Juror Has Tossed Triller's Suit Against Podcasters Over "Troll" Reviews
Ryan Kavanaugh's legal battle with a husband-wife podcasting duo has not concluded, but a judge has found that his social media platform can't pursue claims that they directed fans to tank the app's ratings via countless "troll" reviews.
The Kleins allegedly pirated Triller Fight Club's copyrighted content on their H3 podcast in May 2021, namely a match between influencer Jake Paul and MMA fighter Ben Askren. Those accusations "intruded their rabid fans known as 'foot soldiers'"
Triller sued the Kleins in July for allegedly limiting existing and future economic interactions, and separately Kavanaugh in November.
The Kleins defended Kavanaugh's company for violating California's anti-SLAPP law in September. It capped the frivolous litigation resulting from free speech in an public view.
Helen Zukin, a judge in the L.A. Superior Court, has been sided with the defendants on Wednesday, granting their motion and refusing Triller's request to rectify its complaint. (Read the full verdict below.)
Zukin acknowledges that the Internet is a "electronic bulletin board" open to thousands of people around the world. Public forums as publicly accessible websites, YouTube and Reddit are considered public forums. The comments are related to the Triller App's user experience, which has had millions of downloads and has been subject of extensive press coverage.
Zukin found Triller's negligence in connection with the alleged conduct and has not established any wrongful behavior in the defense of his claims.
According to Zukin, the prosecutor has provided evidence that Defendants directed their fans to commit wrongful conduct. That evidence is insufficient to show a likelihood of success on the merits of incitement, given that the evidence provided does not show that Mr. Klein authorized or ratified specific tortious activity.