See newest developments in the California Supreme Court ruling:
[b:6602ac749c]Victory in Barrett v. Rosenthal Case
November 20, 2006[/b:6602ac749c]
Today the California Supreme Court reversed the dangerous Court of Appeals ruling in the Barrett v. Rosenthal case, upholding the strong protections of Section 230 of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. Section 230 protects Internet publishers from being held liable for allegedly harmful comments written by others. Prior attempts to eliminate the protections created by Section 230 had almost universally been rejected, until a California Court of Appeals radically reinterpreted the statute to allow lawsuits against non-authors. The Supreme Court reversed:
We conclude that section 230 prohibits 'distributor' liability for Internet publications. We further hold that section 230(c)(1) immunizes individual 'users' of interactive computer services, and that no practical or principled distinction can be drawn between active and passive use. Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeal’s judgment.
We acknowledge that recognizing broad immunity for defamatory republications on the Internet has some troubling consequences. Until Congress chooses to revise the settled law in this area, however, plaintiffs who contend they were defamed in an Internet posting may only seek recovery from the original source of the statement.
This issue will impact caselaw precedent for anonymous posters of content on the internet, and potentially have some negative repercussions for Art Schreiber and Landmark Education's attempts to silence Freedom of Speech around the globe. Their copyright claims are bogus and were bogus, and now their threats of libel (at least to the anonymous reposters) are bogus as well...