No Free-Speech Shield for ‘Kimye’ Video Poster

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Former YouTube CEO Chad Hurley couldn’t persuade an appeals court panel to revive his free speech defense against Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in a legal wrangle over a video posting of their engagement party.
     West and Kardashian say Hurley crashed a private event at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Oct. 21, 2013 and posted footage to his video-sharing app MixBit of West’s marriage proposal.
     Hurley congratulated Kardashian and West with posts to their Twitter accounts and a link to his video on MixBit. The video got more than 1.5 million hits.
     Days later, Kardashian and West named Hurley and his tech company AVOS Systems in a state court suit for damages. The celebrity plaintiffs claim that Hurley had signed a confidentiality agreement agreeing not to publish or post any images of the party.
     In March 2014, Superior Court Judge Ruth Ann Kwan refused to strike the complaint under California’s anti-SLAPP law.
     That ruling was affirmed in an 11-page unpublished opinion written by Presiding Judge Tricia Bigelow, who found that on first impression the couple had established a likelihood of prevailing on their claims.
     While Hurley satisfied the first prong of California’s anti-SLAPP law by making clear the activity was protected free speech, he failed to show that West’s and Kardashian’s claims are legally insufficient or unsupported by the evidence, the judge said.
     “Respondents have met their burden to show a probability of prevailing by presenting a prima facie claim for breach of contract, fraud, and unjust enrichment,” Bigelow wrote.
     Judges Laurence Rubin and Judge Madeleine Flier joined the unanimous decision of the Second Appellate District court in California.

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