March 10, 2000 03:15pm
Entertainment Network Inc. Says VoyeurDorm.com(TM); Depositions Will Become VoyeurCourt.com(TM)
by: Company Press Release
(TAMPA, FL) -- A federal court magistrate today authorized the operator of VoyeurDorm.com to videotape sworn depositions in its court battle against the City of Tampa. The company intends to play them on its VoyeurCourt.com Internet site.
The city has tried to shut down the dorm where cameras linked to the Web follow the lives of seven college-age women as they shower, sleep, study and party. The ensuing legal battle has turned into a major test case of Internet freedom as attorneys for the city fight the move to videotape the depositions.
In an emergency telephone hearing today, Magistrate Judge Mary S. Scriven granted motions by attorneys Mark Dolan and Luke Lirot on behalf of Entertainment Network, Inc. to allow taping of the depositions, which are being taken in preparation for a court case scheduled for December.
The city contends the Website violates zoning ordinances against an ``adult'' business in a residential neighborhood. Entertainment Network denied that VoyeurDorm is an adult business, and brought suit against the city for trying to enforce zoning regulations it contends are irrelevant because they never envisioned today's cyberworld in which no customers actually come to the dorm premises.
``The public has an absolute right to view these newsworthy depositions and to see how ridiculous it is for a government to try to make further intrusions into the private home lives of citizens,'' said Dave Marshlack, President of Entertainment Network. Marshlack was deposed today, and upcoming depositions are scheduled for Mayor Dick Greco, councilman Bob Buckhorn, an undercover police officer who tried to arrest VoyeurDorm residents, and several of the residents. There will be no charge to watch the depositions on VoyeurCourt.com, which will make them fully available to other news media.
Attorney Jerry Gewirtz, representing the city, tried unsuccessfully to block the videotaping. It was the second legal setback in a month for the city. On February 17, U.S. District Court Judge Susan C. Bucklew rejected an attempt by the city to dismiss the suit.
Entertainment Network, Inc., based in Tampa with international operations, is a leading supplier of content for the Internet. In addition to websites that reach consumers directly, Entertainment Network acts as a wholesaler by creating live streaming content and by hosting sites for entrepreneurs and organizations.
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