Yelp Ruling A Win For Anonymity Despite Dodging Key Issue

Law360, New York (April 16, 2015, 8:54 PM EDT) -- The Virginia Supreme Court ducked the key issue Thursday in a closely watched case about how much the First Amendment shields the identities of anonymous online critics, but the ruling should still give some comfort to online review sites like Yelp that don't want to turn over their users.

What most court watchers were hoping for was a detailed ruling on the delicate balance between the free speech rights of anonymous Internet users and the rights of businesses to go after those who defame them online — a balance tested recently by a unique Virginia statute and a controversial ruling applying...

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