Feb 6, 2013

I Leave Reno, and Make the News

Several months after I left Reno, I've made it on the news there. (This seems to be a pattern. A few weeks after I moved from New York, I was quoted in The New York Times.)

KRNV (channel 4) interviewed me for a story on a Reno girl whose photo was posted on, a web site that features user-posted photos of people and insults about their sexual activities.

I've written about the site before, particularly a lawsuit brought against the site in Kentucky by a teacher and Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader. (Which recently ended with a mistrial.)

As I said in the interview, sites like thedirty are generally protected from liability for user posts by section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, which provides that operators of "interactive computer services," including web sites, cannot be held liable for material contributed (posted) by someone other than the site operator. But the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal of trial judge's decision allowing the Kentucky case to proceed. Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings, Inc., No. 12-5133 (6th Cir. May 9, 2012) (dismissing appeal of Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings, Inc., 840 F. Supp. 2d 1008, 40 Media L. Rep. 1153 (E.D. Ky. Jan. 10, 2012)). The section 230 argument is sure come up again in that case.

Simply, the law has not kept up with the technology.

There have been some calls to limit the scope of section 230. If that were to happen, it would be a major change of the law regarding the internet.


Eric P. Robinson said...

For an interesting take on the legal issues surrounding sites such as thedirty, see this post.

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