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Libel by tweet. #Beware.

Mark Sableman May 10, 2017

Everything is terse on Twitter.

Even alleged libels.

Like the Courtney Love case: $430K settlement over a single tweet.

Now like music producer Dr. Luke’s case against lawyer Mark Geragos.

Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald) claimed Geragos called him a rapist.

Geragos didn’t say so explicitly.

Just had some quick exchanges on Twitter.

First he tweeted a link to an article about Lady Gaga saying she’d been sexually assaulted.

He added, "Guess who the rapists [sic] was?" 

He retweeted some responses, adding #nope and #ohyes to guesses about names and clues.

Added  “#namethepervert.”

Someone responded, “Lukasz.”

Geragos replied, “#bingo.”

Dr. Luke sued for libel in 2014.

Court just decided Geragos’ motion to dismiss.

Denied it.

Found Dr. Luke’s allegations “minimally adequate.”

Geragos may have defenses, but only after discovery.

Took the court seven pages to say this.

Without even discussing “libel by implication.”

Which means that libel can occur between the lines.

Even very short ones.

Mark Sableman is a partner in Thompson Coburn’s Intellectual Property group. He is the editorial director of Internet Law Twists & Turns.