Seventh Circuit Upholds CDA Immunity for Craigslist - But What Is The Impact, If Any, On Roommate.com?

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On March 14, 2007, the Seventh Circuit issued an important decision regarding the scope of the safe haven under the Communications Decency Act (?CDA?) for internet service providers against liability for information created and provided by third parties. In Chicago Lawyers? Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Inc. v. Craigslist, Inc., the Court unanimously held that Craigslist was entitled to CDA immunity for discriminatory third-party housing notices that were posted on its online classified website because Craigslist was not a ?publisher or speaker? of the postings, nor did it ?cause? the postings to be made. This decision represents an important win for internet service providers who provide a forum for third-party online postings. Moreover, it could influence the Ninth Circuit as it considers the pending, much-publicized case of Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommate.com ? a case that could significantly impact the extent to which online service providers can claim immunity for information created and provided by web site users.

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