Free Speech

Clinic Filed Brief Supporting Immunity for Third Party Content

Type: Brief
Year: 2004

The Samuelson Clinic, on behalf of a group of law professors with expertise in Internet law, submitted a brief to the California Supreme Court supporting reversal of the California Court of Appeal’s narrow interpretation of the Communications Decency Act in Barrett v. Rosenthal. The brief argued that by limiting an Internet provider or user’s immunity from liability for publication of content created by third parties, the Court of Appeal ignored Congress’ explicitly stated policy goals "the promotion of self-regulation and the protection of online speech” and adopted a rule that discourages self-regulatory behavior and guarantees the elimination of protected speech. The brief explained that the court’s flawed reasoning is grounded in a fundamental misunderstanding of Section 230’s legislative history, an unwarranted reliance on legislative silence, and a failure to analyze Congressional action in reference to pre-existing common law principles.

Click to download pdf