PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

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Does the Roomates.com Case Affect CDA § 230 Immunity for JuicyCampus?

Juicy Campus

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (en banc) has just issued a very interesting opinion interpreting a federal law providing immunity from liability for online speech — the Communications Decency Act (CDA), 47 U.S.C. § 230. The case is Fair Housing Council v. Roommates.com, LLC, 2008 WL 879293 (9th Cir. April 3, 2008) (en banc).

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Can the TB Patient Be Sued?

Gavel

I’ve been pondering whether the TB patient with the rare hard-to-treat form of the disease who flew on so many flights can be sued by those other passengers whom he may have exposed to the illness. From the New York Times:

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Barrett v. Rosenthal: Blogger Immunity for Defamatory Comments

Blogger

Recently, in Barrett v. Rosenthal, the California Supreme Court held, similar to most courts addressing the issue, that bloggers are immune from being sued for “distributor” liability under defamation law. Under defamation law, the original speaker of a defamatory statement (a false statement that harms a person’s reputation) is liable. A “distributor,” one who further disseminates a falsehood spoken by another and who “knows or should have known” about the defamatory nature of a statement, is also liable. A federal law, 47 U.S.C. § 230, however, provides: “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Most courts have interpreted § 230 to immunize the operators of websites or blogs against distributor liability for comments posted by others.

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