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Bloggers Immune From Suits Against Commenters 142

Posted by kdawson
from the common-carrier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Suppose a commenter posts a libelous comment here at Slashdot. Can Slashdot and its owners be sued for defamation? A federal appeals court just held that no, they cannot. The court noted that a federal law was designed to ensure that 'within broad limits, message board operators would not be held responsible for the postings made by others on that board,' adding that, were the law otherwise, it would have an 'obvious chilling effect' on blogger speech."
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Bloggers Immune From Suits Against Commenters

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  • by Mikachu (972457) <jjburkeNO@SPAMhunter.cuny.edu> on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:30PM (#18160382) Homepage
    Microsoft sells your soul to satan!

    *runs*
    • by gQuigs (913879) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:35PM (#18160468) Homepage
      It said message board operators are not liable. They could still sue individual users on the site.
      • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:45PM (#18160614) Homepage Journal
        They can't sue GP. It's got to be FALSE information.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Romancer (19668)
      Slashdot should script in the submit form: "My opinion is:" before each post in very tiny print.

      To ensure that posters don't get sued since opinions can't be lible.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
        There's something about this "immunity" that bothers me.

        I've seen certain sites, like freerepublic or little green footballs, where the articles are secondary to the comments, and the comments have become a "reason-free-zone" where the worst of racism, homophobia and hate speech are given free reign. I'm not sure that the turds who run those sites should be allowed to skate completely free from responsibility for the repositories of ugliness that their comments sections have become, when they clearly encou
        • by QRDeNameland (873957) on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:48PM (#18161292)

          I wholeheartedly agree that to say that "a certain congressman deserves 'two in the back of the head'" is offensive.

          They ALL deserve two in the back of the head.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by maxume (22995)
          There is a difference between racism, homophobia and hate speech, and inciting someone to violence.

          I don't really care if I live in a world where people with ugly thoughts refrain from expressing them because of the rules. I see no(little?) virtue in meeting the basic requirements of society. It always wacks me out when people show offense at 'sinners'; I can see showing concern for a sinner, but why the hell would you take it as a personal offense that someone else is scum?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Skreems (598317)
            If you don't act offended at the behavior of others, how are you going to get that warm fuzzy feeling of superiority?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by general_re (8883)

          I'm not sure that the turds who run those sites should be allowed to skate completely free from responsibility for the repositories of ugliness that their comments sections have become, when they clearly encourage the basest instincts of their most twisted readers.

          Since such liability wouldn't likely be limited solely to board operators you happen to dislike, I guess the only question is who gets to the courthouse first - the people suing Free Republic and LGF, or the people suing DKos and Democratic Unde

        • by FLEB (312391) on Monday February 26, 2007 @09:17PM (#18161640) Homepage Journal
          One of the fundamental points of free speech is that, while they are not censored, we are all free to dismiss such bozos as the gaggle of nuts that they are, and spread word of this far and wide.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Wordsmith (183749)
          No, no it's not. It's speech, and it's clearly offensive to you (and me, from your description). You've got this wonderful ability not to expose yourself to it.

          Now, if they posters are actively encouraging people to shoot one another (not just saying some people deserve to be shot), or making threats that they'll do so, that's something else altogther.

          Ugly is ugly, but it ain't up to us to decide what's too ugly. You have every right to be racist, homophobic and hateful. Just don't expect an invitation to d
          • by Romancer (19668)
            That's where it crosses the line into conspiracy to commit. That's what it's there for, to let people have free speech but hold them accountable for what they do. Free speech comes with responsibilities.
            1. To protect your own right to free speech you must protect your opponents rights as well. and
            2. You are responsible for what you say. People may quote it back to you some day. In court.
            • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
              How do you "quote it back in court" when you allow anonymous commenters? To whom do you attribute the quote?
        • by geobeck (924637)

          I've seen certain sites...where the articles are secondary to the comments, and the comments have become a "reason-free-zone"...

          Hmm... I know I've seen a site like that somewhere, but I can't remember exactly what it was...

        • "It's one thing for a commenter at Slashdot to call someone an idiot. It's another thing when some freeper or someone at LGF says a certain congressman deserves "two in the back of the head" or fantasizes about the immolation of muslim women and children."

