H2 2013 Quick Links, Part 3 (Content Regulation)

Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock

Photo credit: 3D Quick Link Crossword // ShutterStock

Section 230

The Good Wife on CBS had an episode, “Whack a Mole,” that addressed Section 230. It got Section 230 right on defamation damages but wrong on injunctions.

* Preliminary injunction in Backpage v. Hoffman, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119811 (D.N.J. Aug. 20, 2013).

* Marvin Ammori, Recurring Myths about the Legal Obligations of Online Platforms.

ALEC resolution on Section 230 and state criminal laws. NetChoice response.

* Nicholas Conlon, Freedom to Filter versus User Control: Limiting the Scope of § 230(c)(2) Immunity. One of the more thorough treatments of Section 230(c)(2), though I’m not sure how many service providers really rely on Section 230(c)(2) any more. Related article.

Revenge Porn

* Wired op-ed: Revenge Porn Is Bad. Criminalizing It Is Worse.

US News: New Federal Legislation Could Take a Nip Out of ‘Revenge Porn’


Update on the mugshot website civil lawsuits.

Farah v. Esquire Magazine 736 F.3d 528 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 26, 2013). Affirmed on appeal as a satire. Prior blog post.

Biro v. Conde Nast2013 WL 3948394 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 1, 2013). Single publication rule not reset by the addition of new user comments.

Interview with California Senator Darrell Steinberg, author of two of California’s crappy new attempts to regulate the Internet.

Miller v. State, 2013 WL 5636375 (Tex. Ct. App. Oct. 10, 2013):

In this case, the printout of the “Miller Time” MySpace profile offered into evidence was sufficiently supported by circumstantial evidence presented at the revocation proceeding: (1) the printout of the MySpace profile contained a photograph that clearly depicted Appellant, (2) the profile was titled with a nickname closely linked to Appellant’s name, and (3) the profile was located as a result of a search using Appellant’s name. Viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the trial court’s ruling, we cannot say that the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted the printout of the “Miller Time” MySpace profile into evidence.

Gennette v. Florida, 124 So.3d 273 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. Sept. 13, 2013). Another conviction based on Craigslist Casual Encounters overturned due to entrapment. Prior blog post.

* Gwire v. Blumberg, 2013 WL 5493399 (Cal. App. Ct. Oct. 3, 2013):

Interpreting—as we must—the phrase “issue of public interest” broadly, we conclude under the circumstances of this case Blumberg has satisfied his burden of showing his comments on Gwire’s business practices on complaintsboard.com, a consumer complaint web site, are protected under section 425.16, subdivision (e)(3) because they constitute a form of consumer information that could affect a large number of people.

Prior blog post.

Gillon v. Bernstein, 2:12-04891 (D.N.J. Sept. 12, 2013): Posting to Ripoff Report is mostly opinion, but two statements survived a motion to dismiss the defamation and related claims.

Ball v. Saurman2013 WL 5209817 (Cal. App. Ct. Sept. 17, 2013). Posting to Ripoff Report protected by anti-SLAPP laws.

Amaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v. Ozimals, Inc., 2013 WL 3460707 (N.D. Cal. Jul. 9, 2013):

Ozimals made the statements at issue on its own blog to “explain the reasons behind the steps [Ozimals] has taken.” Blog Entry. In this context, readers are less likely to view statements as assertions of fact….Even absent “heated debate,” a reader of Ozimals’ Blog Entry would realize that Ozimals wrote it from its own perspective to paint itself in a better light, and would not understand it to be “statements of fact rather than the predictable opinion of … one side about the other’s motives.”

The statements in Ozimals’ Blog Entry expressed Ozimals’ opinions and purported to apply Ozimals’ understanding of copyright law as applied to the facts. See Franklin v. Dynamic Details, Inc., 116 Cal.App. 4th 375, 378 (Cal. Ct. App.2004) (statements in e-mails that recited facts for purpose of applying copyright and contract law to them merely expressed opinions). Likewise, by linking to the Chat and Letter, Ozimals gave its blog readers additional context to decide whether to accept or reject Ozimals’ opinions based on their own independent evaluations.

In re Gustavo R., 2013 WL 4471305 (C.A.Cal. Aug. 19, 2013). The following Facebook exchange didn’t constitute witness intimidation:

On Facebook, along with a picture of Kyler, Gustavo wrote, “NARC! Everyone this guys a narc. Just Lookin out for everyone at west.” In response to the posting, one of Gustavo’s friends asked Gustavo for a “price” and “he outta your life.” Gustavo responded, “2G’z. And a cop.” Another friend wrote that Kyler “got [his] homie joseph in trouble fuck him.” Gustavo responded, “He got my joseph expelled and snitched on me for supposably [sic ] drinking lean, and since my friend jd kept calling em a narc he got searched today cause that narc snitched.” Another friend posted, “fuck that fool ill sock him.” Gustavo responded, “My *homie. An I would too but he’d snitch an get me locked up cause the cops are on his dick.”

Related blog post.