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Universal Communications Systems, Inc. v. Lycos, Inc., 478 F.3d 413 (1st Cir. 2007)

Type of online publisher: 
Lycos, online message board
Publisher's Role in Third Party Content: 
Operated online message board that required user registration and cross-linked with other Lycos sites
CDA § 230 applicable?: 
Yes

When a third party posted defamatory statements about Universal Communications Systems on an online Lycos message board, the company sued Lycos arguing in part that Lycos' registration process and link structure had prompted the statements and extended a type of "culpable assistance" to the author. The court rejected these claims because registration and linking of bulletin boards are "standard elements of web sites 'with [both] lawful and unlawful potential'… and hence, without more, cannot form the basis to find inducement."

Court Opinion Document: 
Jurisdiction: 
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