Request for Depublication of Novartis v. SHAC
On December 8 2006 EFF and Professor Deirdre Mulligan and Jack Lerner requested the depublication of Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics Inc. v. Stop Huntingdon Cruelty USA Inc. (2006) 143 Cal.App.4th 1284 Ct. of App. Nos. A107538 & A108292. Novartis was decided on October 12 2006 about a month prior to the California Supreme Court's decision in Barrett v. Rosenthall.
The California Court of Appeal's cursory analysis of Section 230 in Novartis v. SHAC USA ignored the protections Congress provided for users of interactive computer services leaving only the protection for interactive computer service providers. As the California Supreme Court recognized in Barrett v. Rosenthal Section 230 expressly grants both providers and users the same immunity on the same terms. While Novartis decision has been superceded by the higher court's decision in Barrett we were concerned that its continued publication might lead to unwarranted self-censorship and timidity by Internet users. Nevertheless the California Supreme Court denied the request.