June 13, 2024


The Legal System

Section 230 Doesn’t Create a Cause of Action-Goodman v. Sharp


The fundamental dispute concerned a copyright and trademark enforcement motion from Goodman around a parody/satire online video. The court docket summarizes Goodman’s arguments in this collateral lawsuit:

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants abused method and engaged in legal professional misconduct when the Academies sued MSD for copyright infringement in the NATAS Motion, and that Esquenet [great name for a lawyer, BTW] failed in her “legal and moral obligation” to convey to her customers, the Academies, about “substantial defects” in their promises. Plaintiff argues that below Part 230(c)(1), his enterprise, MSD, is “a service provider and a consumer of interactive laptop products and services,” that Plaintiff is separately “a individual legal entity” from MSD, and, for that reason, beneath Part 230(c)(1), MSD could not be sued for content material provided by Plaintiff. Accordingly, Plaintiff argues, Defendants abused course of action when they brought fit towards MSD for the reason that MSD is immune from liability for Goodman’s infringing use of the Academies’ statuette.

As you already figured out from this passage, Goodman is proceeding professional se.

Go through actually, Goodman is seemingly arguing that Section 230 protects all people from copyright and trademark infringement statements due to the fact they are ICS companies/end users. Of system, Portion 230 does not say that at all, most clearly due to the fact it expressly excludes IP claims. (There’s also a challenge of whether or not the material at issue was Goodman’s 1st-bash content).

In any situation, this is an quick dismissal. The court lets Goodman down instead gently (emphasis additional):

A diligent assessment of circumstance legislation in this circuit reveals that no prior plaintiff has premised an affirmative declare for aid on Part 230(c)(1). Rather, Section 230 has only been invoked as an affirmative defense….

Plaintiff tries to use Portion 230 as a sword on which his point out-law abuse of procedure declare would be predicated. But Congress has not expressly supplied for any federal result in of motion less than Part 230. Plaintiff’s invocation of Segment 230(c)(1) as a basis for federal jurisdiction lacks any textual or precedential foundation and is belied by Area 230(c)(1)’s very clear legislative function to immunize interactive computer system solutions from civil legal responsibility for content established by 3rd get-togethers, not to generate a lead to of motion for content material creators.

While the court is accurate about Section 230(c) not producing any lead to of action, I remind you that there is no crystal clear enforcement mechanism for 230(d), the obligatory disclosure requirement about filtering availability. That’s a good matter, for the reason that 230(d) is commonly disregarded in the field.

Circumstance Quotation: Goodman v. Sharp, 2022 WL 2702609 (S.D.N.Y. July 12, 2022)


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