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SAMPLE: Web Sites Not Liable for Posts by Others


Nov 22 2006, 05:10 AM (Post #1)
Not Odd anymore
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QUOTE
SAN JOSE, California: Web sites that publish inflammatory information written by other parties cannot be sued for libel, the California Supreme Court has ruled.

The ruling late Monday was a victory for a San Diego woman who was sued by two doctors who had complained that she had posted a libelous e-mail on two Web sites.

Some of the Internet's biggest names, including Amazon.com, AOL, eBay, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, took the defendant's side out of concern that a ruling against her would expose them to liability.

In reversing an appellate court's decision, the State Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provided broad immunity from defamation lawsuits for people who published information on the Internet that was gathered from another source.

"By declaring that no 'user' may be treated as a publisher of third party content, Congress has comprehensively immunized republication by individual Internet users," the high court said.

Unless Congress revises the existing law, people who claim they were defamed in an Internet posting can seek damages only from the original source of the statement, the court ruled.

The case centers on an opinion piece sent via e-mail to Ilena Rosenthal, a woman's health advocate who runs various message boards and promotes alternative medicine. The message, written by Tim Bolen, accused Dr. Terry Polevoy, of Canada, of stalking a Canadian radio producer and included various invectives directed at Polevoy and Dr. Stephen Barrett, of Pennsylvania. The two doctors operated Web sites devoted to exposing health frauds.

After Rosenthal posted the piece to two newsgroups, Polevoy and Barrett sued her, Bolen and others for libel. The lawsuit accuses Rosenthal of republishing the information after being warned that it was false and defamatory.

The trial court ruled that Rosenthal's actions were protected, but an appeals court decided she was not shielded from liability as a distributor of the information. The State Supreme Court's ruling reversed that decision.

Legal experts said the ruling followed similar decisions in other states designed to protect free and open access to information.

Christopher Grell, the lawyer for Polevoy and Barrett, said, "What this decision does is, it basically promotes the distribution of offensive material, which I can't imagine Congress ever intended," he said.


http://www.forbes.com/business/commerce/fe.../ap3192570.html or http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/21/business/libel.php (both have the same text)

Essentially, the content and nature of what an user posts is solely his or her responsibility—not the hosting website's.
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Nov 22 2006, 05:34 AM (Post #2)
Here for the cute boys ;)
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Hasn't that always been the case, including here?
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Nov 22 2006, 05:59 AM (Post #3)
Not Odd anymore
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Yes, but now we have legal confirmation
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Nov 22 2006, 06:39 AM (Post #4)
Here for the cute boys ;)
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Good to know. It's not like we say really, really, really weird stuff anyhow.

Although... stongue.gif
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May 11 2007, 12:38 PM (Post #5)
Angel of Music
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Yeah, I'm sure Al and Duke would have much fewer posts if it weren't for those laws. lol There's way to much news on origin.
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May 11 2007, 06:06 PM (Post #6)
Here for the cute boys ;)
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Posts: 16,850
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We have 18 pages worth of threads on news topics in the 'Interesting News' section....
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May 12 2007, 03:12 AM (Post #7)
General
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Well, at least most of the topics are interesting =P
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