Blogspot Gets Section 230 Win In 11th Circuit–Dowbenko v. Google

Photo credit: Common Loon // ShutterStock

Photo credit: Common Loon // ShutterStock

Another Section 230 case with a pro se plaintiff. Dowbenko claimed that that the “Encyclopedia of American Loons” website, located at, contained a copyrighted photo of him and defamed him. The court says:

Mr. Dowbenko’s defamation claim is preempted under § 230(c)(1). It is uncontested that Google is an interactive computer service provider, and the article in question indicates that it was authored and posted by an “information content provider”: two anonymous bloggers. Nor does the allegation that Google manipulated its search results to prominently feature the article at issue change this result.

The copyright claim fails because Dowbenko didn’t have a copyright registration. The RICO claim failed because it lacked the requisite specificity.

The 2006 Almeida case is the only published opinion in the 11th Circuit, so it’s nice to see a clean Section 230 ruling, even if it’s unpublished.

Case citation: Dowbenko v. Google Inc., 2014 WL 4378742 (11th Cir. Sept. 5, 2014). The complaint.