November 28, 2006

If there is a conspiracy, it's complex

Barrett v. Rosenthal was handed down by the California Supreme Court on November 20th. Internet defamers rejoice! Internet republication of defamatory statements is not actionable. Doesn't matter if you have malice. (Unless it's a conspiracy to divide the creation of the content and the publication to the internet, which if you plan to do, you might want to read Judge Moreno's concurrence.)

The CA Supreme Court spent quite a few words saying, this may not be the smartest decision, but we're bound by section 230 of the CDA. Pre-emption. You know, the stuff my buddy Erwin's all about.

What struck me, however, was the line up in favor the respondent defendant. On the side of strong first amendment protections and low protections for individuals subject to internet defamation you've got:
the EFF, the ACLU, Amazon.com, Inc., America Online, Inc., eBay Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corporation, Yahoo! Inc., ABC, Inc., Ask Jeeves, Inc., Cable News Network LP, LLLP, Compuserve Interactive Services, Inc., Earthlink, Inc., ESPN, Inc., Netscape Communications Corporation, SBC Internet Services, Time Warner Cable Inc., The Washington Post Company, Association for Competitive Technology, California Newspaper Publishers Association, Information Technology Association of America, Internet Alliance, Internet Commerce Coalition, National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Netchoice, Netcoalition, Newspaper Association of America, Online News Association, Online Publishers Association, TechNet and United States Internet Service Provider Association.

No liability for repeating what you heard or read on the Internet. Apparently that's something EVERYONE can get behind.

Strange bedfellows make the best stories, don't you think?

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