Cal Supremes Reverse Internet Defamation Decision
This just in from the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:
The California Supreme Court today reversed an appeals court decision in a much-watched Internet case, ruling that individuals are generally immune from liability for transmitting over the Internet content that was authored by someone else.
Legal experts say the decision is in line with prior court rulings on immunity for transmitting content online originating from someone else, who themselves may still be held liable for defamation or other claims. The California court ruling came in the case of Stephen J. Barrett et al. v. Ilena Rosenthal (click here for the 41-page ruling). The case concerned an article Rosenthal received via email and posted on two Web newsgroups that the plaintiffs argued was defamatory.
“This opinion reinforces the broad reach of federal statutory immunization for content published by third-parties online,” said Eric Goldman, Assistant Professor at Santa Clara University School of Law and author of the author of the Technology and Marketing Law Blog. “This case is significant because it shuts down all of the workarounds people have been trying to find.”