Ten intriguing Internet cases from 2005

The end of the year is quickly approaching, and in the spirit of retrospective reflection that accompanies the season, I have compiled this list of intriguing court decisions relating to the Internet handed down during 2005. It’s not a compilation of cases that are necessarily important to the overall development of this area of law (for example MGM v. Grokster is not on the list), but is merely a list of cases that have either off-the-wall facts or surprising/provocative outcomes. Think of the list both as a way to look back on the year, and as a little holiday gift to the loyal readers of this weblog (a group now measured in the several hundreds – thanks for your support!)

The comments for this post are open, so I invite you to note other Internet-related decisions you’ve found notable during the past year which I have not put on this list.

1. O’Brien v. O’Brien, 899 So.2d 1133 (Fla.App., Feb. 11, 2005)

Evidence obtained through use of spyware not admissible

2. Central New York Workers’ Comp. Bar Assn. v. New York Workers’ Compensation Bd., 16 A.D.3d 1066 (App.Div., March 18, 2005)

Internet access to only one party during trial provides unfair advantage

3. Vogel v. Felice, 127 Cal.App.4th 1006 (Cal.App. 6th Dist., March 24, 2005)

“Dumb Ass” is not a defamatory term

4. Liebert Corp. v. Mazur, 827 N.E.2d 909 (Ill.App. 1st Dist., April 5, 2005)

Password protection is not enough to protect trade secrets

5. State v Velardi, 612 S.E.2d 447 (N.C.App., April 5, 2005)

Court upholds admissibility of weblog evidencae used to convict

6. People v. Earle, (Not Reported in N.W.2d), 2005 WL 1224611 (Mich.App., May 24, 2005)

Escort’s website relevant evidence for truthfulness

7. Munster v. Groce, 829 N.E.2d 52, at n. 3 (Ind.App., June 8, 2005)

Even the courts know the Internet is the first place to turn for information

8. Freedman v. America Online, 2005 WL 1899381 (D.Conn., August 9, 2005)

No reasonable expectation of privacy in Internet subscriber information

9. Doe v. Cahill, 884 A.2d 451 (Del., October 5, 2005)

Delaware decision defines standards for protecting anonymous Internet speech

10. Commonwealth v. [___________], — A.2d —, 2005 WL 3196556 (Pa.Super., November 30, 2005)

Criminal record expunged for school librarian arrested for selling discarded copies of National Geographic on eBay