          Fantasize all you want! If you advocate illegal actions you can be held responsible for that advocation. If you provoke someone to illegal actions by your words, you may well be held responsible. That's a very gray line. You choose the luck of your dra
        • It's one thing for a commenter at Slashdot to call someone an idiot. It's another thing when some freeper or someone at LGF says a certain congressman deserves "two in the back of the head" or fantasizes about the immolation of muslim women and children.


          Of course, when someone at Democratic Underground posts about how Bush should be assassinated, it would be totally unreasonable to hold the site owner responsible for that.

          CHris Mattern
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cpt kangarooski (3773)
        To ensure that posters don't get sued since opinions can't be lible.

        What makes you think that? It depends on your jurisdiction, of course, since defamation laws can vary quite a lot, but at least with regard to federal defamation law, opinions can indeed be libelous. Also, merely using a preface like 'my opinion is' is not a magic incantation that is going to protect you no matter what follows it; simply saying that something is an opinion doesn't make it an opinion, and no court is stupid enough to be tric
        • Ahaha, common law kicks ass. The judges quoted Shakespeare's Othello in their ruling of that case.
    • All Scientologists are crazy, whackos who will take all of your money, brainwash you, and give you nothing in return.
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Duh!
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        Well that's absolutely not true. Only the minority of 'scientologists are crazy, whackos who will take all of your money, brainwash you, and give you nothing in return' they majority are gullible fools who lose all their money, get brainwashed and end up with nothing in return, I mean to say, that is after all the whole point of scientology ;).
    • Microsoft sells your soul to satan!

      *runs*

      A article I blogged from Humorix.org

      Fake news written by James Baughn @ Humorix.org
      from the where-do-you-want-to-go-today? dept.

      HADES -- Faced with growing competition from Microsoft in the lucrative soul-buying market, the Prince of Darkness today unveiled a new advertising campaign hoping to lure in more customers and turn the tables on Bill Gates.

      "The Novell-Microsoft deal was the final straw," Satan said during a press conference at his underground lair. "Novell should have sold their souls to

    • by Samah (729132)
      > Suppose a commenter posts a libelous comment here at Slashdot. Can Slashdot and its owners be sued for defamation?
      Slashdot have nothing to worry about. After all, we all know that every poster on slashdot is an angel with only the best intentions at heart! :)
  • will they then (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Neuropol (665537) *
    try and follow suit against the comment poster?
    • Let me be the first to say that this so-called "An anonymous reader" is a nobody and a has-been.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pilgrim23 (716938)
      Wasn't this all fought out 20 years ago over BBSs?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      Who is "they"? If the comment is linked to a [possible] crime, then sure, they will go after the poster. Which involves your access logs, your ISP's access logs, and possibly your database (if it will be helpful.)

      If someone should post copyrighted material in a comment, then the first thing they do is send you a takedown notice. Then they can come after you if you are not responsive.

      P.S. "file suit", not "follow suit".

    • Re:will they then (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ivanmarsh (634711) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:44PM (#18160612)
      I guess that depends on whether you're stating opinion or fact. Everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter how stupid it is.

      None of these cases will ever go anywhere.

      "I never made any claim that my blogg is a lagitimate source of factual material" case dismissed.
      If it works for Fox news it should certainly work for a blog.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PCM2 (4486)

        I guess that depends on whether you're stating opinion or fact. Everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter how stupid it is.

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion but they are not necessarily entitled to write it down and publish it for the whole world to read. If I say "I think George W. Bush looks like a child molester. In fact think he is a child molester" and then I go on for the next few paragraphs to talk about George W. Bush as if he molests children, speculating on the times and places where

