The Ninth Circuit held that the District court did not err in ordering the disclosure of the identities of the online speakers, denying the writ of mandamus. TEAM was a distributor of sales support material to Amway, then known as Quixtar. Quixtar alleged that TEAM was unlawfully interfering with their distributors and encouraging the distributors to violate their contracts with Quixtar. Quixtar sought the names of several posters to online message boards run by TEAM. The Appellate Court ruled that the posters identities could not be protected by a writ of Mandamus. The speakers made derogatory statements directed at the products and practices of Quixtar, falling into the category of commercial speech. Commercial speech is not protected to the same extent as political or literary speech, and can be adequately protected from any chilling effects by an appropriately tailored court order...
The full case can also be viewed online at: http://www.mlmlegal.com/legal-cases/InReAnonymousOnlineSpeakers.php
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