State Law Claims Such as Defamation and Negligence Barred under the Communications Decency Act
Under the Communications Decency Act 47 U.S.C.A. § 230 (“CDA”), a party is immune to state law claims relating to information published on the Internet such as defamation, misappropriation of likeness, breach of contract, and negligence. § 230 of the CDA states that no cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any State or local law that is inconsistent with this section.
For example, these provisions bar state law claims against interactive computer services for publishing content obtained from another information content provider. Doe v. Friendfinder Network, Inc., 540 F. Supp. 2d 288, 293 (D.N.H. 2008). The intent of this provision is to preclude courts from entertaining claims that would place a computer service provider in a publisher’s role. Green v. Am. Online (AOL), 318 F.3d 465 (3d Cir. 2003). The Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the CDA provides immunity to similar claims like misappropriation of the right of publicity, defamation, and negligence. Parker v. Google, Inc., 422 F. Supp. 2d 492, 501 (E.D. Pa. 2006), aff’d, 242 F. App’x 833 (3d Cir. 2007) citing (Carafano v. Metrosplash.com, Inc., 339 F.3d 1119, 1125 (9th Cir.) (§ 230 affords immunity from suit on claims of invasion of privacy, misappropriation of the right of publicity, defamation, and negligence)).