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Judge Confirms: Unfiltered UGC Not Libel for Site Owner

   
12:28 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Good news for community operators: a US District Court judge has reaffirmed the basic principle that libelous comments create liability for the person who posted them and not the site operator.

"Persons who claim that they were harmed by a website's publication of user-generated content may sue the third-party user who generated that content, but they may not sue the interactive computer service that enabled the third-party user to publish the content online," Guirola wrote. "Thus, an interactive computer service is entitled to immunity as long as it did not create or author the particular information at issue."
Full story [mediapost.com]
1:59 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator buckworks is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



may sue the third-party user


Problem: that's only possible when the identity of said third-party user is known, and only practical said third-party user lives within reach of applicable laws.
3:04 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Problem: that's only possible when the identity of said third-party user is known, and only practical said third-party user lives within reach of applicable laws.


Correct, as is the case with any crime.
11:48 pm on Sep 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



Freedom of speech can be a bummer huh. You can't shut people up by going after the medium they use :-)

Silly lawsuit.
4:37 pm on Sep 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There will never be a shortage of people wanting to use whatever coercive force is within reach, to suppress any voice they don't approve. But it's only the most evil people (medieval churchmen, communists, RIAA goons) that want to suppress entire technologies and social arrangements which MIGHT be used by someone they wouldn't approve.

In related news, civil engineering firm accused of facilitating drive-by shootings.
8:54 pm on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



ok, so according to u.s. legislation, every website with an input field is an "interactive computer service" that's free from liability for that content, right?
10:27 pm on Sep 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



There are still caveats to the ruling... there remains in common law "intent" and "knowledge", and "abet" which if can be proved, will make the content provider liable. This ruling is NOT a get out of jail free card...