Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1995)

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Subject: Re: legal issues
From: bourbeau @ kenmoto1 . iii . net (Ken Bourbeau)
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 1995 00:14:50 -0400
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

>From: Bob Snyder <rsnyder @
 janet .
 advsys .
>Assuming you aren't moderating your list, and maintaining editorial
>control on it, you should be reasonably safe, given Cubby
>v. Compuserve, where Compuserve was held to not be responsible for the
>content of a newsletter posted to it that supposed defamed someone.
>If you are moderating your list, you may be held liable as you are
>exercising editorial control over the content.  I believe Prodigy is
>fighting such a lawsuit right now, and I think Cubby v. Compuserve was
>held not to apply because of Prodigy's censoring of messages.

Almost argues for automating your manually maintained lists...
...hands off being the safer way to go.

The last I heard on the Prodigy case, it was decided that Prodigy
was held to be a publisher, not a common carrier.

In the case of music lists, the issue often is the swapping of
unauthorized recordings. Record companies have, for the most part,
turned a blind eye to the casual swapping of tapes that occurs between
fans, preferring to pursue the big commercial bootleggers. But at least
one company has hired a consulting service that specializes in 
infiltrating the net to ferret out bootleggers. My concern (not for 
myself, very shallow pockets) is that one day they'll try to make
an example of some list owner. It is a funny catch 22 situation. They appreciate the free publicity and often forward updates on the artist's 
activities. OTOH they resent the lack of control they have regarding
lists that are run by and for fans. The result is that most artists
are represented on the net twice (the by and for fans forums and the 
record company sponsored web sites etc). I can imagine parallel
problems exist with other products/services that have dual representation
(company & user forums) on the net.
Best to ya from the sticks o New Hampshire,
Ken Bourbeau <bourbeau @
 kenmoto1 .
 iii .
 net> <kenmoto @
 aol .
Maria McKee Mailinglist email: mckeefan-request @
 nic .
 iii .
Rod Stewart Digest email:  rodfans @
 kenmoto1 .
 iii .

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