Circuit Court Affirms Immunity for Pure Third-Party Web Content

april 17, 2008  01:38 pm
Earlier this month, in Fair Housing Council of San Fernando Valley v., the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reaffirmed prior rulings that interpreted the Communications Decency Act as broadly immunizing website owners from liability based on content posted by third parties. However, the court introduced a new test to determine if a website is outside the scope of Section 230 immunity, according to Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. "Under the 9th Circuit's test, if a website 'materially contributes' to the allegedly illegal content, as opposed to providing 'neutral' tools for communicating information, it may forfeit its immunity," the law firm says. Applying this test, the court found that was in part a content provider, so it was not immune from claims under the federal Fair Housing Act and similar state laws that prohibit discriminatory housing practices. AAN joined an amicus brief in support of's position in the case. Here is the L.A. Times' report on the case.