Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
barbara bauer, liability, section 230, wikipedia


Court Says Wikimedia Isn't Liable For Statements On Wikipedia

from the section-230-isn't-user-editable dept

Back in May, when literary agent Barbara Bauer sued the Wikimedia Foundation, claiming that it was liable for various critical comments on the site (such as the ones calling her the "dumbest of the twenty worst" agents, who has "no documented sales at all"), we suggested she probably would have saved a lot of time, effort and heartbreak using Wikipedia to look up Section 230 of the CDA that says that service providers are not liable for the content of their users. Instead, she went forward with the lawsuit and had the court teach her the lesson that Wikipedia could have: the court tossed out the case, noting that the Wikimedia Foundation is not liable under section 230. The end result for Barbara Bauer? She doesn't get to sue Wikipedia, and her actions brought a lot more attention to the fact that she has a lot of critics. I have no idea how "smart" she is as a literary agent, but this didn't seem very "smart" concerning how to respond to criticism of her reputation.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Overcast, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 7:02pm

    I have no idea how "smart" she is as a literary agent

    Funny how quickly people like this rail against *certain* free speech, yet - if it was something that had $$$ potential for her, she'd be whining about free speech.

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

  2. identicon
    Paige, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 7:15pm


    Umm -- Hello? The definition of wiki? Did she look that up? Guess not.

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

  3. identicon
    Relonar, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 8:22pm

    why not just sign up on wikipedia and rectify the untrue and opinions? ... guess people with money would rather use lawyers to make fools of themselves sometimes.

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

  4. identicon
    skydiver, Aug 13th, 2008 @ 10:04pm


    I understand her being upset about the comments, I mean I don't think anyone would appreciate being referred to as dumb, or stupid; however as has been said before, if she did a little research of her own, or read the bottom of any wikipedia page, "wikipedia is not liable for content contained on this site ... etc, etc" ... apparently not everyone knows that Wikipedia is not a credible litarary resource as it is user editable. Oh well, more money than brains apparently ... must be nice.

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

  5. identicon
    Tony, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 11:14am

    Re: intelligence

    Seems to me that her actions in this case only served to confirm the statements made about her intelligence.

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

  6. identicon
    Mr. Chadwish, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 4:06pm

    It is too bad that Judge Perri did not allow Bauer to sue Wikipedia for the lewd altered photos and videos of her that were published on Wikipedia featuring nudity and sexual assault. As a result, Tyler Clemente was similarly abused by Rutgers Univ. students because it was all over the headlines in NJ that it is ok to defame and slander this way. Judge Perri took the easy way out, she had the chance to really make a difference with bullying and stalking on the internet. Instead, several families have been tragically affected because she failed to prosecute Wikimedia Foundation. Her incompetence caused the death of Clemente by showing the young it will bring no consequences if you are rich and powerful enough, and now the students who published his videos and their families have their lives ruined forever too because Judge Perri did not make a good decision. She is an incompetent Judge and the Communications Decency Act was misused. It was meant to prevent obscenity, but Wikipedia received numerous certified letters from Bauer, and just thought "We have the power. Screw you " So now several families and many families of other injured parties who have committed suicide due to internet abuse are also suffering. Wikpedia is a crap encyclopedia too.

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

  7. identicon
    Jennie Geller, Mar 4th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    Writer Beware Coverup on Wikipedia

    It never ceases to amazehow many dumb judges and lawyers there are out there. Wikipedia is a piece of garbage; teachers tell me that students use it to plagiarize; that is its main purpose. And I have found the "experts" on it are screwball flakos like their lawyer, James Chadwick. Anyone who read the talk pages about Bauer saw all kinds of lies and lewd smut that no self-respecting newspaper or magazine would publish. Wikipedia- a group of shameless pigs and thugs! And the judges who let them go without punishment or restitution set up the murder of Tyler Clemente to happen. May Judge Perri and Judge Uhrmacher choke on every dime of the pensions they get with Tyler Clemente's parents' tax dollars. And may the law firm of Charles Le Grande choke on the fees they got paid to defend that rag.

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

  8. identicon
    Micaela Watkins, Apr 8th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    I agree, Wikipedia did not have to prove the truth of any of its many lies. I will not be relying on any judge or court in the future, since I see how easy it is to twist the law. And for the court to cause harm to other innocent victims in the future, like what happened at Rutgers to Tyler Clemente.

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

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