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CMPLAW-L  July 1997

CMPLAW-L July 1997

Subject:

Re: Regulation of Chat Halls and Bulliten Boards

From:

Tim Jacobson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 30 Jul 1997 09:33:17 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (39 lines)

>On Mon, 28 Jul 1997, Emily Christensen wrote:
>> Here's a request for info re: legal consequences of chat
>>hall/bulliten board regulation. I have questions about whether
>>or not this will make us liable for everything else that is posted >>in the site, or whether we could be sued for censorship over
>>blocking someone (or not blocking someone, whatever the case may
>>be).

On Wed, 30 Jul 1997 08:42:31 -0500, David NL Day wrote:
>Unless the chat room or discussion list is an OFFICIALLY
>sanctioned forum created and maintained by a government body,
>it is not subject to First Amendment protection. The First
>Amendment doesn't apply to forums created by private entities.

I don't know where the idea came from that the First Amendment
doesn't apply to forums created by private entities.  The First
Amendment does apply to such situations.  However, the First
Amendment is designed to protect individuals from being silenced
by the government.  The issue of whether an operator of a private
bulletin board can or should exercise some control over messages
being posted is an entirely separate matter.  Moderators of
"moderated" listservs exercise control over the messages being
posted all the time.  On the other hand, I think there has been
litigation over the issue of a forum provider of some sort taking
on the duty to keep certain inappropriate materials off of that
service or forum and the consequences of failing to do so on
some occassions.  I'm sure there's someone else out there better
qualified to discuss that point than me.


---------------------------------------
Timothy S. Jacobson   [log in to unmask]
O'KEEFE  JACOBSON  TRIAL  LAWYERS  S.C.
First Bank Place, First Floor
La Crosse, WI 54601-3298

Connect with us at http://okeefelaw.com
---------------------------------------
We have not entered into an attorney-client relationship with you.
You must see a lawyer in your state to protect your interests.

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