Section 230

Information about Section 230

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Section 230 immunity is not unlimited. The statute specifically excepts federal criminal liability (§230(e)(1)), electronic privacy violations (§230(e)(4)) and intellectual property claims (§230(e)(2)). There is also no immunity from state laws that are consistent with 230(e)(3) though state criminal laws have been held preempted in cases such as Backpage. com, LLC v. McKenna and Voicenet Communications, Inc. v. Corbett (agreeing that "the plain language of the CDA provides . . . immunity from inconsistent state criminal laws"). What constitutes "publishing" under the CDA is somewhat narrowly defined by the courts. The Ninth Circuit held that "Publication involves reviewing, editing, and deciding whether to publish or to withdraw from publication third-party content. " Thus, the CDA does not provide immunity with respect to content that an interactive service provider creates or develops entirely by themselves. CDA immunity also does not bar an action based on promissory estoppel. As of mid-2016, courts have issued conflicting decisions regarding the scope of the intellectual property exclusion set forth in §230(e)(2). For example, in Perfect 10, Inc. v. CCBill, LLC, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the exception for intellectual property law applies only to federal intellectual property claims such as copyright infringement, trademark infringement, and patents, reversing a district court ruling that the exception applies to state-law right of publicity claims. The 9th Circuit's decision in Perfect 10 conflicts with conclusions from other courts including Doe v. Friendfinder. The Friendfinder court specifically discussed and rejected the lower court's reading of "intellectual property law" in CCBill and held that the immunity does not reach state right of publicity claims.