4th Circuit Upholds Internet Flame War Lawsuit Dismissal on 230 Grounds–Winter v. Bassett

Winter v. Bassett, No. 03-2176 (4th Cir. Dec. 12, 2005) This lawsuit involves one of those oh-so-messy Internet flame wars/personal disputes that prompted the creation of an anti-Steve Winter website. Winter then sued a variety of people, including the web…

The FTC, Adware Advertising and Badges of Shame

By Eric Goldman New FTC Commissioner Jon Leibowitz has embraced one of the favorite causes of the anti-adware grumblers: dry up adware funding by making adware advertisers feel some pain. According to AdAge, he recently said that the FTC might…

Another 47 USC 230 Case, Another Defense Win–Fair Housing Council v. Roommate.com

By Eric Goldman Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v. Roommate.com, LLC, 2005 WL 3299077 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 30, 2005) [actually 2004–see below] I’m not sure why this case took so long to hit Westlaw [see below for explanation]….

Supreme Court Denies 1-800 Contacts Cert Petition

By Eric Goldman Today the US Supreme Court denied 1-800 Contacts’ petition for certiorari of the second circuit opinion in 1-800 Contacts v. WhenU. I’m not surprised by the denial, but the bigger question is–now what for 1-800 Contacts’ campaign…

DMCA Online Safe Harbor Empirical Study by Urban and Quilter

By Eric Goldman Jennifer Urban of USC and Laura Quilter have released a working report entitled “Efficient Process or “Chilling Effects”? Takedown Notices Under Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” To my knowledge, this is the first empirical…

Yahoo Wins Online Harassment Case Under 47 USC 230

By Eric Goldman Barnes v. Yahoo, 2005 WL 3005602 (D. Or. Nov. 8, 2005) Barnes claimed that her ex-boyfriend harassed her by creating Yahoo user profiles containing nude photos of her plus her contact info. Barnes also claimed that her…

Search Engine Indexing Case–Newborn v. Yahoo

By Eric Goldman Newborn v. Yahoo, Inc., 2005 WL 2416336 (DDC Sept. 27, 2005) We got a new case on search engine liability for indexing content. The importance of the topic makes the case blog-worthy, even though this particular case…

Adult Webmaster Criminally Prosecuted for User-Uploaded Photos

By Eric Goldman Chris Wilson runs a website called NowThatsFuckedUp.com (first page is office-safe; I didn’t look further!). The website describes itself as “an Amateur community for wife and girlfriend pictures,” and the photos contain graphic depictions of people engaged…

Spitzer’s Witchhunt Nails Adware Executive Personally

By Eric Goldman In response to my post yesterday about adware witchhunts, a reader privately criticized me for analogizing the adware situation with manias where people’s lives were at stake. Ben Edelman made a similar point in his comment to…

Adware Witchhunt Gone Awry

By Eric Goldman Ben Edelman’s latest “research report”/attack salvo goes after Claria because an ad promoting a Claria product was delivered via alleged spyware. To connect Claria with the “spyware” vendor, Ben traces the money as follows: Step 1: Claria…