Feeds

Websites not liable for third party posts - court

Lawyers stunned by common sense ruling

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The California Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling on Monday stating that websites can't be sued over third-party content, the Associated Press reports.

The court found that, according to the Communications Decency Act of 1996, only the person responsible for creating libellous content can be pursued.

At issue was a San Diego woman, Ilena Rosenthal, who is alleged to have slandered a doctor by posting email memos obtained from third parties on her website, the wire service says.

The decision is bad news for lawyers, who naturally take on these cases in hopes of suing the daylights out of rich operators like Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and the like. Not surprisingly, many of these outfits generously participated on behalf of the defendant.

A Lower California court had ruled that the liability protections provided by the Communications Decency Act did not apply to individual online "distributors" of putatively libellous content, like Rosenthal. But the state Supremes found that "by declaring that no 'user may be treated as a publisher' of third party content, Congress has comprehensively immunised re-publication by individual internet users".

Thus lawyers' lobbying groups will have to go back to Capitol Hill and buy some better legislation, allowing them to sue wealthier targets. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of 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?
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.