Too Much Media Sues Woman Over Oprano Posts

Apr 22, 2009 3:30 PM PST
FREEHOLD, N.J. — Trial begins tomorrow in the case against a Washington state woman, who is accused of making false statements on message boards against Too Much Media, creators of the NATS affiliate-tracking software.

The case against Shellee Hale focuses on posts she made about Too Much Media on message boards over a 2007 security breach, Too Much Media attorney Joel N. Kreizman told XBIZ.

Hale’s posts alleged that breached Too Much Media data could have given hackers access to names and addresses of account holders, which the company denies.

“The posts were published on Oprano and other message boards,” Kreizman told XBIZ. “The statements she made were without any basis in fact and without any concern for the truth.”

Company owners John Albright and Charles Berrebbi said the postings, which included allegations they had threatened Hale's life, amount to libel against them and Too Much Media.

They want Hale to reveal her sources and pay punitive damages for harming Too Much Media’s reputation.

Hale, in the case to be heard Thursday at Monmouth County Superior Court, will defend her actions under the state’s shield laws that protect journalists, according to her attorney, Jeffrey Pollock.

Shield laws generally protects working journalists from revealing their sources except in the case of a crime.

But in this instance, Hale is considered a blogger. She writes four blogs and has been writing on Internet security issues for five years, contributing to such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week.

Kreizman said he was skeptical of Hale’s claim that shield laws apply in this case.

“I’m not sure how this will play out in front of the judge,” he said.

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