Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) is landmark legislation involving regulating content on the Internet. The statute immunizes interactive computer services providers against liability arising from third party created content. Namely, it states that “[n]o provider . . . of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” 47 U.S.C. § 230(c). It also states that “[n]o cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.” 47 U.S.C. § 230(e)(3).
Section 230 of the CDA was enacted, in part, to “preserve the vibrant and competitive free market that presently exists for the Internet.” 47 U.S.C. § 230(b)(2). Congress enacted Section 230, in part, as a response to the New York Supreme Court case Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Servs. Co. N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 24, 1995 (holding an interactive computer service was held liable for defamatory comments made by one of its two million users).
To further these goals, Congress declined to extend traditional defamation law that was applied to classical information providers, including newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations, to the Internet. Specifically, section 230(c)(1) shields a “provider” or “user” of an “interactive computer service” from liability when either of them publish material that a third-party “information content provider” has provided. 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1). Section 230(e)(3) adds to § 230(c)(1) by barring all state based claims “inconsistent” with the statute.
In one of the earliest cases involving the CDA, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that § 230(e)(3) bars all state claims sounding in tort. Zeran v. Am. Online, Inc., 129 F.3d 327, 331 (4th Cir. 1997). The Court observed that Congress did not want to “deter harmful online speech through the separate route of imposing tort liability on companies that serve as intermediaries for other parties’ potentially injurious messages.” Id. at 330-331. Courts across the United States now widely accept the Court’s rationale in Zeran, and, likewise, PissedConsumer.com has been routinely recognized as falling within the Section 230’s protection.
If you seek the identity or account information of the author of a submission posted on the GossipBlaze.com website in connection with a civil legal matter, you must properly serve GossipBlaze.com with a valid subpoena. For the subpoena to be valid, you must follow the steps below while submitting the subpoena:
1) Unless the subpoena is from a United States Federal District Court, the subpoena must be from a Nevada court having jurisdiction over GossipBlaze.com in Clark County, Nevada.
2) The subpoena must be directed to the proper party. The person or entity named in the subpoena must be the legal entity that operates GossipBlaze.com. The subpoena must describe the exact information you are requesting with sufficient particularity and must be accompanied by a notice setting forth the reasons why such disclosure and/or information is sought. You can send a copy to us at: [email protected]
3) You must show that your claim could survive a motion for summary judgment beyond making a mere prima facie case. Complying with this requirement requires producing evidence in the form of a declaration, sworn under penalty of perjury by the Plaintiff, that the submission posted by the author whose identity you seek contains provably false statements of fact. The documentation must explain what statement(s) is/are false, why the statement(s) is/are false and must be signed under penalty of perjury.
4) The case must be filed within the appropriate statute of limitations for your cause of action. Part of surviving a summary judgment motion requires that the case was timely filed. Nevada’s statute of limitations for defamation cases is two years.
5) You must agree that you will submit to the jurisdiction of the Courts of Nevada for any action, motion, or any other legal proceeding with any relationship to the post, your company, your subpoena, or any dispute you may have in connection with the GossipBlaze.com website.
6) You must agree that, in the event you bring any type of claim of any kind against GossipBlaze.com or there is any proceeding in which GossipBlaze.com is a party, participant, or witness, Nevada law will govern that dispute in all respects.
7) GossipBlaze.com will provide a waiting period of fourteen (14) days to give an author an opportunity to move to quash the subpoena in court or to move for a protective order. If the author does not make a motion to quash within the waiting period, or if such
motion is unsuccessful, please mail the subpoena to the below address and we will provide you with the requested information.
8) In the event that you are involved in a proceeding outside of Nevada and wish to serve a subpoena upon GossipBlaze.com, then you must obtain a domesticated subpoena in Nevada.
Submission of Subpoenas:
GossipBlaze.com is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. All civil subpoenas should be
emailed to [email protected].
A post may be removed from our website by order of a court. It would be advisable for you to speak to a legal professional about the situation. There are attorneys experienced in internet defamation who can help you. GossipBlaze.com will comply with court orders as long as they are valid and from a jurisdiction in the United States. The post in question will be updated to reflect that a valid court order was issued(“This report was redacted based on an issued court order.”) and the defamatory content will be redacted. Please note that court orders you submit must be valid and properly executed.
Sometimes we receives letters from foreign jourisdictions threatening litigation in other countries. In 2010, the U.S. adopted a “anti-libel tourism” law, 28 U.S.C. § 4102, which generally prohibits ALL U.S. courts from honoring foreign libel/defamation judgments if they conflict with the free speech rights guaranteed by our First Amendment. In addition, the law specifically prohibits U.S. courts from honoring foreign libel/defamation judgments against website operators if the claims at issue would have been barred under U.S. law. See 28 U.S.C. § 4102(c). Bear in mind that any state law to the contrary is trumped by the federal law so please do not try to raise that argument. It’s pointless.
GossipBlaze.com will happily comply with valid DMCA removal requests. However, you must be the copyright holder for any image that you are requesting to remove. If you are unsure if you are the true copyright owner of a particular image, then you are encouraged to seek legal counsel from an attorney that deals with intellectual property to advise you on the matter.
If you are the true owner of the copyright to a particular picture or work, you are encouraged to visit the following website:http://www.anti-abuse.org/how-to-file-a-valid-dmca-complaint/ for information on submitting a valid request. It should be noted that failing to submit a valid DMCA request will only delay the process and/or result in the alleged infringing material staying on the website.
A valid court order
A post may be removed from our website by order of a court. It would be worthwhile for you to speak to a legal professional about the situation as there are attorneys with experience in internet defamation who may be able to help you. GossipBlaze.com will comply with a valid court order. Please note, however, that any submitted court orders must be valid and executed in the proper jurisdiction.
Notarized letter from original poster
Users should be made aware of the fact that GossipBlaze.com does not endorse the posting of false, misleading, or defamatory information. If you have made a false posting on our website previously and wish to have that post removed, then you must submit a notarized letter containing the following information:
- You are the user who posted the information that you now seek to remove;
- Any data that can be used to verify that you were indeed the original poster of the information, including, but not limited to, the e-mail address, IP, and device type;
- The information previously posted by you was incorrect at the time it was posted;
- Your full name, mailing address, email address and signature;
- The following statement “I declare under penalty of perjury that the information provided in this request is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge”; and
- A legible notary stamp. We must be able to read the commission and/or id number.