Litigation Group. To learn more about this and other free speech cases, go 
    to http://www.citizen.org/litigation/briefs/IntFreeSpch/index.cfm.
    Public Citizen is a nonprofit public interest organization based in 
    Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit www.citizen.org
    Paul Alan Levy
    Public Citizen Litigation Group
    1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 588-1000
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