Communications Decency Act

News & Analysis as of

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

Blogger Immune From Suit for Anonymous Comments

A Pennsylvania judge in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas ruled that the defendant blogger was not liable for anonymous posts in the “comments” section of his website, despite his active moderation of these posts....more

Second Circuit Joins Chorus In Favor Of CDA Immunity

In Ricci v. GoDaddy.com, the United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a dismissal of defamation claims against GoDaddy.com, a website host, invoking the immunity and preemption provisions of the...more

Copyright Law and the Fight Against Revenge Porn: Q&A With David Bateman of the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project

In-depth Q&A with attorney David A. Bateman about the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project, which Bateman co-founded last year with K&L Gates colleague Elisa J. D'Amico to help victims of revenge porn. We wanted to learn...more

A Winnable Fight Against Crimes In Cyberspace

California boldly made an example out of a felonious website owner who operated a website dedicated to shaming, embarrassing and harassing complete strangers. Following the first ever prosecution of the operator of a “revenge...more

Ninth Circuit: CDA Does Not Bar Claims for Failure to Warn

Reversing the dismissal of a negligent failure to warn action, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals carved out a key exception to the immunity afforded to website operators under the Communications Decency Act (CDA)....more

Are Non-Disparagement Clauses a Good Idea?

Creatively, some physicians have been turning to non-disparagement clauses within confidentiality agreements as a way to prevent patients and potential patients from posting negative online reviews....more

Sue-per Bowl Shuffle 2014: The Year in NFL-Related Intellectual Property Litigation

Heading into this year’s Super Bowl party season, there are two things every lawyer should be concerned about. First, why can’t your team get it together? Second, what do you do if you are asked to explain to your friends and...more

Advertising Law - December 2014

SPECIAL FOCUS: Adding You to My Professional Network Emails May End Up Being Costly for LinkedIn as Publicity Rights Suit Moves Forward: A putative class action alleging that LinkedIn Corp. violated their right of...more

Waldman: Stop Immunizing Websites That Allow Harassment [Video]

Nov. 18, 2014 (Mimesis Law) -- Ari Waldman, Professor at New York Law School, talks with Lee Pacchia about the recent theft and online dissemination of intimate photos belonging to a number of celebrities such as Jennifer...more

California’s “Online Eraser” Law for Minors to Take Effect Jan. 1, 2015

On Jan. 1, 2015, California’s “Online Eraser” law will take effect, requiring websites and other online service operators to delete on demand any content posted by minors. The law also prohibits such operators from sharing...more

An Update On The Legal Implications Of User-Generated Content: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, And Instagram

Traditionally, media companies (as well as non-media companies) almost exclusively utilized their own content. However, because of the exponential growth in the public’s desire and ability to interconnect through social media...more

Section 230 Does Not Apply to Allegations that Website for Models Failed to Warn Plaintiff About Potential for Rape

The 9th Circuit earlier this month decided that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, does not bar claims that a networking website for models failed to warn a member that a third party might use the...more

The Celebrity Hacking Scandal and You: 3 Takeaways for Everyone

By now we all know a hacker accessed the personal iCloud accounts of dozens of A-list celebrities and leaked nude photos of stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, and Victoria Justice. The anonymous...more

The Celebrity Hacking Scandal and You: 3 Takeaways for Everyone

With little ability to undo the damage caused by an embarrassing data breach, nearly insurmountable obstacles preclude a civil/criminal prosecution, and a cloud service agreement rendering a contract action against the...more

Zelda Williams and Social Media Decency

Social media commentators can be feral. This is largely due to a psychological phenomenon known as the online disinhibition effect. The relative anonymity of social media communications, for some, opens the door for cruel and...more

Garcia v. Google, Inc.

Garcia v. Google, Inc. - USCA, Ninth Circuit, July 11, 2014: Ninth Circuit amends earlier opinion in which it reversed district court’s denial of injunction requiring removal from YouTube.com of anti-Islamic video,...more

Website Operator Not Liable for UGC; Also, Sun Rises in the East

Last month, the Sixth Circuit ruled that website operators are not liable for content provided by others (User Generated Content or UGC) because of Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act in the Jones v....more

Copyright As An Online Reputation Management Tool: A Round Hole For A Square Peg

So, how is copyright law doing as an online reputation management tool? We have written many times recently about the use of copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. A...more

Sixth Circuit Vacates Lower Court Judgment and Awards Website Operator Immunity

In August of 2013, this blog wrote about the case Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings, LLC, 965 F. Supp. 2d 818 (E.D. Ky. 2013) ("Jones I"). As described then, Jones I dealt with the following set of facts...more

Sixth Circuit Holds Website Cannot Be Liable for Postings, Reversing Lower Court

In an important decision issued today, the Sixth Circuit held that the operators of www.TheDirty.com could not be held liable for postings by third parties on the website. The decision reversed the decision of the Eastern...more

Sixth Circuit Reinforces CDA Immunity – Reverses Lower Court in Jones v. Dirty World

On June 16th, 2014, the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court’s holding that the gossip site, TheDirty.com, was responsible for its users’ defamatory posts and could not rely on immunity under CDA Section 230. The appeals...more

U.S. House Approves Law Targeting Sex Trafficking Ads, Threatens to Undermine Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014 (“SAVE Act”). If enacted, the bill would expose websites and other media to federal criminal penalties for...more

Communications Decency Act Forecloses Liability For “Amplifying,” “Endorsing” and “Adopting” Defamatory Statements With Hyperlink

Two weeks ago, in Vazquez v. Buhl, the Appeals Court of Connecticut affirmed dismissal of a defamation claim against CNBC for hyperlinking to an online report by journalist Teri Buhl. The Court held that, although CNBC...more

A “Dirty” Lawsuit: How a Sex Scandal Could Impact Online Defamation Law

A former high school teacher and NFL cheerleader sleeps with her student. She faces widespread scorn, including scathing Internet comments. Despite the scorn, she becomes engaged to the student....more

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