Communications Decency Act

News & Analysis as of

Yelp Cannot Be Held Liable for Negative Review

Retailers are familiar with 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

Airbnb Files Suit to Enjoin San Francisco Law

As expected, Airbnb filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday seeking to enjoin the recently enacted amendments to the City’s so-called “Airbnb law.” The suit seeks to strike...more

A Little “Mayhem” Reveals Limits to Immunity Provision of Communications Decency Act

As a general rule, a website is not held liable for the content its users post on its platform. The Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunizes websites from lawsuits by not treating the website as the publisher or speaker of...more

Rejecting First Amendment And Communications Decency Act Arguments, California Appellate Court Affirms Order Requiring Non-Party...

In a published decision filed on June 7, 2016 in Dawn Hassell v. Ava Bird, Case No. A143233, the Court of Appeals for the State of California, First Appellate District, determined that the trial court’s order requiring Yelp...more

SF Supes Vote to Violate Communications Decency Act with Amendment to Airbnb Law

On June 7, 2016, which also happens to be primary day in California, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend the City’s Residential Unit Conversion Ordinance (the so-called Airbnb Law) to require...more

Pitfalls in Managing Online Reputations

Whether you represent sports stars and high-profile entertainers, or hometown doctors, architects, and restaurateurs, you have almost certainly gotten calls in the past several years asking for your help in dealing with...more

New York Court Dismisses Defamation Suit Under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 2, 2016, the New York Supreme Court for the County of Westchester granted defendant Seeking Alpha, Inc.’s motion to dismiss plaintiff Mark Nordlicht’s (“Plaintiff”) defamation complaint in the case styled as Nordlicht...more

Lessons from eMerge: The Communication Decency Act, A Tool Against Cyberbullying

The 3rd annual eMerge conference hosted a list of speakers as diverse as Miami. Among them, Colin Powell, Tony Hawk, Pitbull, and Monica Lewinsky. Just last year, Ms. Lewinsky broke her public silence when she gave a...more

The First Circuit’s “Scungy” Backpage: Copyright And Right Of Publicity Claims Ineffective Against Sex Trafficking

In Doe v., the First Circuit affirmed the District of Massachusetts in holding that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) shields from civil liability a website used by third parties to facilitate...more

How to Protect Your Company’s Social Media Currency

Today’s companies compete not only for dollars but also for likes, followers, views, tweets, comments and shares. “Social currency,” as some researchers call it, is becoming increasingly important and companies are investing...more

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Lawsuit Against, Confirms Broad Scope of Section 230 Immunity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit this week delivered a resounding victory for websites dependent on a federal immunity from claims based on content posted by third parties. Broadly interpreting Section 230 of...more

First Circuit: CDA Bars Action Claiming Websites Facilitated Sex Trafficking - Communications Decency Act Immunizes Websites for...

In affirming the dismissal of an action seeking damages under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected "end run" arguments from the...more

Defamation: Internet Crisis Control

Arriving at his warehouse last week Knott Faire, owner of Faire Carpet Cleaning, discovered yet another complaining critique posted on WELP: “Lots of hype, a mediocre cleaning and a hassle at the end. Don’t get tied up with...more

Social Gatherings and Social Media this Holiday Season – What's Not to "Like"?

According to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, almost 90% of employers throw a holiday party. Taking into account holiday parties hosted by employees for co-workers, there is a very good chance your...more

Online Negativity: How to Fight Back

The internet is a powerful channel for communication, with great strengths compared to other media. It has been referred to as the "largest public space in human history”. Internet communications can reach an unlimited...more

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