Post Tagged with: "aol"

Courts, Online Contracts and Arbitration Clauses

I've been silent thus far on the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision involving Dell Computer and online contracting (that will change next week), but in the meantime it is worth noting that the Washington Supreme Court issued a decision one day before the SCC handed down the Dell decision […]

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July 25, 2007 Comments are Disabled News

The Law of Search Engines

As part of a visit to the University of Haifa, Faculty of Law (where I'm teaching a course on Internet governance; media coverage here for those that read Hebrew), I participated yesterday in a terrific conference on the law of search engines.  While there was predictably considerable discussion on all […]

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December 22, 2006 2 comments News

Why the AOL Search Fiasco Matters

Matthew Ingram and others have questioned the response to AOL’s release of search data.  The skeptics argue that the privacy concerns have been overblown, noting that no one has actually been personally identified through their searches.  No longer.  The NY Times runs a story in which it was relatively easy […]

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August 8, 2006 5 comments News

UK Court Rules on ISP Liability

The UK Court, Queen’s Bench division issued an important decision on the liability of Internet service providers late last week.  Unlike the U.S., which established statutory immunity for intermediaries where they simply provide the forum for publication, Commonwealth countries such as the UK, Canada, and Australia still rely on common law principles leaving some question about the standard of liability for intermediaries for allegedly defamatory content posted on their sites.

Bunt v. Tilley involved an attempt to hold AOL, Tiscali, and British Telecom liable for allegedly defamatory postings.  The claimant relied on the Godfrey v. Demon Internet case to argue that the court could hold the ISPs liable.  That case has generated concern among ISPs in Canada as it does hold out the prospect for liability.  The court was clearly uncomfortable with that decision, however, issuing a decision that was generally sympathetic to the ISPs.

In particular, the court concluded that "an ISP which performs no more than a passive role in facilitating postings on the internet cannot be deemed to be a publisher at common law." That is the good news as it provides some comfort to ISPs who can rely on this case to argue that they are not liable for doing nothing more than hosting content.

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March 14, 2006 2 comments News

The Slippery Slope of Two-Tier Email

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, BBC Version, webpage version) examines America Online and Yahoo!’ s recent announcement of a new fee-based system for commercial email. I argue that certified email will do little to address spam and may not attract a large client base.  Rather, its more significant impact lies in the fact that it is yet another step toward the two-tiered Internet that will ultimately shift new costs to consumers.

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February 12, 2006 Comments are Disabled Columns