Monday, August 12, 2013

Fraud is not a first amendment right

Lance Armstrong lied in his memoirs about his use of performance-enhancing drug. Some buyers in California are suing for fraud, claiming that they'd not have purchased the book had they known it was fictional (or not purely non-fiction / not clearly indicating what was and what not true). Somewhat predictably, the publishers are pretending that this is a first amendment issue.

They are, of course, full of it. The right to make a false claim is not in dispute. Fiction is constitutionally protected. So is non-fiction. Fraud, however, is not. If I offer to sell you X and deliver Y, then I am committing fraud; that is illegal. I do get to claim that my lie was protected speech, and in fact it is protected speech in the sense that I get to say it, but that does not mean that I am magically immune to the consequences of committing fraud.

Lance Armstrong has every right to lie about what he has done. He does not, however, have the right to sell those stories with the claim that they are true, no more than you can market a product as containing a particular ingredient when it in fact does not. The Bill of Rights is not a license to throw integrity out the window.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Quantum Binary Signals

Professional trading signals sent to your mobile phone every day.

Start following our signals NOW and earn up to 270% daily.