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Has a Forum on a Website ever been successfully sued for DEFAMATION ?

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Has a Forum on a Website ever been successfully sued for DEFAMATION ?

Old 10-29-04, 03:18 AM
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Has a Forum on a Website ever been successfully sued for DEFAMATION ?

Just wondering if a forum has ever been succesfully sued for Defamation ?

How much legal responsibility does a forum have for the posting of it's members ?

let's say there is a thread bagging McDonalds, definitely not something out of the realms of possibility. Would McDonalds have any case at all sueing dvd talk ?

I read and hear about websites being threatened with legal action all the time but never a case when the legal action has gone ahead and been successful.
Old 10-29-04, 03:30 AM
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From the DVD Talk terms and conditions:

"Please remember that we do not actively monitor the contents of and are not responsible for any messages posted. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. The messages express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of DVD Talk or any entity associated with DVD Talk or Kleinman.com Inc."

So DVD Talk isn't responsible for our posts. Therefore, they aren't liable.
Old 10-29-04, 03:46 AM
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You mean p1forest isn't a dirty, dirty slut?
Old 10-29-04, 04:19 AM
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Originally posted by RaMMaR
You mean p1forest isn't a dirty, dirty slut?
No, Virginia. There is no Santa Claus.
Old 10-29-04, 04:41 AM
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How much legal responsibility does a forum have for the posting of it's members ?

let's say there is a thread bagging McDonalds, definitely not something out of the realms of possibility. Would McDonalds have any case at all sueing dvd talk ?
No, McDonalds wouldn't be able to sue unless the person was making claims that were extreme. Such as "the clown raped me"

But to some extent the companies can ask for something to get pulled. Like Black friday ads. That comes up this time a year.
Old 10-29-04, 05:01 AM
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Originally posted by WhoGirl
No, Virginia. There is no Santa Claus.
Old 10-29-04, 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
No, McDonalds wouldn't be able to sue unless the person was making claims that were extreme. Such as "the clown raped me"

But to some extent the companies can ask for something to get pulled. Like Black friday ads. That comes up this time a year.
But the clown did rape me!
Old 10-29-04, 07:33 AM
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I believe people have been arrested and have had their homes raided over things said on internet forums... but I don't know of any forums being successfully sued.
Old 10-29-04, 07:45 AM
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Most forums usually have a disclaimer, putting the sole responsibility and claims on the poster. However, a forum can still be shut down, no matter who is in the right legally. For example, suppose a website forum gets itself into the sites of the Church Of Scientology. A power organization can manage to a lot of damage to an ISP which hosts the forum. More than likely, as a compromise, the posts will just be deleted. If the website refuses, then it's time to play hardball.
Old 10-29-04, 09:06 AM
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Re: Has a Forum on a Website ever been successfully sued for DEFAMATION ?

Originally posted by Original Desmond
Just wondering if a forum has ever been succesfully sued for Defamation ?
...
I don't know if there has ever been a suit won, but some have been brought. The first one that comes to mind is the one against Prodigy back in the mid 90s.

An early article about it...
The murky world of liability in cyberspace got even murkier May 25 when a New York State judge ruled that a libel case against Prodigy Services Co. can proceed.

Prodigy says it was merely a "pipeline" for a derogatory message posted on one of its bulletin boards last October that New York investment firm Stratton Oakmont Inc. claims was libelous. Judge Stuart Ain ruled that because Prodigy monitors its online content for obscenity and appropriateness, it can be held liable for slander ous material. He allowed Stratton Oakmont to proceed with its $200 million lawsuit filed in November.

The case spotlights the potential legal exposure for organizations posting information on the World Wide Web. "People creating the content are always liable for that content in the online world," says Shari Steele, director of legal services at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit online interest group in Washington.

Setting A Precedent?
But the May 25 ruling, which Prodigy says it will appeal, could set a precedent that extends liability to any content from outsiders that's communicated through a company's Web server--if that company monitors content. "Simply determining which messages get posted to a newsgroup is a form of monitoring, which could set you up for liability if something libelous gets through," Steele adds.

Ain's ruling comes on the heels of a law proposed by Sen. James Exon (D-Neb.) establishing criminal penalties for transmitting obscene material online. In the event that Exon's bill becomes law and a final ruling against Prodigy establishes a precedent for liability, online service providers and corporate Web sites could face a dilemma. They would be forced to monitor content for illegal pornographic material, but that monitoring could make them liable in civil cases for material deemed slanderous.

A follow-up after the appeal...
Lunney v. Prodigy

One of the most recent cases addressing Internet defamation is the New York case of Lunney v. Prodigy. In Lunney, an imposter opened several Prodigy accounts under different versions of Alexander Lunney's name. He then transmitted threatening e-mail messages to the local Boy Scout master threatening to kill him, molest his sons and "show your wife how a real Boy Scout pitches a tent." The Scout master alerted the police who reported that Mr. Lunney was not the perpetuator. Prodigy then terminated Lunney's account because of the transmission of "obscene, abusive, threatening and sexually explicit materials through the Prodigy service." When Lunney advised Prodigy that it was an imposter who had opened the accounts, Prodigy apologized and notified Lunney it had uncovered four additional accounts under his name without Prodigy's knowledge.

Lunney sued Prodigy seeking, among other things, damages for defamation by Prodigy inasmuch as Lunney was portrayed as the author of vulgar and threatening material due to Prodigy's negligence. In its analysis of whether Prodigy was liable, the court was required to determine whether Prodigy was a "publisher" or merely a "distributor" of e-mail messages. The court concluded that although commercial on-line services like Prodigy transmit e?mail, they do not exercise any editorial control. The court stated:

Prodigy's role in transmitting e-mail is akin to that of a telephone company, where one neither wants nor expects to superintend the content of its subscribers' conversation. In this respect, an ISP, like a telephone company, is merely a conduit.

Bulletin board postings, as opposed to e-mail, however, pose a special problem. Prodigy, as other ISP's, monitors and edits bulletin board content, thereby theoretically causing them to fall into a category of a "publisher" for purposed of defamation analysis. If Prodigy took on the responsibility of monitoring and censoring its bulletin board postings, then it would also be liable for allowing the vulgar content that injured Lunney's reputation to be published. The court, in a questionable analysis, concluded that Prodigy's power to exert editorial control did not alter its essentially passive posture as a mere conduit of information so as to render it a "publisher" of bulletin board messages. The court's choice to avoid ISP liability for the content of bulletin board messages and e-mail distributed by its members is consistent with prior cases on the topic. It does not, however, resolve the issue of how the member of an ISP such as like Mr. Lunney can obtain a remedy for defamation on the Internet against the true perpetrator.
Old 10-29-04, 10:02 AM
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It's like any discussion in a public or private place, only there is a very clear record of it. If you say something in a store there can be repurcussions, but the store isn't at fault.
Old 10-29-04, 10:17 AM
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SUCK IT

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Old 10-29-04, 10:34 AM
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David Beckham wears pink frilly knickers!

there, i've done it, i've defamed David Beckham


Actually i'm probably just telling the truth

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