Communications Decency Act

News & Analysis as of

For the Time Being, Tech Companies Remain Shielded from Liability for Users’ Uploaded Content

Thanks to recent decisions by the First and Second Circuit Courts of Appeals, tech companies will remain protected from liability for some of their users’ uploaded content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and...more

2016: Our Greatest Hits

Last year we explained how companies could protect their social media currency and heed the FTC’s warning on native advertising. We examined court opinions establishing the criteria for enforceable website terms of use and...more

Personal and Corporate Reputation: Five Lessons from 2016

On November 19, 2014, Sabrina Erdely’s Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus: A Brutal Assault and Struggle for Justice at UVA” went viral. The article depicted the violent gang rape of a University of Virginia student...more

The Decline and Fall of Section 230?

2016 has been a tough year for a lot of reasons, most of which are outside the scope of this blog (though if you’d like to hear our thoughts about Bowie, Prince or Leonard Cohen, feel free to drop us a line). But one possible...more

Airbnb Takes More Conciliatory Approach Following Adverse Ruling

In a blow not only to Airbnb but to supporters of the Communications Decency Act generally, on November 8, 2016, a federal judge rejected Airbnb’s bid for a preliminary injunction enjoining the City and County of San...more

Facebook Fake News Problem May Impact Businesses Operating Open Web Sites

Recent criticisms lobbed at Facebook for fake news stories on its platform that allegedly tipped the election in Donald Trump’s favor may spell trouble for businesses operating open websites where users can post content. ...more

In a Rough Year for CDA §230, Manchanda v. Google Provides Comfort to Website Operators

As we noted in our recent post on the Ninth Circuit case Kimzey v. Yelp! Inc., in the right circumstances, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) still provides robust protection against liability for website...more

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Section 230 Protections

Information Counts. That’s the title of this blog. And it’s an indisputable fact. Information is – and has been for at least 20 years – the currency of our economy, providing consumers, regulators and the general public...more

Facebook Implements Additional Measures to Prevent Discriminatory Practices in Targeted Advertisements

Responding to news reports that journalists were able to purchase advertising on Facebook targeted to ethnic groups, Facebook announced several new changes to the company’s advertising products. The move highlights heightened...more

Yelp Case Shows CDA §230 Still Has Teeth

2016 has been a challenging year for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the website operators who depend on it for protection against liability stemming from user-generated content. An unusually large...more

Gawker Remains in the Crosshairs: Seventh Circuit Finds that Online Media Publisher Can Be Liable for Defamatory Third-Party User...

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently kept alive one of the multitude of legal entanglements ensnaring Gawker Media LLC, as the Court reversed and remanded a lower court’s decision to dismiss a plaintiff’s defamation...more

The Future of Airbnb in New York

One of the most controversial and popular topics in real estate today involves Airbnb, the online home rental service, and the concept of transient rentals. In New York City, Airbnb’s largest market in the United States, this...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Yelp Is Not Responsible for Bad Reviews

The Ninth Circuit recently reaffirmed the protection afforded to website providers and users under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In that case, a locksmith sued Yelp over a bad review and one-star rating that...more

Short-Term Rentals Fight Flares Up Nationwide

In recent months, cities across the nation have been implementing legislation aimed at regulating and restricting short-term rentals. The affected companies, namely Airbnb, have responded with lawsuits. The dispute has played...more

Yelp Cannot Be Held Liable for Negative Review

Retailers are familiar with Yelp.com as a ratings website with a star rating system that allows customers to rate products and services they receive, as well as add individual reviews and comments. Positive reviews can...more

Locksmith Locked Out By Communications Decency Act

The Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) provides broad immunity for “providers of interactive computer services.” In essence, if an internet service provider falls within certain parameters, it is entitled to immunity against...more

No Protection for Network Marketing Provider That Had Knowledge and Authority to Control Deceptive Conduct of Affiliates

In Federal Trade Commission v. LeadClick Media, LLC, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17383 (2nd Cir. 2016), the Second Circuit recently held that an affiliate marketing network provider could be subjected to liability under the Federal...more

When It Comes to Liability, Whose User Generated Content Is It Anyway?

Hospitality industry stakeholders who host sites for online reviews or rely on review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, or Oyster, may take comfort in the recent Ninth Circuit decision regarding the liability of...more

Liability under CDA Section 230? Recent Lawsuit Tries to Flip the Script against Social Media Service

Title V of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, also known as the “Communications Decency Act of 1996” or “CDA” was signed into law in Feburary 1996. The goal of the CDA was to control the exposure of minors to indecent...more

Litigation Alert: The Ninth Circuit Limits Immunity From Negligent Failure To Warn Cases Under The Communications Decency Act

Last week, the Ninth Circuit limited the ability of websites and online services to use Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to shield themselves from failure to warn lawsuits arising out of the offline conduct...more

Five on Friday – Five Recent Developments that We’ve Been Watching Closely: August 2016 #2

It’s Friday and time for another overview of developments in the field of business and human rights that we’ve been monitoring....more

Controversial California Court Decision Significantly Narrows a Crucial Liability Safe Harbor for Website Operators

A recent California court decision involving Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is creating considerable concern among social media companies and other website operators....more

TCPA Connect - August 2016

FCC Issues Report and Order on Budget Act Exemptions - On August 11, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Report and Order implementing Section 301 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which amended the...more

Airbnb Sues Anaheim Over Law That Makes Website Liable for Illegal Short Term Rentals

Airbnb recently filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Anaheim over a new law that penalizes short-term rental sites like Airbnb for hosting listings that violate the City’s rental regulations. The new law, which went...more

Non-Party Yelp Ordered to Remove Defamatory Reviews

In 2012, attorney Dawn Hassell represented Ava Bird for a period of 25 days related to a personal injury she suffered. Bird expressed dissatisfaction with the representation and Hassell withdrew from the representation....more

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