Monday, November 10, 2008


Cambridge, MA – November 10, 2008 – The Berkman Center for Internet and Society's Citizen Media Law Project (CMLP), together with the Online News Association, Media Bloggers Association, New England Press Association, and Globe Newspaper Company, publisher of The Boston Globe and, this week urged a broad reading of Massachusetts' anti-SLAPP law in a friend-of-the-court filing.

The amici curiae brief was filed in the case of Dugas v. Robbins, Case No. BACV2008-491, pending in Massachusetts Superior Court in Barnstable. The case concerns allegations of defamation against a blogger on Cape Cod. The Court is considering the defendant's motion to dismiss the lawsuit under the Commonwealth's anti-SLAPP law, M.G.L. c. 231, § 59H.

The coalition of amici, led by the CMLP and represented by Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic, argue in their brief that the defendant should be able to take advantage of the anti-SLAPP law even if he is deemed to be a member of the news media or if he receives compensation for his blog posts. Amici explain that a decision to deny the anti-SLAPP law's protections to members of the news media or bloggers would chill their efforts to inform citizens about issues before the government.

More information about the case and about the Massachusetts anti-SLAPP statute is available on the CMLP's website,

About the Berkman Center for Internet & Society:
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is proud to celebrate its tenth year as a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is now home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology and society. More information can be found at

About the Citizen Media Law Project:
The Citizen Media Law Project, which is jointly affiliated with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School and the Center for Citizen Media, has five primary objectives: legal education and training; collection and analysis of legal threats; litigation referral, consultation, and representation; community building; and advocacy on behalf of citizen media. It was the recipient of a 2007 John S. and James L. Knight Foundation News Challenge grant. For more information, visit


Contact: Chris Bavitz

No comments: