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Craigslist.org Not Liable for Illegal ads

Filed under: Computers and Technology,Law — Tags: , , , , — Paddy Wallbouncer @ 4:32 pm 2008 March 16

In a return to common sense, a federal appeals court has found that Craigslist is not liable for discriminatory housing ads posted on its site. A group of Chicago lawyers sued the website because some of the ads contained on the website included notices that discriminated against minorities. A three judge panel of the Seventh Circuit of the U.S Court of Appeals said simply: Craigslist is not a publisher of these ads in the same way a newspaper would be. They said, “the website is more like an intermediary carrying information from one person to another and therefore is not liable for its content”

Judge Frank Easterbrook said the attorneys “cannot sue the messenger just because the message reveals a third party’s plan to engage in unlawful discrimination.” He went on to say the attorneys could identify those landlords with discriminatory ads and refer them to their state’s attorney for prosecution.

Viacom currently has a billion dollar lawsuit against youTube’s owner Google.com for allowing copyrighted content on their site. This decision will undoubtedly weigh in precedent for this and other cases like this.

We’ll keep you informed of this and other entertaining news.

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Story source: Reuters

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