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Kire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-02-05 12:50 AM
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Court rules Web site not liable for attacks in anonymous forum.
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Court rules Web site not liable for attacks in anonymous forum
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
BY ROBERT SCHWANEBERG
Star-Ledger Staff

In a decision that upholds "unfettered speech on the Internet," a state appeals court ruled yesterday that the operator of a Web site cannot be sued for "vile and derogatory" comments posted anonymously by others.

The appeals court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by two former members of the Emerson Borough Council in Bergen County against Stephen Moldow, creator of the now-defunct Web site Eye on Emerson.

It featured, among other things, a discussion forum and chat room where anyone could anonymously post messages. Some of the messages amounted to nothing more than "unpleasant name-calling," while others were serious enough that a newspaper publishing them could be sued, the court said.

"In the context of cyberspace, however, Congress has chosen a different course," Appellate Division Judge Joseph Lisa wrote. He concluded that Moldow was protected by the "broad immunity" Congress granted to Web site operators in 1996 in an effort "to maintain the robust nature of Internet communications."

More: http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-20/110724...
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