        • Re:will they then (Score:4, Insightful)

          by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:57PM (#18161396) Homepage Journal
          PCM2, I absolutely agree, except for your last sentence. I think SCOTUS has been overly hard on slander and libel suits when the plaintiff is a "public figure", allowing a level of ugliness in discourse that exceeds the worst in our history. Even in the most divisive days of our Civil War, when public figures would say stuff that caused them to fight duels to the death, you didn't hear the kind of stuff you hear today (I'm something of a political history hobbyist, and I've checked). You can read certain blogs or tune into talk radio any evening to hear a lot worst than "GW Bush is a child molester". Recently, it has become common to hear the loudmouths on the Salem Radio outlet here in Chicago refer to members of congress as "drug addicted communist traitors who should to be hung" (note, not "deserve to be hung", but "should be hung"). In fact, yesterday the afternoon guy was talking about how Bill Clinton was a serial rapist and murderer. His callers ran with that thought into an area that went way, way past slander. And by the way, he wasn't talking about "murder" in the sense of "sent soldiers to their death in a needless war" or "left hurricane victims to die", but in the sense that he personally killed someone with his own hands. This stuff goes on every single day on thousands of AM radio stations across the US. The network (SRN)that carries this stuff likes to run promos about how "Your Opinion Counts". mm hmm. Then they'll cry about how their political adversaries are so full of "anger and hate".

          And it gets lots, lots worse, with no suits brought because Federal judges would throw them out since it was about a "public figure" and "protected, political speech". It seems that there's a concerted effort to make the level of discourse so outrageous that no serious issue could ever be discussed, allowing election results to be dictated further by the fun-house mirrors of our "personality" media.
          • by geobeck (924637)

            ..."drug addicted communist traitors who should to be hung"

            Well, it was slanderous up to the "traitors" bit, but I think they actually meant "should be hanged". "Hung" is something else... and it would only be slanderous if they meant "they should be hung, but they're actually muy pequeno."

          • by PCM2 (4486)
            Wow. OK, I stand corrected. I must admit, I get most of my radio in the form of about 1 hour of NPR a day, so I guess I've been insulated from a lot of the examples you cite. :-S Kinda ... scary.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by FLEB (312391)
          Simply saying something is an opinion doesn't make it so. An accusation of child molestation, presented as a straight statement without metaphor, is a provable right-or-wrong statement of fact.

          Now, the first statement would fly-- you can legitimately think he looks like a child molester (that's something wholly dependent upon your personal perception), but you put yourself into a statement of fact when you say that he is a child molester. Granted, the "I think" tempers it a bit, but it's still shaky ground
        • Meh. I think you'd win. It's not believable, and if no one reasonably believes you, then his reputation can't be harmed, which is what the law is really about. But you're right in that 'opinion' is not necessarily a magic word. OTOH, libel laws vary a lot in different jurisdictions, and the Supreme Court only has the final say as to one of them. IIRC, there are some states where there is a strong fair comment defense, in excess of the minimum required by the First Amendment.
          • by geobeck (924637)

            ...if no one reasonably believes you, then his reputation can't be harmed, which is what the law is really about.

            That's an important point. It's the difference between some loony calling in to a radio show and saying "George Bush rapes donkeys!" and the radio host saying "You're right. He does rape donkeys."

        • by WNight (23683)
          I'd have to say that the legal climate looks otherwise. If you claim that Bill Clinton has himself directly ordered the political murder of many people, and post "facts" that supposedly support this, absolutely nothing will happen. I've seen many websites that say this, and much "worse".

          They don't present this as an opinion at all. Straight "fact". And they're still there. On US webservers, un-obfuscated URLs, etc. Surely if it were so easy to remove this, it would have been.

          It's hard to pursue slander or l
      • Thats true, now Slashdot cannot be sued if I call George W Bush has sex with his Dad
      • No, that's not really how it works. A lot depends on how people perceive what you say, and how you meant it. You seem to think that 'opinion' is a magic word that will protect you, but it very well may not.
        • by ivanmarsh (634711)
          "The Fox appeal was largely on an argument that it is not technically illegal for a broadcaster to deliberately distort the news on television..."

          Google: Fox News Monsanto

          How magic a word is depends entirely on how much money you have.
    • Sueing the posters? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Being as this is a "news" site, can Taco refuse to give info on his sources, aka posters? And if he does refuse to fork over his logs etc under such an exemption can that be interpreted as Slashdot now being liable?
      • by Columcille (88542) *
        I would tend to think this wouldn't work. Slashdot is not an independent news source but refers people to other sources, many of which are not themselves news sources but are personal blogs.
      • by jZnat (793348) *
        Well, I don't believe any useful information is gathered from AC's, so you should be safe from libel lawsuits whilst AC.
  • Cool! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Now I can clue everyone in that Taco uses Windows! :)
  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@nOSpam.yahoo.com> on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:35PM (#18160456) Journal
    We need more chilling effects! Haven't you guys ever heard of global warming?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:39PM (#18160512)
    I once wrote a slanderous piece about someone and they, knowing that I had no money, determined that the brand of pen that I wrote the document with (pre-computer) was Bic, then filed a lawsuit agains Bic corporation for supplying me with the tool I used for my slanderous remarks.

