Saturday, May 28, 2016

"eBay founder backing Gawker’s appeal of Hulk sex tape verdict"

From the New York Post:

Two Silicon Valley billionaires with a history of bad blood are squaring off over Gawker.
Pierre Omidyar, an eBay co-founder, is leading the charge to support Gawker in its appeal of a $140 million judgment awarded to Hulk Hogan, whose lawsuit was bankrolled by rival billionaire and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, The Post has learned.

Omidyar’s First Look Media, the online news venture that includes The Intercept, is reaching out to other media organizations to file friend-of-the-court briefs in support of Nick Denton’s Gawker, which could be bankrupted by the Hogan judgment.

“First Look Media is looking into organizing amicus support for Gawker in its legal fight and appeal against Hulk Hogan,” Lynn Oberlander, First Look’s general counsel, exclusively told The Post.
By filing the amicus briefs in support of Gawker, First Look could effectively elevate the trial into a First Amendment rights case by pitting Thiel against dozens of media organizations — many of which are owned by other billionaires.

First Look has expressed support before for Gawker, but that was before Thiel’s involvement in the case was revealed this week in a Forbes story. Now there is renewed interest on Omidyar’s part, sources said.

The history between the two billionaires goes back more than a decade, when Omidyar’s eBay first purchased PayPal, which Thiel co-founded with Elon Musk, the Tesla Motors entrepreneur....MORE
We haven't yet posted Denton's open letter to Thiel which reads as though Denton has lost it, nor have we posted any of the erudite commentary floating around on press freedom, billionaire plutocrat psychology and differences between libel and invasion of privacy claims in U.S. law.
Stay tuned.
For Sale: 1 Gawker Media With Attached Lawsuit Judgement