The latest on 47 USC 230

Originally posted 2008-03-12 10:25:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Catchy title, eh? Well, I’ll leave it to Eugene Volokh to explain:

This statute immunizes Internet Service Providers, Web site operators, and others from being held liable for what their users post. Thus, for instance, if you post something defamatory in the comments, we won’t be liable for it to the defamed party, though you would be liable, and though we would be liable for content we ourselves originate.

The statute, though, exempts “intellectual property.” That clearly means the provider or operator could be liable for copyright infringement by its users (subject to the separate rules provided by the Digital Milennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512), and likely for federal trademark infringement. But it’s not clear whether it covers state law rules that are sometimes characterized as intellectual property laws, for instance the state law right of publicity. The Ninth Circuit [has] held that the § 230 exemption covers only federal intellectual property laws, not state ones.

Got it? Good. So now you can enjoy “47 USC 230 Day” at Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog — a “hat trick of recent 47 USC 230 opinions.” I know I did.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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2 Responses to “The latest on 47 USC 230”

  1. March 14, 2008 at 12:13 pm #

    Is this another good reason not to allow comments at one’s blog?

  2. March 15, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    What, that John Welch might show up?

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