Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mock Tweeters Beware: Calif. Law Makes Faux Tweeters Jailbirds

Volumes of the Thomson West annotated version ...Image via WikipediaRaymond Chandler, "TUOL" mystery-writer fave, in The Little Sister, called California the "department store state" because it had "the most of everything and the best of nothing."

One thing The Golden State now has, according to The Hollywood Reporter Web site's legal blog (www.hollywoodreporter.com/blogs/thr-esq), is Sec. 528.5 of the California Penal Code, which subjects offenders who maliciously pretend to be someone else to a $1000 fine and up to a year in the slammer. The newly enacted statute provides: "any person who knowingly and without consent credibly impersonates another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening or defrauding another person is guilty of a public offense."  Under the statute, electronic means includes "opening an e-mail account or an account or profile on a social networking Internet Web site in another person's name."

Celebrities, California's second largest commodity after governmental red ink, particularly have been aggrieved by shady (140) character types setting up faux Twitter accounts. It remains to be seen whether Sec. 528.5, which somewhat resembles trademark protection on steroids, sparks any First Amendment challenges from mock-star Tweeters.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment