2H 2017 & Q1 2018 Quick Links, Part 4: Censorship, Content Moderation

Censorship Spotlight on China * NY Times: China’s Internet Censors Play a Tougher Game of Cat and Mouse * Reuters: China’s Weibo looks to reward citizen censors with iPhones, tablets * NY Times: 68 Things You Cannot Say on China’s…

'Worst of Both Worlds' FOSTA Signed Into Law, Completing Section 230's Evisceration

‘Worst of Both Worlds’ FOSTA Signed Into Law, Completing Section 230’s Evisceration

This morning, President Trump signed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (FOSTA), into law. The bill signing was anticipated, but that doesn’t make the outcome any less terrible. Today, Washington DC regulators…

2H 2017 & Q1 2018 Quick Links, Part 3: Section 230, Consumer Reviews

Section 230 * Backpage.com, LLC, V. Hawley, 2017 WL 5726868 (E.D. Mo  Nov. 28, 2017): Backpage cites Doe No. 1 for the proposition that, as an interactive computer service provider, its “choices about what content can appear on the website…

DMCA Safe Harbor Applies to Some Unfair Competition Claims--Capitol Records v. Vimeo

DMCA Safe Harbor Applies to Some Unfair Competition Claims–Capitol Records v. Vimeo

You probably remember this case. Copyright owners sued the video hosting site Vimeo for third party uploaded videos that allegedly infringed their copyrights. Given this was the paradigmatic situation the DMCA safe harbor was designed to address, you’d think this…

Fifth Court Rejects ‘Material Support for Terrorism’ Claims Against Social Media Sites–Crosby v. Twitter

[Just a reminder that Section 230’s evisceration will happen upon Pres. Trump’s signature] Victims of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, aided by the indefatigable 1-800-LAWFIRM and Excolo Law, sued social media providers. They alleged that the shooter was inspired…

Backpage Loses Another Section 230 Motion (Again Without SESTA/FOSTA)--Florida Abolitionists v. Backpage

Backpage Loses Another Section 230 Motion (Again Without SESTA/FOSTA)–Florida Abolitionists v. Backpage

During Congress’ SESTA/FOSTA deliberations, opponents repeatedly promised that the Doe v. Backpage litigation in Massachusetts would imminently provide key insights into Section 230’s purported limitations. Indeed, a week after the Senate passed the Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA, the court…

District Court Ruling Highlights Congress' Hastiness To Pass 'Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA'-- Doe 1 v. Backpage

District Court Ruling Highlights Congress’ Hastiness To Pass ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’– Doe 1 v. Backpage

Backpage has been the poster child for Section 230’s purported failings. The argument goes (1) Backpage facilitates sex trafficking, (2) Section 230 protects Backpage, so (3) Section 230 is evil. That was the core message of the so-called “documentary” I Am Jane…

More on the Unconstitutional Retroactivity of ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’ (Guest Blog Post)

More on the Unconstitutional Retroactivity of ‘Worst of Both Worlds FOSTA’ (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Alex F. Levy [For a discussion of retroactivity concerns under 47 U.S.C. §230(e)(5)(A), see my earlier post.] A law violates the Constitution’s Ex Post Facto clause if it “makes more burdensome the punishment for a crime, after its commission, or…deprives one charged with…

DMCA’s Unhelpful 512(f) Preempts Helpful State Law Claims–Stevens v. Vodka and Milk

As part of the DMCA, Congress enacted a cause of action for people who send bogus copyright takedown notices, codified at 17 USC 512(f). It was a good thought executed terribly. The courts have interpreted the law to require subjective bad…

YouTube Isn’t a Company Town (Duh)–Prager University v. Google

Prager University produces videos designed to convert teenagers into conservatives. It has posted over 250 videos to YouTube. YouTube has placed some of those videos into “restricted mode,” which blocks the videos’ availability to YouTube users who voluntarily operate in…