Should Access to Hedge Fund Websites be Limited to the Rich?

Freedom of speech is under assault in Massachusetts, says Phillip Goldstein of Bulldog Investors.

Bulldog Investors is seeking people and organizations to “sign on” to the attached “friend of the court” brief in appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court of a lawsuit challenging the government’s paternalistic prohibition on communications by hedge fund managers with anyone who is not an accredited, i.e., wealthy investor.  They lost in the lower court which ruled that prohibiting hedge fund managers from communicating with anyone other than accredited investors serves as an incentive to register their funds, and as such, does not violate the First Amendment. The attached amicus brief was written by Lee Tien of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

They welcome amicus support from anyone that would like to access hedge fund websites without the need to prove that he or she is eligible to invest in a hedge fund.  They are not asking that unaccredited investors be permitted to invest in hedge funds but they believe everyone – regardless of one’s net worth — has an unconditional right to access hedge fund websites and read about hedge funds. In this case, the government has stipulated that the information on their website that is currently inaccessible to the public is not misleading and does not concern an illegal securities transaction.  In short, there is nothing funky about the factual record.

To support the contention by Bulldog Investors that there are legitimate reasons someone might wish to access a hedge fund website other than to make an investment in the fund, they are seeking amici that have a legitimate need to access hedge fund websites.  For example:

  • Journalists and News Organizations
  • Academic Researchers
  • Students
  • Potential Service Providers (accountants, lawyers, administrators, research providers, technical support, etc.) to hedge funds
  • Potential Employees of hedge funds
  • Anyone Else who would like to view a hedge fund website but who is not contemplating making an investment in the fund

If you would like to lend you name or that of your organization to the attached DRAFT amicus brief – or know someone or some organization that might wish to do so, please send Phillip Goldstein your name and affiliation and a brief description of your interest in this matter, i.e., why you would like the freedom to access hedge fund websites without proving you are rich.

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