When facts about another’s life are also facts about your life

posted by
June 8, 2011
The Volokh Conspiracy
by Eugene Volokh  
Posted in Commentary

"So what should the law be in these situations? Should it protect the privacy of your exes (or your former friends, your family members, your former coworkers, and whoever else you’re talking about), even if that means that you can’t tell your life story, either in a traditional autobiography or in its modern running equivalents? Should the law allow you to discuss your personal life, even if in the process people will learn personal details about the lives of others, and will learn them even if you omit the others’ names (as in the billboard incident)? Or should the law focus on your supposed motive, and distinguish supposedly good-faith attempts to tell your life story, either in retrospect or as it happens, from supposed attempts to humiliate people you think have wronged you — and, if so, how can the law reliably and predictably do this, whether with the traditional autobiography or with Facebook or blog posts?" (06/07/11)


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