    Note: The above did not really happen. It just served to make a (ball) point.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Strange, when you put it like that everyone would think your crazy but if someone were to suggest suing firearms manufacturers for things done with their products many people would have no problem with that.
    • This could never happen. The only instances in which someone has actually sued (and won) the reseller/corporation supplying an instrument are related to assault and battery.
      • by lessthan (977374)
        Which was the point. ;)
      • by Chmcginn (201645)
        Umm... tobacco? (Specifically the second-hand smoke thing)
      • Pft. What do you think Napster and Grokster were sued for? Secondary liability shows up in plenty of places in the law, in fact.
  • SlashdotFS (Score:2, Interesting)

    This is great. What we need now is something to post binary data as a slashdot post and a filesystem to use it!
  • Hall of fame story (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The_Wilschon (782534) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:42PM (#18160568) Homepage
    So would this ruling have prevented this story [slashdot.org] (from the slashdot hall of fame) from having happened?
    • by Harmonious Botch (921977) * on Monday February 26, 2007 @08:05PM (#18160832) Homepage Journal
      No, this suit does not change the scientology on slashdot issue.

      The scientology text in question was copyrighted, and to copy without permission is a violation of copyright law. In TFA, the situation is different. The plantif alledges that several people ( mostly John Does ) bought options to sell the stock at a certain price, defamed it on the forum, then after the price dropped, cashed their options for a profit. Apparently some people did defame it, and some people did profit from the drop in vale. But the court found that the plantiff was unable to prove that any of them were the same people. So, now law was proven to have been broken.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jim Hall (2985)

      I think it still would have happened. From the story you linked to (emphasis mine):

      Last Saturday a comment was posted here by an anonymous reader that contained text that was copyrighted by the Church of Scientology. They have since followed the DMCA and demanded that we remove the comment. While Slashdot is an open forum and we encourage free discussion and sharing of ideas, our lawyers have advised us that, considering all the details of this case, the comment should come down. Read on to understand wh

  • What about.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SillySnake (727102) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:42PM (#18160570)
    Didn't the church of Scientology threaten to sue once about stuff that was posted in the comment section? Obviously it has nothing to do with libel.. but might the same hold true based on the "within broad limits, message board operators would not be held responsible for the postings made by others on that board" ?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Scientology (technically, the RTC, one of the many official Scientology corporations) used a DMCA Takedown notice to force Slashdot to remove some copies of their OT ("Operating Thetan") materials. I believe it might have been OT3. Fortunately, they're widely available online [xenu.net] if you really want to read that crap.

      In my biased opinion, they're a rather insidious bunch. From what I've read of them online, it appears that they slowly isolate and condition people psychologically (which is why they hate psycho
  • by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:45PM (#18160622)
    Having previously hosted Think Secret's message boards for a few years, I'm no stranger to having companies like Adobe and Apple threatening to sue over content a user posted into a thread. In many instances where this occurred the content in question (usually pictures, screenshots or diagrams) were not even hosted on our site or any of our servers, but were linked from external sites where the content had originated. In addition, I was sometimes even threatened over mere links to other sites that were displaying the objectionable content in question. (Though, in those cases, I was able to simply refuse to remove the links on the grounds that I could not be held responsible for content hosted on third party websites.)

