New Paper Explains Why Technologists Should Rally Behind Section 230

New Paper Explains Why Technologists Should Rally Behind Section 230

At the request of James Grimmelmann, and with his editorial support, I wrote an essay for the Communications of the ACM called “Internet Immunity and the Freedom to Code.” The abstract: The Internet’s freedom to code is in jeopardy. In…

Section 230 Helps Tumblr Defeat Nonconsensual Pornography Suit--Poole v. Tumblr

Section 230 Helps Tumblr Defeat Nonconsensual Pornography Suit–Poole v. Tumblr

This ruling came out in March, but it just showed up in my Westlaw alerts. I don’t know why it was delayed over 6 months. The opinion is topical and clear, so I thought it’s still worth blogging now. This…

Section 230 Helps Search Engine Defeat "Right to Be Forgotten" Lawsuit--Mosha v. Yandex

Section 230 Helps Search Engine Defeat “Right to Be Forgotten” Lawsuit–Mosha v. Yandex

Looking holistically at the broad arc of Internet Law history, I could make a good case that the EU’s Right to Be Forgotten marked the beginning of the end of the modern Internet. It was the first time that a…

Terrible Ninth Circuit 230(c)(2) Ruling Will Make the Internet More Dangerous--Enigma v. Malwarebytes

Terrible Ninth Circuit 230(c)(2) Ruling Will Make the Internet More Dangerous–Enigma v. Malwarebytes

The Ninth Circuit has issued a Section 230(c)(2) opinion that creates significant problems for anti-spyware/spam/virus vendors (I’ll call them “anti-threat vendors”). The ruling will paralyze their decision-making, expose them to greater legal threats, and reduce their ability to protect consumers…

Section 230 Applies to Facebook's Post Removals and Account Suspensions--King v. Facebook

Section 230 Applies to Facebook’s Post Removals and Account Suspensions–King v. Facebook

The court summarizes the facts: King alleges Facebook removed multiple posts by him, and temporarily suspended his Facebook access on several occasions in 2018, for posts that Facebook deemed a violation of its terms of service (“ToS”). The crux of…

Reminder: The Copyright Office Will Be Yanking Eligibility for the DMCA Online Safe Harbor (Again)

Reminder: The Copyright Office Will Be Yanking Eligibility for the DMCA Online Safe Harbor (Again)

In 2016, the Copyright Office rejiggered how it handles DMCA Online Safe Harbor agent designations. Instead of an indefinite designation, a service could only designate an agent for 3 years, after which the designation would automatically expire unless renewed. The…

Section 230 Protects HOA for Publishing Meeting Minutes--Eagle Ridge Townhouse Ass'n v. Snapp

Section 230 Protects HOA for Publishing Meeting Minutes–Eagle Ridge Townhouse Ass’n v. Snapp

The dispute involves Galena Territory, a community governed by a property owner’s association (GTA) with several subdivisions also managed by HOAs. Homeowners in those subdivisions are members of both their subdivision HOA and the GTA. One of the subdivision HOAs…

A Significant Section 230 Defense Win in the Ninth Circuit--Dyroff v. Ultimate Software

A Significant Section 230 Defense Win in the Ninth Circuit–Dyroff v. Ultimate Software

This is an important Section 230 ruling from the Ninth Circuit. First, it decisively rejects several of the flavor-of-the-month theories plaintiffs have advanced to eviscerate Section 230. Second, the opinion resolves those theories efficiently and with little wasted motion. That…

Section 230 Doesn't Protect Print-on-Demand Vendor--Atari v. Sunfrog

Section 230 Doesn’t Protect Print-on-Demand Vendor–Atari v. Sunfrog

Atari sued a print-on-demand outfit, Sunfrog, for user-uploaded designs that are allegedly infringing. In addition to copyright and trademark claims, Atari asserted an unfair competition claim. Sunfrog defended that claim on Section 230 grounds. The court says no. At this…

Domain Name Registrar Isn’t Liable for Counterfeit Goods–InvenTel v. GoDaddy

InvenTel makes security cams for cars. It is trying to crack down on Chinese counterfeiters. It brought a prior lawsuit against a wide range of defendants, including GoDaddy. InvenTel voluntarily dismissed GoDaddy from that suit. It brought a second round…