art of living

The Art of Living Foundation is a volunteer-based non-governmental organization that has centers in 156 countries. Its founder, Ravi Shankar, began the organization in 1981. Now, it has more than a hundred thousand members. Its mission is to spread spirituality through the practice of yoga, meditation, and other holistic practices.

Defendants’ statements are “of and concerning” Ravi Shankar

Defendants’ statements are “of or concerning” Ravi Shankar, who is a Hindu spiritual teacher. In the complaint, the plaintiff claims that the defendants published statements that were defamatory, published trade secrets, and infringed copyrighted materials. The defendants have moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a defamation or trade libel claim.

The Ninth Circuit held that Plaintiff’s allegations of “defamatory statements” are insufficient to qualify as a reasonable implication of fact. It found that Plaintiff failed to establish any secret aspects of the teaching manuals or lessons. It also held that the alleged secret aspects of the techniques and teachings are not sufficiently particularized to be protected as trade secrets. It further held that Plaintiff’s biographical information about Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living Foundation does not qualify as a trade secret.

Plaintiff’s statements are too loose to be interpreted as assertions of fact

In some cases, the plaintiff’s statements are too loose to be construed as assertions of fact, but this doesn’t mean that they cannot be true. For example, a newsletter may say that a certain product will work “perfectly for people with clumsy knees,” but that could also be misconstrued as implying a completely different result.

The defendant’s statements may convey the impression that plaintiff identifies with a certain character, but these statements are not enough to support a claim of liability. The statements are simply personal opinions, and cannot be proven to be true or false.

Courts protect speakers whose statements cannot reasonably be interpreted as assertions of fact

In recent years, courts have increasingly found that the First Amendment protects speakers whose statements cannot be reasonably interpreted as assertions of fact. One such case was Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., where the court found that the sports columnist’s opinion was protected speech.

Plaintiff’s statements are too hyperbolic to be interpreted as assertions of fact

The first step to determining liability for hyperbole is to determine whether the statements at issue are true or false. The statement at issue cannot be merely an opinion, because its context may create an impression. A plaintiff may be libel-proof if his statements are based on facts, but that may not be the case here.

A court must also consider the audience for the statement. The statement in question is too hyperbolic for a reasonable reader to take as fact. The average reader would not read the statement as an opinion unless it was printed in an opinion-page newspaper. In addition, a court cannot consider isolated words or parts of a statement as an assertion of fact. Instead, a plaintiff must argue that a statement is too hyperbolic to be interpreted as an assertion of fact if the court is not able to read its context in its entirety.

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