Third Party Comments

I’ve talked to many people at organizations where they are interested in blogging but are concerned about liability from comments posted by third parties. Here is a bit of good news on that front: Court says blogs can’t be sued for postings –

Bloggers and website owners cannot be sued for posting libelous or defamatory comments written by third parties, the California Supreme Court has ruled. The court said only the original authors of comments published online can be sued.Legal analysts say the 34-page decision, issued Monday, is significant because it brings California in line with other court rulings across the nation that have upheld the 1996 federal Communications Decency Act, which protects website owners from legal liability in libel or defamation lawsuits.

“Bloggers and website owners can all breathe a very big sigh of relief,” says Gregory Herbert, an Orlando lawyer who specializes in First Amendment issues. “This decision adds more uniformity to the law and reduces the risk for liability for even individuals who are posting things onto website message boards and chat rooms.”

Associations are often concerned about anti-trust issues as well. I’m not a lawyer and do not know if this ruling would cover that kind of activity as well but it is at least a step in the right direction.

Spotted over on Gadgetopia.

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