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CMPLAW-L  July 1997

CMPLAW-L July 1997

Subject:

Re: Editorial Control and the WWW as Public Forum

From:

[log in to unmask]

Reply-To:

Internet and Computer Law Association <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 31 Jul 1997 11:32:29 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (37 lines)

In a message dated 97-07-30 18:20:54 EDT, you write:

<< 1) I understand that, as in the Prodigy case, editing contributions to
 the board for content may cause us to be liable for the contributions
 that *are* posted. I also understand that if we excericise no editorial
 control over the bulliten board (as with the Compuserve case) we will
 not be held liable.>>

This oversimplifies the issue just a bit. In the Prodigy case, the act of
asserting editorial control was only part of the equation. The other part,
which was a major factor, is that Prodigy actively promoted and advertised
such control to the general public. CompuServe did just the opposite.


>> However I have a question as to whether "editorial
 control" has been defined specifically as removing or editing a users
 comments.>>

It seems to me that such actions are the very essence of editorial control.


>> That is, I wonder if taking action to block a user from the
 board for a) clearly breaking a law (i.e. invasion of privacy or
 defamation) or b) breaking a more specific "user agreement" (i.e.
 excessive profanity) would legally constitute "editorial control" over
 the bulliten board.>>

This is a closer question, but I would not consider excluding a user to be
"editorial control" as it does not impact on the material that is posted,
only prevents further posting by an individual. I believe "editorial
control" only encompasses the ability to delete, alter or edit posted
material.


Regards,

Marshall

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