Triller’s Suit Against Podcasters Over “Troll” Reviews Tossed by Judge – The Hollywood Reporter

The legal dispute between Ryan Kavanaugh and the husband-wife podcast duo hasn’t ended, but a Los Angeles judge has found that his social video platform Triller cannot follow through on allegations that it directed fans to lower ratings for the app by thousands of “troll” ratings.

The legal battle began in May 2021 when Trailer sued Ethan and Hela Klein alleging that they pirated copyrighted Triller Fight Club material on the H3 Podcast — a match between influencer-turned-boxer Jake Paul and MMA fighter Ben Screenin. This triggered a “war” off the field, according to Triller, as part of “Cleans instructed their rabid fans – known as the “Pedestrians” to leave negative reviews for the Triller app on Apple and Google Play stores and promote this “illegal plot” in a series of clips. Podcast video on YouTube and on other sites like Reddit.

In July Trailer sued Klein alleging interference with existing and potential economic ties, and Kavanaugh separately in November sued the two for defamation.

Clynes in September made a special motion to strike out Trailer’s complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP law, which puts an early end to frivolous lawsuits arising from the exercise of free speech in a public interest case. They argued that Kavanaugh was abusing the judicial system to “harass, punish, and silence them.”

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Helen Zukin on Wednesday sided with the defendants, agreeing to their request and denying Triller’s request to amend her complaint. (Read the full verdict below).

Zukin found the Internet to be an “electronic bulletin board open to billions of people around the world,” and as publicly accessible websites, YouTube and Reddit qualify as public forums. She notes that the comments in question are “related to the user experience of the Triller app,” which has been downloaded by millions and has been the subject of significant press coverage and is therefore of public interest.

Regarding the merits of Triller’s allegations, Zukin found that Triller failed to indicate a specific contractual relationship that was disrupted by the alleged conduct and did not prove any wrongful acts to further the underlying allegations of defamation and incitement.

“The plaintiff provided evidence that negative reviews were left in the Apple and Google app stores using language similar to the disputed podcast to demonstrate that the defendants directed their fans to commit wrongful conduct. However, this evidence is insufficient to show the likelihood of success on the merits of incitement because, on the Although they provide evidence of negative reviews, they do not provide sufficient evidence to show that the defendant directed or validated the infringing activity,” Zukin argues. “The defendant states in the podcast that fans must not leave false reviews and condemns such behaviour. While the plaintiff argues that Mr. Klein’s behavior conveys something more sinister, the evidence presented does not show that Mr. Klein authorized or approved specific harmful activity.” .

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