Home Civil Law Mirroring Qualifies for Section 230-Monsarrat v. Newman – Technology & Marketing Law...

Mirroring Qualifies for Section 230-Monsarrat v. Newman – Technology & Marketing Law Blog


This case includes a LiveJournal neighborhood (the Davis Square neighborhood for Somerville, MA). In 2017, LiveJournal modified its insurance policies. In response, Newman, the neighborhood moderator, copied all the neighborhood’s posts and uploaded them to Dreamwidth–an motion we used to call “mirroring” within the outdated days. Monsarrat had posted to the LiveJournal neighborhood and objected to the switch.

Defamation. The court docket doesn’t specify which posts Monsarrat claims are defamatory, however his defamation declare pertains to the posts Newman mirrored. The grievance stated Newman is a person of an interactive laptop service (a uncommon case involving an ICS “user” as a substitute of “provider”!), and the defamation declare treats Newman as a writer.

The solely remaining precondition for Section 230 is whether or not Newman acted as an “information content provider.” The court docket says Monsarrat didn’t allege that Newman created or developed the content material at concern. Monsarrat claimed that Newman took “ownership” of the mirror. Citing Ayyadurai v. Floor64, the court docket replied that “[r]epublishing an already-existing user-submitted comment, without altering the content of that comment, does not materially contribute to its allegedly defamatory nature.” (Additional cites to Kimzey v. Yelp and Jones v. Dirty World).

Other citations what place Section 230 has protected a defendant who made the intentional choice to relocate the content material embrace the e-mail forwarding instances (e.g., Phan v. Pham, Barrett v. Rosenthal) and the D’Alonzo case involving reposting a newspaper article. Other apropos instances embrace the terrible DF Pace v. Baker-White ruling (involving republishing screenshots of social media posts) and the complicated Woodhull v. Meinel ruling.

Copyright. In the transferred archive was a submit Monsarrat made in 2010:

Monsarrat sued for copyright infringement of this submit. The court docket says Newman qualifies for truthful use.

  • Newman republished it for “historical and preservationist purposes.” Cite to the 2011 gem of a lawsuit over a 23 phrase electronic mail, Stern v. Does. Also, Newman didn’t use the submit to generate site visitors to the Dreamwidth archive.
  • Monsarrat’s submit was fact-like and already printed.
  • “Newman copied Monsarrat’s post in full, but a full reproduction is consistent with historical and preservationist purposes.”
  • “There is no plausible market for the copyrighted post.”

Case quotation: Monsarrat v. Newman, 2021 WL 217362 (D. Mass. Jan. 21, 2021)


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