Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
4Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Global Royalties v. Xcentric Ventures, 544 F.Supp.2d 929

Global Royalties v. Xcentric Ventures, 544 F.Supp.2d 929

Ratings: (0)|Views: 2,326|Likes:
Published by David S. Gingras

More info:

Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: David S. Gingras on Feb 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, DOC, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

11/08/2012

pdf

text

original

 
544 F.Supp.2d 929Page 1544 F.Supp.2d 929, 36 Media L. Rep. 1797
 
Global Royalties, Ltd. v. Xcentric Ventures, LLCD.Ariz.,2008.United States District Court,D. Arizona.GLOBAL ROYALTIES, LTD., et al., Plaintiffs,v.XCENTRIC VENTURES, LLC, et al., Defendants.
No. CV-07-0956-PHX-FJM.
Feb. 28, 2008.
Background:
Brokers of investments in gemstones brought defamation action against operators of website where visitors were invited to post consumer complaints, arising from allegedly defamatorycontent posted in the website by a visitor. TheDistrict Court, Frederick J. Martone, J., 2007 WL  2949002, granted operators' motion to dismiss withleave to amend. After brokers filed amendedcomplaint, operators moved to dismiss.
The District Court held that operatorswere entitled to immunity under the CommunicationsDecency Act (CDA). Motion granted.West Headnotes
[1]Libel and Slander 237 74
237Libel and Slander  237IV Actions  237IV(A) Right of Action and Defenses  237k74k. Persons Liable.Most Cited  CasesAt common law, publishers are liable along withauthors for defamatory content.
[2]Libel and Slander 237 28
237Libel and Slander  237I Words and Acts Actionable, and Liability Therefor  237k26Repetition 237k28 k. By Others in General. Most  Cited CasesOperators of website where visitors were invited to post consumer complaints were immunized under theCommunications Decency Act (CDA) from liabilityfor alleged defamatory content posted by a visitor,even though the operators failed to remove thecontent after the visitor asked them to do so.Communications Decency Act of 1996, § 509(c)(1),47 U.S.C.A. § 230(c)(1).
[3]Libel and Slander 237
 
28
237Libel and Slander  237I Words and Acts Actionable, and Liability Therefor  237k26Repetition 237k28 k. By Others in General. Most  Cited CasesImmunity under the Communications Decency Act(CDA) continues to protect a website operator who ison notice that a posting is potentially defamatory.Communications Decency Act of 1996, § 509(c)(1),47 U.S.C.A. § 230(c)(1).
[4]Libel and Slander 237
 
28
237Libel and Slander  237I Words and Acts Actionable, and Liability Therefor  237k26Repetition 237k28 k. By Others in General. Most  Cited Cases
Telecommunications 372 1344
372Telecommunications 372VIII Computer Communications  372k1339Civil Liabilities; Illegal or Improper Purposes 372k1344 k. Persons and Entities Liable; Immunity. Most Cited CasesThe Communications Decency Act (CDA) is acomplete bar to suit against a website operator for itsexercise of a publisher's traditional editorialfunctions, such as deciding whether to publish,withdraw, postpone or alter content. CommunicationsDecency Act of 1996, § 509(c)(1),47 U.S.C.A. § © 2008 Thomson Reuters/West. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.
 
544 F.Supp.2d 929Page 2544 F.Supp.2d 929, 36 Media L. Rep. 1797
 
[5]Libel and Slander 237 28
237Libel and Slander  237I Words and Acts Actionable, and Liability Therefor  237k26Repetition 237k28 k. By Others in General. Most  Cited CasesAlthough operators of website where visitors wereinvited to post consumer complaints provided a list of categories from which a visitor selected the title “ConArtists” for his postings containing allegedlydefamatory content against gemstone brokers, such participation was not sufficient to make the operatorsinformation content providers with respect to the postings, as would preclude their immunity fromdefamation liability under the CommunicationsDecency Act (CDA). Communications Decency Actof 1996, § 509(c)(1), (f)(3),47 U.S.C.A. § 230(c)(1),  (f)(3).
[6]Libel and Slander 237 28
237Libel and Slander  237I Words and Acts Actionable, and Liability Therefor  237k26Repetition 237k28 k. By Others in General. Most  Cited CasesAlthough operators of website where visitors wereinvited to post consumer complaints encouraged the publication of defamatory content, this did not preclude the operators' immunity under theCommunications Decency Act (CDA) fromdefamation action brought by gemstone brokers after a visitor posted allegedly defamatory content on thewebsite. Communications Decency Act of 1996, §509(c)(1), (f)(3), 47 U.S.C.A. § 230(c)(1), (f)(3).
*930
 Andre Harbon Merrett,Deana S. Peck ,Quarles & Brady LLP, Phoenix, AZ, for Plaintiffs.David Scott Gingras, Maria Crimi Speth,Jaburg & Wilk PC, Phoenix, AZ, for Defendants.
ORDER 
FREDERICK J. MARTONE,District Judge.In our order of October 10, 2007 (doc. 20), wegranted defendants' motion to dismiss with leave for  plaintiffs to amend the complaint. Plaintiffs filed anamended complaint (doc. 22) on November 1, 2007. Now the court has before it defendants' motion todismiss the first amended complaint (doc. 23), plaintiffs' response (doc. 25), and defendants' reply(doc. 27 ex. A). The court also has before it plaintiffs'motion to stay (doc. 28), defendants' response (doc.29), and plaintiffs' reply (doc. 30). For the followingreasons, defendants' motion to dismiss the firstamended complaint is granted, and plaintiffs' motionto stay is denied.
I
This is a defamation action. Plaintiffs (“Global”) broker investments in gemstones. Defendants operatea website called Ripoff Report (www. ripoffreport.com), where visitors are invited to post consumer complaints. On March 27, 2006, Ripoff Reportvisitor Spencer Sullivan, who is not a party to thisaction, posted a message on the site referring toGlobal's operation as a “scam.”
 Am. Complaint 
at 3.The amended complaint alleges that consumers who post on defendants' site “must answer severalquestions created and developed by [defendants].”
 Id.
at 4. The complaint gives only one example:When posting on defendants' site, consumers arerequired to chose a “category” with which to labeltheir message. For the first statement, Sullivan chose“Con Artists” from a list.
 Id.
Further, plaintiffsallege that defendants encourage defamatory postingsin order to use them as leverage “to coerce businessesand individuals to pay for [defendants'] CorporateAdvocacy Program, which purports to provideassistance in investigating and resolving the postedcomplaints.”
 Id.
at 3.Sullivan posted a second entry on June 8, 2006,which he said was in response to a threat of legalaction from plaintiffs' counsel.
 Id.
at 4. Sullivanwrote that he was not aware of any bad business practices on the part of Global itself, but that twoindividuals “involved with” Global had treated himdishonorably and had engaged in criminal acts.
 Id.
Sullivan added that anyone looking to invest ingemstones should first call the Royal Canadian© 2008 Thomson Reuters/West. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.
 
