Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Case of "service provider enticement" in 6th Circuit tests current limits of Section 230

The Association of Corporate Counsel has written a paper, Sept. 20, 2013, about a case that could test the limits of Section 230, in the Sixth Circuit (the Eastern District of Kentucky).  That is “Jones v. Dirty World”, with the ACC writeup here.
   
Apparently, in the opinion of the trial court, in refusing a defendant’s motion to dismiss,  the defendant invited submissions that it knew could be defamatory to other parties, and even selected or edited the submissions.  That could mean that it is participating meaningfully in deciding what content to distribute.
  
This would be a bit like a book publisher’s inviting libelous material, for which it could normally share legal liability.  It reminds of the fact that book publishers normally require indemnification by authors, a controversial condition that is rarely invoked in practice.
   
Any time, we could learn information about the state attorneys general desire to weaken Section 230 with respect to state criminal (not civil) laws.  But this article says that Section 230 is not supposed to apply to criminal cases anyway. 

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