Type of online publisher:
GTE Corp., Internet service provider (ISP)
Publisher's Role in Third Party Content:
CDA § 230 applicable?:
After improper videos of college athletes were sold online, the athletes decided to sue the site's web host, GTE.
Analogizing an ISP to Federal Express or the Postal Service, which may transport packages with unlawful contents and still not incur liability, Judge Easterbrook rejected the plaintiffs' claim that hosting a website site engaged in unlawful activity made an ISP liable for negligence.
Just as the telephone company is not liable as an aider and abettor for tapes or narcotics sold by phone, and the Postal Service is not liable for tapes sold (and delivered) by mail, so a web host cannot be classified as an aider and abettor of criminal activities conducted through access to the Internet.
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