Friday, June 15, 2012

Internet Archive joins suit against Washington State third party liability law, says it is worded much more broadly than what applies just to ads


The Internet Achive has joined in litigation to stop Washington State’s HB 6251, with Electronic Frontier Foundation as representation, according to an EFF story here

EFF says in the article that the law is vaguely worded, to the point that a web host to a web page providing information about where a minor might be available for commerce is also at risk for criminal liability.  This goes over and above the idea of verifying the age of people actually involved in a service for an actual ad that is posted. 

Tennessee has a similar law that takes effect July 1, and New York and New Jersey are reported to be considering such laws, and it is not known right now how narrowly tailored these laws might be.

“Clear legal protections for hosts and disseminators of third party content are clear legal principles that allow free speech to flourish online”. 

Some of the issues resemble those of COPA, ruled unconstitutional in 2007. 

The state law might also contradict Section 230 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. 

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