Year 2, Month 5, Day 20: Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha.

The Koch Brothers were pranked by “Youth For Climate Truth,” a low-budget Yes Men group which sent out some phony press releases in the name of Koch Industries a while back, claiming the Bircher billionaires had seen the light on climate change and were no longer going to fund denialism in the media. Ha ha. The Kochs then proceeded to sue YFCT. Ha ha.

The suit has now been laughed out of court
. Ha ha:

A federal judge in Utah on Monday tossed Koch Industries’s lawsuit against the pranksters who set up a fake website and sent out a bogus press release saying the company had found religion on climate change.

In a case being watched for First Amendment implications, Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City also said Koch can’t disclose the identities of the “Youth for Climate Truth” members or use any other information obtained via subpoena from two Utah-based domain hosting companies.

The ruling is a major one as courts navigate the intersection of the First Amendment with anonymous speech and computer hacking on the Internet. Koch’s claims included charges of trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting and breach of the company website’s terms of use.

Ha ha. Ha ha. Ha ha.

Sent May 9:

Koch Industries’ lawsuit against “Youth For Climate Truth” was a mother lode of irony. That one of the world’s most egregiously irresponsible corporations trotted out such massive legal firepower in response to a small group of internet pranksters suggests that these notorious tea-party funders and climate-change denialists are, perhaps, a wee bit sensitive about it. Well, Judge Kimball has laughed them out of court, and rightly so. “Youth For Climate Truth,” the online activists who tweaked the corporate titans with a phony press release, merit our thanks and applause. Given their huge role in delaying and derailing meaningful political action on climate change, the Kochs and their cronies in the fossil-fuel industry have perpetrated a grotesque practical joke on all the rest of us; the American public deserves a few laughs at their expense before the coming decades’ likely ecological collapse strips all humor from the situation.

Warren Senders

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