October 26, 2020

Techdirt Podcast Episode 238: Larry Lessig Defends His ‘Clickbait Defamation’ Lawsuit

Last month I wrote a long post explaining why I could not support Larry Lessig’s new lawsuit against journalists and the New York Times for what he referred to as “Clickbait Defamation.” Lessig argued that a NY Times headline and lede was false, while I argued that it was a different interpretation, but not “false,” and thus not defamatory. I also argued that his lawsuit was a SLAPP suit, potentially harming the individuals named. Larry wished to respond to my post and I invited him on the podcast to discuss. Larry is a Harvard Law professor. I am not. This immediately puts me at a disadvantage in arguing things in a live debate, and while I don’t think either of us convinced each other of anything, l definitely understand his argument more clearly, though I still disagree with it.

The full discussion is now available as the latest episode of the Techdirt Podcast.

As I said in my intro to the podcast, I think it’s worth reading all of the background information to understand what we’re talking about, including:

Also, for the first time, we are providing a transcript with this podcast. This is an experiment. We have wanted to do transcripts for a while, but it is usually quite expensive and/or time consuming. In this case, given the likely interest in the discussion, we felt it was worthwhile. We are testing an automated transcript service, and while we’ve gone through it and tried to correct the errors, it is likely that some still made it through. We apologize for any such errors and will try to correct them if you alert us in the comments.

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