Poor Koch brothers! They’re not used to people saying no to them:
WICHITA | A federal judge on Monday sided with environmental pranksters behind a media hoax targeting Koch Industries Inc., upholding First Amendment protections for anonymous political speech on the Internet.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball in Utah tossed out a lawsuit filed by Koch Industries stemming from a bogus website and fake news release issued in December that falsely announced that the Wichita-based company was changing its financial commitments on climate change to fund more environmentally friendly groups. Koch’s lawsuit had sought monetary damages as well as the identities of the pranksters.
Kimball also issued an order prohibiting Koch — one of the nation’s largest privately held companies — from using any identifying information it may have already obtained from an earlier subpoena on the company that had unwittingly hosted the fake website for a few hours before it was taken down.
“Before authorizing subpoenas seeking to strip speakers of their First Amendment right to anonymity, courts require plaintiffs to make a preliminary showing that their complaint has merit,” the judge wrote.