EFF is defending the First Amendment rights of a citizen-journalist to link from a public "wiki" to electronic copies of damaging internal Eli Lilly documents relating to the controversial prescription drug Zyprexa.
EFF's client an anonymous citizen-journalist posted the links on the wiki located at http://zyprexa.pbwiki.com.. Eli Lilly complained and Judge Weinstein issued his order on January 4. Nonparties in the litigation have the right to link to publicly important information and EFF has challenged this order as an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech in violation of the First Amendment.
Preventing a citizen-journalist from posting links to important health information on a public wiki violates the First Amendment. Eli Lilly's efforts to censor these documents off the Internet are particularly outrageous in light of the information reported by The New York Times which suggests that doctors and patients who use Zyprexa need to know the information contained in those documents.
According to The New York Times reports the Eli Lilly documents show that the company intentionally downplayed the drug's side effects including weight gain high blood sugar and diabetes and marketed the drug for "off-label" uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The documents were leaked from the ongoing Zyprexa products liability lawsuit where Weinstein is the presiding judge.
Copies of the leaked Eli Lilly documents have appeared on a variety of websites and other Internet sources. The links to the documents that were posted on the wiki at http://zyprexa.pbwiki.com were part of extensive in-depth analysis from a number of citizen journalists. A wiki is a website that allows many users to collaborate on its content creating a kind of simple database for collecting information -- in this case about the controversy surrounding Zyprexa.
Zyprexa is Eli Lilly's best selling drug used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Eli Lilly reently agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle claims relating to Zyprexa. This latest settlement brings the total paid by Eli Lilly to resolve lawsuits involving Zyprexa to more than $1.2 billion.
Outcome:Court held that its injunction was unenforceable allowing John Doe journalists to continue to post the documents.