544 F.Supp.2d 929Page 3544 F.Supp.2d 929, 36 Media L. Rep. 1797
 
Mounted Police, Commercial Crime Unit.
*931
Sullivan posted a third and final entry aboutGlobal on June 16, 2006. He again claimed that hehad been “threatened” by plaintiffs' counsel, whoadvised him to discontinue the postings.
 Id.
at 4-5.His message ends, “I think that any upstandingcommercial operation could bear the scrutiny of acrime unit without any issue.”
 Id.
at 5. At some point, Sullivan allegedly contacted defendants andasked that his entries be removed from the website, but defendants refused.
 Id.
II
[1]In our order of October 10, 2007, dismissing theoriginal complaint, we concluded that plaintiffs'defamation action was barred by theCommunications Decency Act (“CDA”),47 U.S.C. §§ 230, 560-61. At common law, publishers are liable along with authors for defamatory content. The CDAimmunizes website operators (“providers of aninteractive computer service”) by exempting themfrom the publisher role: No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by anotheinformation content provider.47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1).Defendants contend that theallegations of the amended complaint still do notovercome CDA immunity.
III
[2]Plaintiffs contend that CDA immunity does not protect defendants because they failed to remove thedefamatory content after Sullivan, the author, askedthem to do so. They rely principally on 
 
. In
 anindividual sent a defamatory e-mail to a privateorganization that added the contents to its website.
The author of the message claimedthat he never intended its publication on the internet.In addressing the impact on the website operator'sliability, the court turned to the statute. Under 230(c)(1), a website operator is not treated as the publisher or speaker “of any information
 provided 
by another information content provider.”(emphasis added). Thecourt concluded that “provided” means “provided for  publication,” so a website operator cannot disclaimliability for content that the author never intended to post.
Here, plaintiffs acknowledge thatSullivan initially provided his statements fo publication. But they contend that once Sullivanrequested their removal, the statements were nolonger “provided for publication,” and defendants'CDA immunity ceased at that point.However, in
 the court did not interpret“provided” as an ongoing process. The focus was onexpectations regarding communications when theyare made. The court was concerned that technologyusers would be discouraged from sending e-mails if website operators have no incentive to evaluatewhether the content they receive is meant to be broadcast over the internet or kept private. 
 Thereare no similar concerns in this action; Sullivanobviously meant his messages to appear on thewebsite. Whether website operators have a duty towithdraw content when an author later changes hismind is another question-one that is not addressed by
[3]The most analogous cases address whether CDAimmunity continues to protect a website operator whois on notice that a posting is potentially defamatory.It is well established that it does.
. In light of Congress' goals to encourage developmentof the internet and to prevent the threat of liabilityfrom stifling free expression, CDA immunity has been interpreted very broadly.
*932
Cir.2003).Website-operator liability based on noticehas been rejected, because each “notification wouldrequire a careful yet rapid investigation of thecircumstances surrounding the posted information, alegal judgment concerning the information'sdefamatory character, and an on-the-spot editorialdecision whether to risk liability by allowingcontinued publication.”
.The sheer number of internet postings, perhaps combined withthe anonymity of many contributors, makes thisunworkable for website operators, and the incentive© 2008 Thomson Reuters/West. No Claim to Orig. US Gov. Works.

Activity (4)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 hundred reads
1 thousand reads
Marnie Luke liked this
Satvik Khare liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->