The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is defending two blogs caught up in a lawsuit filed by a copyright troll law firm.
Paul Duffy and Prenda Law have sued two watchdog blogs maintained by anonymous authors, FightCopyrightTrolls (fightcopyrighttrolls.com) and DieTrollDie (dietrolldie.com), claiming that they were defamed.
They claim the bloggers and their commenters defamed Duffy and his firm, despite the free speech protections guaranteed by the First Amendment.
However, the EFF said that the legal moves are designed to silence the blogs and were an abuse of the legal process to punish critics.
EFF staff attorney Mitch Stoltz said that Duffy served a subpoena on Automattic, the company that owns the WordPress blogging platform.
This called for the IP addresses of everyone who ever visited the two websites.
Already Automatic has told Duffy to blog off, calling the move “legally deficient and objectionable” and a violation of the First Amendment right to speak anonymously.
EFF staff attorney Nate Cardozo said that the subpoena was improper under the First Amendment and it failed to comply with the simple rules for pre-trial discovery.
The subpoenas create a chilling effect among those who have spoken out against Prenda, the EFF said.
This is not the first time that copyright trolls have tried to bring down such blogs using legal threats. So far they have not succeeded and the suits have been dropped.