Feeds

US Supreme Court declines ISP liability case

Justices deal another blow to the Nanny State

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear objections to a lower-court's dismissal of a lawsuit filed against Prodigy after an impostor sent a threatening e-mail and posted two vulgar bulletin board messages in the name if a fifteen-year-old lad. The Justices denied an appeal filed on behalf of New Yorker and Boy Scout Alexander Lunney, who unsuccessfully sued Prodigy for defamation and negligence over the incidents which occurred in 1994. In addition to two vulgar bulletin board messages posted in Lunney's name, the impostor sent an obscene e-mail message to a local Scout troop leader, the subject of which was "HOW I'M GONNA KILL U." Prodigy cancelled the bogus accounts, but never succeeded in identifying the impostor. It apologised to Lunney, but the boy's father, far from satisfied, brought the suit on his son's behalf. The New York court dismissed the suit on grounds that Prodigy was not the publisher of the e-mail or the BBS postings. Last December the New York Court of Appeals also found Prodigy not liable. Lunney's lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court, claiming that the case was "perhaps the most egregious of a series of Internet-related liability cases." The Court, obviously, saw it differently. While this is a far cry from a Supreme Court decision, anything the Justices choose to do or not do can influence the future decisions of lower courts. One consequence of today's denial could be to inconvenience heavyweight copyright crusaders such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in their efforts to influence ISPs which host sites containing material or links to material which they find threatening. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.