Author Topic: California court: websites not liable for libel in third-party postings  (Read 2272 times)

Ron

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Regarding websites, and board - here is a recent court ruling in California...

Nov 20 6:15 PM US/Eastern

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Websites that publish inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The ruling in favour of free online expression was a victory for a San Diego woman who was sued by two doctors for posting an allegedly libelous e-mail on two websites.

Some of the Internet's biggest names, including Amazon.com, America Online Inc., EBay Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., took the defendant's side out of concern a ruling against her would expose them to liability.

In reversing an appellate court's decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides broad immunity from defamation lawsuits for people who publish information on the Internet that was gathered from another source.

"The prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications," Associate Justice Carol Corrigan wrote in the majority opinion. "Nevertheless ... statutory immunity serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation, as Congress intended."

Unless the U.S. Congress revises the existing law, people who claim they were defamed in an Internet posting can only seek damages from the original source of the statement, the court ruled.



24KT

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Re: California court: websites not liable for libel in third-party postings
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2006, 03:52:05 AM »
Sweet.

Does this mean things can go hog-wild now? All the crazies just escaped from the asylum.  ;D

Nope, ...it means that if someone reprints an article previously published by Reuters, Ron cannot be held liable as the originator of the content. You are still responsible for your own posts tho, ...and Ron is still responsibility to the extent that he participates in, facilitates, and/or enables the abuse or defamation.

ie: If Associated Press or Reuters says you are a poopy pants, Ron is OK. If I say you're a poopy pants, and you object, and I am unable to produce the messy fruit of the looms to back up what I say, then I'm in trouble, ...and possibly Ron if he permitted the liable to remain unchecked.
w

torquemada

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Re: California court: websites not liable for libel in third-party postings
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2006, 03:56:00 PM »
In other news, Ron breathes a deep sigh of relief... ;)