Another Court Recognizes Site Owners Aren't Liable For Site Comments

from the seems-obvious-enough dept

It happens all too often that some website owner in the US is sued with claims of libel over comments on that site in an open forum. We usually point to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, and note that it's pretty clear that service providers of such forums are not liable for content they didn't write themselves. We also like to point to a 9th Circuit ruling, noting that, even when such comments are moderated or approved, the site owner or moderator isn't responsible. While the Supreme Court later refused to hear an appeal on the case, meaning the ruling really still only covers the 9th Circuit, the ruling is so reasonable, you'd have to hope other courts would agree with the logic. It appears some already are. Tech Law Advisor points us to a few different sources covering a District Court ruling (outside of the 9th Circuit) that comes to similar conclusions (even if the article is improperly headlined). The case involves the somewhat infamous TuckerMax forums, which are known for being a bit on the... free wheeling side of things. Apparently, a bunch of anonymous commenters there were upset about a party thrown by some publicist, and posted some relatively mean comments about him in the forums. The publicist then sued Tucker Max, claiming that he was liable for the comments, even though it was clear they weren't made by him. The actual court ruling (warning: pdf) is an enjoyable read, as the judge clearly explains why he's throwing out the case. He even cites the ridiculous number of censors China employs to filter the internet to explain why it's not reasonable to expect internet site owners to police their forums more carefully -- even as he notes that Tucker Max clearly admits to moderating comments on his site. The ruling also refers back to an older ruling pointing out the importance of protecting free speech, even when vulgar. It's another reasonable ruling concerning these issues. Hopefully, once enough of these pile up, most lawyers will know better than to file such lawsuits.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    sacco, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 7:49am

    haha owned

    boo berry!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    anonymous cowards, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 9:35am

    judges like this should be rewarded with acclaim. they should be carried down the street on our shoulders like heros that have vanquished a much feared enemy to the resounding cheer of "huzzah, huzzah!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Ender Wigin, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 1:56pm

    too true

    if only more judges were smart then everyone would be happy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Will, Jun 6th, 2006 @ 8:42pm

    Um

    Um, and I wonder why paied him off. ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Ken, Jun 7th, 2006 @ 6:08am

    Canadian Law on this subject?

    What about P2Pnet.net who is being sued by Sharman for a comment made on the blog? Does anyone know the Canadian laws pertaining to commenters?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    nelsonnco, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 10:44pm

    sad day for bloggers in philippines

    visit www.pepcoalition.com

    blog forum which was linked to this website was forced to be taken down by its administrator because a powerful private company, yuchengco group of companies, has been using its blog postings to file criminal libel cases against the owners of the website.

    june 9, 2006 is marked as a sad day for bloggers in the philippines !

    if you are interested to know more about this do contact me

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    sevgi, May 17th, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    about judges

    what ever becomes everytime judges are fine for everything

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Keral Patel, Jan 11th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Great judgement

    I would say it is really nice judgement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    firma, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 4:00pm

    firma rehberi

    Does anyone know the Canadian laws pertaining to commenters?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    cabin, Jun 4th, 2009 @ 10:25am

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    para, Oct 2nd, 2009 @ 7:56am

    para

    Does anyone know the Canadian laws pertaining to commenters?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Lida, Dec 2nd, 2009 @ 2:05am

    very good...

    what ever becomes everytime judges are fine for everything

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Foram.s.thakkar, May 6th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Its a occeRum show.previously I was fan of him but now I respact him so much.
    plz keep it up...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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