Website Owner Liability

News & Analysis as of

Re-Register Takedown Agent or Lose Copyright Shield

If your website allows for posting of user-generated content and you filed an agent designation insulating you from copyright infringement claims, you may be about to lose that legal protection. All existing paper-filed agent...more

Copyright Office Rule Changes Require Website Owners to Take Action to Benefit From DMCA Safe Harbor

On December 1, the US Copyright Office replaced its directory of designated agents for receipt of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices of claimed infringement with a new electronic system. As part of this process,...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

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

Proposed Rule for State and Local Government Websites Slated for July 2017

Seyfarth Synopsis: DOJ announces that proposed rules for state and local government websites will issue July 2017. The DOJ announced last week in the federal government’s Unified Agenda that it will be issuing a...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

Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Recently, a number of businesses across the country have become targets of demand letters and lawsuits arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Many of these claims have focused on financial institutions....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

Federal Website Lawsuits Spike; Community Banks Get Demand Letters*

Seyfarth Synopsis: The number of federal lawsuits alleging inaccessible websites continues to increase, along with the number of law firms filing them. Businesses should seek advice now on how to manage risk in this chaotic...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

DOJ Continues ADA Web Accessibility Enforcement

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a consent decree to resolve allegations by a blind student regarding the accessibility of a university's website and other technologies. The DOJ requires the university to pay...more

I accept!

So, you’re ready to launch your new online business or mobile app. The website looks great, and the app tile has an elegant, simple design that’s sure to stand out on phone and tablet screens. Missing anything? Oh, yeah, that...more

Bank Websites Targeted for Title III ADA Violations – 12 Ways to Comply

An increasing number of companies in the banking industry are reporting receiving demand letters from law firms alleging website violations under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (Title III). These letters...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

Second Circuit Denies Section 230 Immunity for Acts of Affiliate Marketers

The Second Circuit became the third federal appellate court ever to deny immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, which provides broad protection for content supplied to websites by their users....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

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

Digital Single Market Update: The European Commission’s Proposal to Revise the Audiovisual Media Services Directive

The European Commission has proposed legislation in the EU to provide a uniform legal and competition framework for video-streaming services provided via the Internet. The regime includes changes to advertising, the...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

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

European Commission Unveils New Digital Single Market Proposals

The Commission’s proposals aim to drive cross-border e-commerce in the EU and level the regulatory field across audiovisual media services and online platforms. On 25 May 2016 the European Commission (Commission)...more

Tenth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Ruling on Meaning of “User” in DMCA §512(c) Safe Harbor

Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) offers safe harbors for qualifying service providers to limit their liability for claims of copyright infringement. To benefit from the Section 512(c) safe harbor, a...more

Hyperlinking to unauthorised content does not itself constitute copyright infringement, says Advocate General

The Advocate General of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) has stated in a legal opinion that posting a link to a website that contains “freely accessible” copyright infringing content should not itself amount to copyright...more

Does Your Company Website Violate the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has is most commonly thought of as prohibiting workplace discrimination against individuals with disabilities and requiring the elimination of physical barriers to public locations. ...more

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