Communications Decency Act

News & Analysis as of

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

Antisocial Media - Union Not Liable For Threatening Facebook Posts

Imagine if you will, that a company-sponsored website allows employees to post comments. During the course of a union strike, an employee who chooses to cross the picket line posts a comment threatening to kill union members...more

Manipulating User Postings Removes Service Provider from CDA Immunity

As detailed on this blog before, the immunity from "publisher or speaker" liability for interactive computer service providers under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is broad and generally encompasses a wide variety of...more

Crowd-Sourced Review Website May Incur Lanham Act Liability For Selectively Deleting Reviews

Today’s consumers depend on “crowd-sourced” review websites like Angie’s List and Yelp, which permit users to post and read reviews of goods and services. Businesses feel a corresponding pressure to encourage favorable...more

Legally Compliant Online Promotions - Doing Online Promotions Without Getting Sued

In This Presentation: - User Generated Content ..What, Me Worry? What could go wrong with UGC? - The Communications Decency Act ..Section 230 - The DMCA ..Safe Harbor - Sweepstakes, Contests and...more

Freedom of Speech on the Internet: The Power of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Experienced First Amendment lawyers know that websites hosting user-created content are extremely difficult to sue for defamation. This is due to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, codified at 47 U.S.C. §...more

A Tough Assignment: The Use of Copyright Law to Squelch, and Preserve, Negative Online Reviews of Doctors and Lawyers

There are few things more terrifying to a doctor, lawyer or other professional than a bad online review. Online reviews are frequently uncivil, often indelible and in some cases outright false. Meanwhile, Section 230 of the...more

Parameters of CDA Immunity Being Tested by Appeals Court in Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is currently hearing an appeal of a district court decision, which if upheld would have enormous ramifications for freedom of speech and the online service provider safe harbor...more

#Libel and the Lulu App

You can rate your favorite pizza place online. Why not your ex-boyfriend? That’s the idea, at least, behind Lulu. The popular app allows women, verified through their Facebook profiles, to rate men using pre-written...more

Who is Liable: App Stores or App Developers?

The app economy is, by most estimates, equivalent in size to the GDP of a small country: $15 billion in 2012, projected to mushroom to $74 billion by 2016. All that economic activity inevitably breeds litigation. In what...more

District Court Reaffirms that Service Provider will be Granted Immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Via Section 230, the Communications Decency Act (CDA) provides broad immunity for service providers, hosts and website operators for claims stemming from their publication of information created by third parties....more

IP/Entertainment Law Weekly Case Update for Motion Picture Studios and Television Networks -- October 17, 2013

Evans v. Hewlett-Packard Co., USDC, N.D. Cal., October 10, 2013 - District court rejects state-law claims brought by performer “Chubby Checker” relating to lewd mobile app using the same name, finding claims pre-empted...more

Legal concepts every social media marketer should know: Part IV - User Generated Content (Content Treasure Trove v. Legal...

Companies are looking for online interaction with customers, a solid presence on social media, and other dynamic ways to connect with potential consumers. Often, this means campaigns and their websites will rely on some form...more

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