RFA 1: Copyright, Defamation, and Liability for Business Models
I would be interested to read an article considering the policy options related to business models that foreseeably attract, and apparently rely on, defamatory content. Shielded by Section 230 of the Communications Act, sites like Auto Admit, Juicy Campus, and Rotteneighbor invite users to post comments about other members of their respective communities. Relying on the pseudonymity offered by these sites, users have apparently been fairly brazen in posting defamatory comments harming the reputations of others.
Assuming Section 230 generally gets it right with respect to service provider liability, should a different standard apply when one starts a site that foreseeably attracts defamatory statements? Are these businesses using the reputations of others as part of their start-up capital? Is this just the price of free speech? This inquiring mind would like to know.