Monday, 26 December 2016 15:40

Judge Oetken: Lawyer Cannot Sue Internet Search Engines That Index Negative Articles

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In an opinion yesterday, Judge Oetken ruled that internet search engines are immune from liability under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) for indexing websites with negative articles about the plaintiff, a lawyer:

Courts have interpreted the CDA to give search engines broad immunity from defamation and other related causes of action resulting from their aggregation and republication of third-party content.

Because Defendants were acting only as publishers of sites whose content caused [the plaintiff’s] alleged injury, the CDA immunizes Defendants from liability. And the CDA’s broad protection for internet publishers also protects Defendants from any obligation to remove or de-index any links.

The Court is sensitive to the deep personal harms that can result from hurtful information posted on the internet. But the CDA prevents individuals from “su[ing] the messenger.”

Author:  Steptoe & Johnson LLP - Charles A. Michael

Source:  http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=a30f694b-0333-4093-8a16-a7a849071560

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