Website Owner Liability

News & Analysis as of

Community Banks Should Be Wary of ADA Claims

A number of community banks have recently received an unpleasant delivery: a demand letter from a law firm stating the bank is not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA) and suggesting a proposed...more

Hyperlinking in Hamburg and Prague: How national courts apply GS Media

On 8 September 2016, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) handed down judgment C-160/15 on the means of hyperlinking which caught quite some attention. It has become known as the GS Media decision. In essence, this CJEU...more

Companies Face ‘New Frontier’ in ADA Compliance

Most companies and individuals who operate businesses at physical locations are familiar with their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) to not discriminate against, and possibly provide...more

Oh, My Website Has to be ADA Compliant. Wait, What?!?!?

Dr. Nole Specs created a website for his successful optometry practice. Over the holidays, Dr. Specs received a threatening letter from Mo Dougherty, a plaintiff’s lawyer. Dougherty’s letter claims Specs’ website is not ADA...more

Legal Considerations for Website Privacy Policies

We get questions from clients about whether they are required to include a privacy policy and, if so, what should it say. The answers may surprise you, but a privacy policy should definitely not be an afterthought for...more

Website ADA Compliance Remains a Pressing Concern

As discussed in a prior client alert, Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which forbids “places of public accommodation” from discriminating against those with disabilities, may also apply to websites....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

Affair Website Ashley Madison Fined $8.75 Million Over Data Breach, Misrepresentations

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has entered into a multimillion dollar settlement with the owners and operators of AshleyMadison.com, a dating website for people interested in having discreet affairs, related to the...more

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

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