FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
UNION OF GEORGIA, et al., )
Plaintiffs, ) CIVIL ACTION
) FILE NO. _______
ZELL MILLER, in his official )
capacity as Governor of the )
State of Georgia, et al. )
County of Cherokee )
State of Georgia )
1. My name is Josh Riley. The facts set forth in this declaration are based upon my personal knowledge.
2. I am a resident of Canton, Georgia, and am self employed as a real estate consultant. In addition to providing corporate consultation services, I provide residential real estate brokerage services for a real estate brokerage company called Property Systems Real Estate in Atlanta. I operate the brokerage aspect of my business as a sole proprietorship, providing real estate brokerage services (buyer representation and listing services) to people who want to buy or sell real estate in the Atlanta area. I work with both local individuals and out of town residents relocating to Atlanta. I also recruit new real estate agents to work for Property Systems
3. In connection with my real estate business, I operate a real estate-related Internet web site that can be accessed at http://www.mindspring.com/~relocate. I use this site as a means of marketing my services as a real estate agent, providing information, for example, about my services and about property listings I have available. I also allow viewers of the web site to complete a form describing the type of property they are looking for in the Atlanta area, and I use the information to search the Multiple Listing services to try to find properties that meet the requesting viewer's needs. This web site has generated several closings, both for me and for other agents to whom I have referred inquiries.
4. Among other things, I publish in my real estate web page an extensive list of "Other Links" to Atlanta and Georgia web sites I think may be helpful to people planning to move to the Atlanta area. The links are published as a service to potential customers, and to anyone else who may be interested. The sites I provide links to include the web sites for things like cultural institutions in the Atlanta area, banks, churches, employment and business resources, and tourist information. For several of this links, I use the trade names of the institutions or organizations to whose web sites I provide these links. I have not requested permission to use these trade names, and do not intend to falsely imply that I have, but I cannot tell whether my use of these links creates a false impression that I have obtained permission. I therefore cannot tell whether my use of these trade names is prohibited by the new Georgia law at issue in this lawsuit, and I am concerned that my web page may violate the law and subject me to a risk of prosecution.
4. In addition to my real estate web page, I operate two Internet "domains," or locations on the World Wide Web. The first of these is "www.worship.com," which is home to several web sites I have developed and maintain for churches and ministries in the Atlanta area. I provide this Internet access to these ministries at a reduced cost, in effect sponsoring their activities by helping them to inexpensively publish their web pages as a part of their ministry activities. These include, for example, a web page for the First Baptist Atlanta/North Campus, Single Adult Ministry, which can be accessed at http://www.worship.com/fbca, and the North Point Community Church, which can be accessed at http://www.worship.com/npcc. The pages also include extensive links to related Christian ministry resources on the Internet, including organizations like Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council, and Contemporary Christian Music Magazine.
5. The second domain I operate on the World Wide Web is "www.blackbaseball.com," through which I publish a variety of information relating to the Negro Baseball Leagues, which flourished in the early part of this century when African-Americans were barred from participating in the major leagues. This web page has been very popular and has won awards as an outstanding Internet resource on this topic. My father James Riley, who is Director of Research at the Negro Baseball Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, is an author/historian on this subject and provides the content for this web page. I provide the Internet access and publish and maintain the web page. Among other thing, the page provides several links to other resources on the Negro Baseball Leagues and related baseball topics.
6. As in the case of my real estate page, these other web pages I develop and maintain have caused me concern about the possibility that my web publishing activities may violate the new Georgia law. I use both trade names and, in some cases, the logos or trademarks of other corporations or organizations in these web pages. For example, the Negro Baseball League web page refers to the premiere of "Soul of the Game," a made-for-cable movie being broadcast on HBO (Home Box Office), and in this context uses the HBO logo in urging viewers to look for the movie. As in the case of my real estate page, I have not requested permission to use these trade names or logos, and do not intend to falsely imply that I have, but I cannot tell whether my use of these links creates a false impression that I have obtained permission. I therefore cannot tell whether my use of these trade names is prohibited by the new Georgia law at issue in this lawsuit, and I am afraid that my web pages may violate the law and subject me to a risk of prosecution.
7. In addition to using the Internet, my business has membership accounts with the commercial online services America Online and Prodigy. I have several "screen names" that I use on America Online, only one of which has my real name in it. I use other screen names for participating in America Online chat sessions, as a means of generating and conducting business. I have also participated in chat room discussions on Prodigy, again, using a name that does not reveal my actual identity. Sometimes, I use these names to engage in chat room conversations about real estate issues or other topics, in which case I almost always use a name that preserves my anonymity by hiding my actual identity. I have contributed comments in real estate and political forums under screen names that do not reveal my identity, because some of my political views may generate hostile reactions from unstable individuals who may seek retribution. I would not be comfortable expressing these potentially controversial viewpoints in a public forum like America Online or Prodigy real estate chat groups or discussion groups if I had to reveal my identity to do it. In addition, I have found that it is not unusual on America Online or Prodigy to receive offensive messages from other users of the service, and I do not wish for these people to be able to find me and deliver these types of messages to me in person or over the telephone.
8. I am concerned that these "screen names" I use on America Online or Prodigy to protect my privacy may "falsely identify" me and may therefore now be illegal under the new Georgia law. As a result, I am forced to choose between using these screen names to protect my privacy when I communicate on America Online or Prodigy (and risking prosecution under the law), or simply refraining from using America Online or Prodigy to engage in the types of communications described above. Because of the passage of the law, I am uncertain as to whether I will continue to use these screen names for communicating online through these commercial services in this way in the future.
I, Josh Riley, declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed this ______ day of ____________, 1996.