Technology & Marketing Law Blog: Unsuccessful 230(c)(2) Defense for Blog Comment–Mealer v. GMAC

GMAC asserted a 47 USC 230(c)(2) defense against liability for Kordella’s comment. We don’t get many 230(c)(2) cases (in comparison to 230(c)(1), which comes up a lot). 230(c)(2) immunizes a website’s own filtering decisions, as opposed to 230(c)(1)’s immunity for third party content. The short opinion doesn’t explain the relationship between Kordella and GMAC–presumably not an employee-employer relationship if Kordella worked for GM–but apparently GMAC didn’t do enough to explain how GMAC did the requisite filtering that 230(c)(2) immunizes. Because the facts aren’t adequately connected to the legal defense, the court rejects it. The news isn’t all bad for GMAC; even though it didn’t get its 230(c)(2) defense, it is still clearly going to win this case.<br>

Although GMAC didn’t assert it, the court intimates that a 230(c)(1) defense may have been available. Presumably, if Kordella isn’t GMAC’s employee, then there’s no theory to connect GMAC to Kordella’s post that survives 230(c)(1). See, e.g., Novins v. Cannon. This case reminded me a little of the uncited Delfino v. Agilent case, where an employer got a 230(c)(1) defense for an employee’s Internet conduct when the employer basically only acted as the Internet access provider to the employee for purposes of the tortious conduct. Where GMAC isn’t even the tortfeasor’s employer, the 230(c)(1) case seems even stronger.

via Technology & Marketing Law Blog: Unsuccessful 230(c)(2) Defense for Blog Comment–Mealer v. GMAC.

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About bakhlaw

a full service law firm in Irving, TX with an emphasis on corporate and real estate law.
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