Journal of Information, Law and Technology Cybersmearing: a legal Conflict Between Individuals and Corporations



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ISP liability. The Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 521 US844 (1997), noted at the outset of this paper, was a key decision in support of exempting ISPs from vicarious liability for the actions of users; and, again as noted earlier, the US Congress codified this principle with the adoption of the Communications Decency Privacy Act of 19966. However, it is important to note that neither the Reno v. ACLU nor the Communications Decency Privacy Act completely absolves the ISP from any and all liability for the actions of its users. ISPs can still be held exposed to copyright infringement liability by its users and for those types of communications deemed obscene (18 U.S.C.S. 2710). And, at least one commentator has suggested that ISPs could be held vicariously liable, even without knowledge, when either the website designer, the website owner, or the ISP (1) has the right and ability to


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