Colin, a 22-year-old man still in college, invents “Doors,” a brand new operating system that takes off as soon as he launches it. After just 8 months, it is estimated that Doors is installed on 5% of all computers worldwide. Colin makes over $10,000,000 based on his invention. The Daily Gazette publishes a feature article on Colin at this time. In the article, the author accuses Colin of having cheated on a political science examination during his second year of college. The Gazette cites an anonymous source who told the paper that Colin cheated on his exam. It turns out that the anonymous source was Colin′s roommate, Ralph. What the Gazette didn’t realize, however, is that Colin and Ralph had formerly been partners and that their breakup had been exceedingly bitter. In fact, Ralph had made up the entire story about Colin cheating and it was completely false. Colin sues the Gazette for defamation. The Gazette claims that Colin is a public figure and so Colin should have to show actual malice to win his case. Colin argues that he is not a public figure since all he did was invent and market a product. Please compose an essay addressing the following questions: 1) has Colin considered a public figure, for purposes of his defamation action? If so, to what extent should he be considered a public figure? 2) Please analyze, based partly on your answer to question 1, who should win the case and why. Please use appropriate legal citations in your essay. You may use any federal case law for this assignment.
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