A nice bit of sanity from the U.S. judicial system: A ruling that Web site operators can’t be held responsible for comments users leave on their pages.
This is a reaffirmation of an existing principle, not a new notion. But it’s a crucial one for just about everyone who runs a Web site, and for everyone who appreciates the free-wheeling nature of the net. MediaPost:
A federal court has thrown out a defamation lawsuit against the site ConsumerAffairs.com, which posts people’s complaints about retailers.
Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of Alexandria, Va., ruled that the site is protected from suit based on user comments under the federal Communications Decency Act.
The case involved a franchise of car dealers–Nemet Chevrolet of Jamaica, N.Y., and Thomas Nemet, the proprietor of Nemet Motors–who sued the Fairfax, Va.-based site in March after users complained about the dealerships…
ConsumerAffairs.com argued that the case should be dismissed under the Communications Decency Act, which generally holds that Web sites are immune from liability for comments posted by users. The court agreed and dismissed the lawsuit last week.
In a happy coincidence, SAI is pleased to announce upgrades to our commenting system: With the help of the good people at 10gen, we’ve made it easier for you to leave pearls of wisdoms, witty ripostes or valuable tips on our pages.
Register once, and you’ll be able to bypass our (sadly necessary) captcha system; you’ll also be able to build an archive of all the comments you’ve left on the site (this will look better over time). We’re grateful for the commentary our readers have generated over the last 11 months or so — we’re dependent on it, really. So please sign up, and have at it.