    So, would this imply that a site is protected from such harrassments should a user post a trade secret into the forums without the knowledge of the forum owner?
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:49PM (#18160664)
      I suggest that suing a Blogger for hosting a comment is a bit like suing New York City because it hosts the graffiti written on building walls.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by The_Wilschon (782534)
        But only a bit. The blogger can quite easily delete the offending post within a few clicks. NYC has to send a guy with not only a bucket of paint and brushes, but also an armed escort, to remove the offending graffiti. Much more difficult and much more expensive. Furthermore, NYC is a public entity, a blogger is a private entity.
      • Dunno about suits, but every time my house gets tagged, I get a note on the front door that says I have 24 hours to clean it up/remove it before I am cited and ticketed. The end result is the same: because I'm hosting an unpopular opinion, I have to remove it or pay money. Cities do this all the time, and it seems to be completely acceptable behavior. How is this different than your blogger/website?
  • I'll just begin my copy and paste of articles from whitesupremacy.com to message boards for storage.
  • Scientology (Score:2, Funny)

    by JamDonut (1068924)
    Seeing as there is no reference to this previously, I vote that we reinstate the comments from this thread. [slashdot.org]

    These people really get on my chimes. Our text is ours!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by quanticle (843097)
      First, there is a previous reference. Second, this doesn't affect the scientology case in any way. The text posted in the scientology thread is copyrighted, and the Church of Scientology sued under the DMCA, which this ruling does not affect.

      This case just affects libel, in which you falsely allege wrongdoing against someone for the purpose of destroying their reputation.
  • by i_should_be_working (720372) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:50PM (#18160686)
    What if the poster is someone that is known to be affiliated with /.? Like cowboyneal or taco. Which one started this thing anyway? Well, if the one who didn't start it or own it makes some libelous claims would /. still be off the hook?

    And what's the fine line between a blog and something like Wikipedia?

    Maybe TFM will have the answers. Oh wait, TFM is dotted.
  • It's just common sense. If I pick up a megaphone, get up on a soap box downtown, and yell a string of slanderous statements, Fanon Megaphones isn't going to get sued. Shoot the messenger and all.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by The_Wilschon (782534)

      It's just common sense.
      But it is also politics. The two are seen together about as often as whales are seen in deserts.
      • by Excelcia (906188)
        And, since the interior of a politician is not a naturally tenable place for Common Sense, the Common Sense didn't have much time to come to terms with its existance being Common Sense before it had to come to terms with not being Common Sense any more.
      • by maxume (22995)
        That's because the one is common, the other isn't, and the names don't make it clear which is which.
      • Wait...
        I've seen a whale in a desert*. Are you implying that you've actually seen a common sense politician?
        -nB

        *fossils count right?
  • The site where TFA is hosted appears to have been /.ed already so I can't see it. Is there anything in the decision that might possibly relate to forum comments? Thanks.
  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday February 26, 2007 @07:58PM (#18160756)

    were the law otherwise, it would have an 'obvious chilling effect' on blogger speech.

    The actual lawsuit has little to do with bloggers, which is nicely glossed over by (surprise) the blogger "reporting" on this. In fact, the word "blog" doesn't appear anywhere in the entire PDF, and the assertation that this "Reaffirms Immunity of Bloggers from Suits Brought Against Commenters" is almost complete hyperbole on the part of the blogger. The court's opinion seems aimed at mailing lists and web boards, and could also apply to cases like Myspace's big "Oops" with their spyware-laden advertising friends. Good luck arguing the finer points of who's the content provider of what with that one. Anyway....

    Some Devil's Advocate comments:

    If a reporter writes, "Bill Smith bonks goats" and the paper prints it (and doesn't retract it), how is that different from some goofball writing "Bill Smith bonks goats" and the website owner not taking it down when informed of the error? Granted, one is an employee (sometimes), but in both situations, the owner/operator has the technical capability to edit, fact check, etc. Volume isn't really an excuse; newspapers could easily say the same thing. "Gee, we have so many reporters, we can't be expected to keep tabs on each one."

    Another example: a streaker runs past a TV camera that's live. Guess what? The streaker gets arrested, but the TV station could be fined by the FCC; the FCC can't say "well, shucks, we can't really stop people from doing that sort of thing, it's live!"; the FCC turns around and says "We don't care, make sure it doesn't happen again"; data, most TV isn't live; it's run off a delay loop, and someone's got their hand over a Big Red Button that cuts the feed. This became very popular after a California TV station "accidentally" broadcast a guy blowing his brains out (I believe after a highway chase).

