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CMPLAW-L  July 1997

CMPLAW-L July 1997

Subject:

Re: Regulation of Chat Halls and Bulletin Boards

From:

Tim Jacobson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 30 Jul 1997 12:02:04 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (42 lines)

>On Wed, 30 Jul 1997, Tim Jacobson wrote:
>
>> 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.

On Wed, 30 Jul 1997 11:19:50 -0500, David NL Day wrote:
>I'd love to see any cases that you can provide in which a private
>organization was obligated to adhere to First Amendment principles
>when creating or operating a private forum.

You have misconstrued what I said.  People don't "adhere"
to the First Amendment--the First Amendment protects people
from certain government intrusions.  If what you meant to say
was that a private entity does not have to allow people to
communicate in the private entity's forum, that's correct.
On the other hand, a person who does post a message in a private
forum is still protected by the First Amendment against being
silenced by the *government*, assuming certain things about the
content of the message.

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law ...
abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press...."  It's
important for people to understand what's really being talked
about, and to not lapse into generalities about First
Amendment principles.


---------------------------------------
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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