Defending Free Speech: It Takes A Village
Village Voice Media Steps Up With $1,000 Pledge Toward MauiTime Defense Fund
As a small, independent media company with limited resources, MauiTime appreciates those stepping up to help defend free speech–and those helping get the word out about attacks against our civil liberties and those of our anonymous online commenters.
Posted today (see below), the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies announced that Village Voice Media has pledged $1,000 toward MauiTime’s legal defense against a subpoena issued by the Maui Police Department and Maui County prosecutor’s office.
The subpoena orders the release of Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses for all comments left at mauitime.com during a specified 24-hour period, and is aimed specifically at comments left regarding a story about Publisher Tommy Russo’s altercation with the Maui Police Department and the crew of reality star Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman.
“This is about more than a handful of commenters at mauitime.com,” wrote Russo in a recent publisher’s note. “This is about everyone who has ever posted a comment on the Internet and assumed they were protected by the First Amendment. MPD is asking us to take the first, perilous step down a very slippery slope that could quickly and dramatically erode basic free speech protections.”
Mahalo to VVM and AAN for having our back.
Village Voice Media Pledges $1,000 To MauiTime Legal EffortJune 2, 2011 05:32 pm*In response to the attempt by the Maui police and district attorney to subpoena identifying information about online commenters to MauiTime, Village Voice Media Holdings has pledged $1,000 to MauiTime to help in its legal efforts.*“Law enforcement subpoenas seeking a reporter’s sources are an occupational hazard the alternative press has experience resisting,” said VVM Executive Editor Michael Lacey. “However, the attempt of prosecutors to seek the identity of our online readers threatens not only the First Amendment but also serves to chill our audience which relies upon the web rather than newsprint. Jim Larkin and I have faced the same intrusive threat from then County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Phoenix.”*“We urge all of our colleagues in AAN to join us and make a donation to Maui Time’s defense fund. We do not allow law enforcement to threaten our staff; we must not allow them to threaten our readers.”*… CLICK HERE to read the rest of “Village Voice Media Pledges $1,000 To MauiTime Legal Effort,” by Margaret Downing, for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN)
ABOUT VOICE MEDIA: It’s print, web and street… This isn’t a random group of unrelated media. Voice Media is a carefully constructed network of like content that comes at your audience from all angles with dedicated account teams in Manhattan, Chicago, LA and Phoenix. We can create, execute and manage your campaign. Along the way, we track it to see how well it performed in any and all of our 50 markets. If you want to reach fun, active people who go out and spend money, Voice Media is the smart turnkey alternative.
ABOUT AAN: The Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) is a diverse group of 129 alt-weekly news organizations covering every major metropolitan area and other less-populated regions of North America. AAN members have a combined weekly circulation of over 6.5 million as well as a print readership of nearly 17 million active, educated and influential adults in the U.S. and Canada. In addition, AAN-member content is viewed by millions of additional adults via the web and mobile devices.
>>> MAUITIME PUBLISHER TOMMY RUSSO ASSAULTED BY MPD: On the evening of April 12, I was assaulted by a member of reality star Duane Chapman aka Dog the Bounty Hunter’s security team. Soon after, I was assaulted again, and had my First Amendment rights violated, by a member of the Maui Police Department… (via mauitime.com & mauifeed.com)
>>> MAUITIME PUBLISHER VIDEOTAPES HIS OWN ASSAULT BY POLICE: Russo was harassed by both Chapman’s people and the police for shooting video, which he has posted to YouTube. The video clearly shows the police officer getting angry and jabbing at Russon after Russo turned the camera on him… (via altweeklies.com)
>>> MAUI POLICE DEPARTMENT TARGETS MAUITIME’S ONLINE COMMENTERS: If you’ve recently left a comment on MauiTime’s Web site, your personal information could soon be in the hands of the Maui Police Department. Last week, MPD and the county prosecutor’s office issued a subpoena ordering the release of Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses for all comments left at mauitime.com during a specified 24-hour period… (via mauitime.com & mauifeed.com)
>>> PUBLISHER’S NOTE: MAUITIME WILL FIGHT THE MAUI POLICE DEPARTMENT SUBPOENA, DEFEND FREE SPEECH: First and foremost, I want to assure MauiTime readers and the community at large that we plan to fight this subpoena, protect the identities and First Amendment rights of our online commenters and uphold the Constitutional guarantee of a free press… (via mauitime.com & mauifeed.com)
>>> MAUITIME ORDERED TO GIVE UP USER INFORMATION: The Maui Police Department has issued a subpoena to obtain the IP addresses of Maui Time web commenters, citing the terroristic threatening of one of its officers. The comment in question was left in response to an April 14 blog post in which… (via altweeklies.com)