    I'm tired of all this. Bloggers seem like the little naive children of the media; chiefly, they seem shocked and amazed that you can't ignore centuries of common law: you say something and it damages another party, you could be held liable in a civil suit for said damages. Anonymity isn't anything new or special; in fact, in the 1700's anonymously published papers were part of our nation's founding.

    • by Knara (9377)
      I wasn't particularly interested in replying to the rest of your comment, however I felt the need to point out that most bloggers won't do things anonymously because their entire blogging intent is 20% inform the public (which seems to be, in turn, about 1% of the blogs out there, since there's so much rehashing), and 80% trying to make a living off of their blog. Of course, this in turn requires people to know you, and anonymous publishing kinda kills that idea.
      • their entire blogging intent is 20% inform the public (which seems to be, in turn, about 1% of the blogs out there, since there's so much rehashing), and 80% trying to make a living off of their blog

        Uh, I think 20% is inflated even as an estimate of the number of people *trying* to make *any* money off their blog.

        The number of people who successfully *live* off their blog is probably in the realm of a single-digit percentage, if that.

        • The GP isn't trying to say that 20% of bloggers are living off of their blogs. The GP is saying that 20% of a blogger's intention is to inform the public, with the remaining 80% of their reason for blogging being to make money. If 80% of the reason for your actions was to make money, you wouldn't want to be anonymous. Which was the GP's point.
    • by whoever57 (658626)

      I'm tired of all this. Bloggers seem like the little naive children of the media; chiefly, they seem shocked and amazed that you can't ignore centuries of common law: you say something and it damages another party, you could be held liable in a civil suit for said damages.

      You are reading something into the original article that is not there. Or rather, you are not reading almost half of the headline: "...Immunity of Bloggers from Suits Brought Against Commenters". The article is not saying that bloggers a

    • The court's opinion seems aimed at mailing lists and web boards

      And describe how the comments section on a weblog differs in any substantial way from a "web board"?

      If a reporter writes, "Bill Smith bonks goats" and the paper prints it (and doesn't retract it), how is that different from some goofball writing "Bill Smith bonks goats" and the website owner not taking it down when informed of the error? Granted, one is an employee

      You answered your own question. A reporter is clearly and obviously working as an
  • "...were the law otherwise, it would have an 'obvious chilling effect' on blogger speech."

    It would have an obvious chilling effect on anonymous coward speech. It's not that hard to disable comments on most blogging engines.

  • There was some noise being made about forcing ISPs to keep records for a set amount of time. That would be a responsible complementary law to this freedom. Otherwise, you will end up with a situation where sites cannot be held responsible, and intentionally do not keep any records to prevent their users from being held responsible for their speech.

    Free speech must still be used within limits, and I'm all for it. I'm also for, when someone willfully and grossly exceeds those limits, to pay the piper and t
    • by salesgeek (263995)
      Free speech must still be used within limits

      Limits and free don't usually make sense when used to describe the same subject.

      • by bugnuts (94678)

        Limits and free don't usually make sense when used to describe the same subject

        In a reasonable society that might be true. Take, for example, whenever you attempt to speak someone else talks over you at a much higher volume. He is not stopping you from talking, per se, but rather, exercising his free speech. If you say "don't talk over me" or eject him from the room, you are limiting him.

        Thus, in even this simple example, free speech must be used responsibly to remain free. That's exactly the point I was making. Great, you can now publish other people's comments without fear of

  • Slashdot stole my comments and I want them back!
  • Great to hear common sense was in action here. In Germany there was a ruling recently stating the exact opposit. The reasoning was something like if you don't have the resourses to monitor your message boards 100%, don't run one. Which should, if it playes out worst-case, eleminate most boards at some point. Next stop: cashing.
  • They all look like this [xkcd.com] anyway. I can't believe anyone would take anything on a message board seriously.

    --Rob

  • I'm amazed that no one's mentioned GoDaddy. This is precisely the reason they gave for shutting down seclist.org. One of their spokesdrones even called me after I submitted a comment on that issue. They mentioned that they're "protecting the Internet". This ruling simply affirms the common sense idea that everyone is responsible for their own self.


    ..Chuck..

  • When I first glanced at this I swore I saw "Boogers ...."

    Sorry, just had to tell someone.

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