Before you consider suing BradfordToday.com because of user posts/comments/reviews/ratings/articles you will want to read this statement.About The Law
The Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) 47 U.S.C. Â§ 230
states "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider"
Effectively, this section immunizes ISPs and other service providers (such as BradfordToday) from torts committed by users over their systems, even if the provider fails to take action after actual notice.
Because much of our content is authored by 3rd party users of BradfordToday, BradfordToday is legally protected under the CDA.
In general, each and every lower federal district court and federal appellate court that has construed the CDA has held that websites like BradfordToday are immune from virtually every type of civil liability when the site has been sued based on information posted by a third party.
Noting that the CDA, "â€˜precludes courts from entertaining claims that would place a computer service provider in a publisher's role,' and therefore bars â€˜lawsuits seeking to hold a service provider liable for its exercise of a publisher's traditional editorial functions - such as deciding whether to publish, withdraw, postpone, or alter content.'"
That means that even though we have administrative power here at BradfordToday to remove and control content, we can't be placed in a publishers role for 3rd party content. So the argument that since we can delete/edit something (therefore we are the publisher) don't hold up to what the law says.Want to file a suit anyway?
Well you can't sue us and win, also we want to explain that the filing of frivolous lawsuits can have serious consequences for those who file them, both parties and their attorneys.EVEN IF THOSE POSTS ARE FALSE, INACCURATE OR NEGATIVE.
Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure says that all pleadings, including initial Complaints, must be presented in good faith, after a reasonable investigation into the facts and the law, and not made for an improper purpose such as harassment.
This means in plain English is that if you file a lawsuit which you know contains false claims, or if you sue without first conducting a reasonable investigation as to the law as it may pertain to the facts of your case (such as determining the identity of the original author/post you are concerned about or concluding that the CDA protects the other party with respect to the issues), you and/or your attorney can be subject to serious sanctions at the judge's discretion.
In addition to any penalties the judge may issue you need to know about another law... "wrongful use of civil proceedings" and it is defined by Â§ 674 of the Restatement (Second) of Torts as follows:
(a) he acts without probable cause, and primarily for a purpose other than that of securing the proper adjudication of the claim in which the proceedings are based, and
(b) except when they are ex parte, the proceedings have terminated in favor of the person against whom they are brought.
Because BradfordToday is protected and immune from liability under the CDA for defamation-based and related claims, any suit that seeks to impose liability for the speech of our users is, by definition, an action brought "without probable cause".We will defend any litigation brought against us which seeks to circumvent the CDA and we will not stipulate to a dismissal of the case unless the party who filed the action agrees to pay OUR attorney fees.
Be prepared to take your case all the way because we will not stipulate to a dismissal without compensation...
So in the end you will lose and it will have cost us nothing BUT it will have cost you greatly.But That's Not All
Because you have decided to sue us "without probable cause" (and not seek the appropriate ways of settling your problems/issues), that opens up the door for us to file a civil case against you for it, AND IT IS OUR POLICY TO TAKE THIS COURSE OF ACTION IF WE ARE FORCED TO TAKE PART IN YOUR FRIVOLOUS LAWSUIT
.OK, so what can you do?
The appropriate way for you to take action is to seek action against the AUTHOR of the post/statement/article in question and not BradfordToday itself.
Because we protect the First Amendment and privacy rights of our users, you can consult an attorney and get a subpoena for a specific users contact information related to an impending case and we will comply with this order. We can NOT provide users identity or contact information without a court ordered subpoena.
If you want information on BradfordToday removed, see below...But Someone Committed Defamation or Libel On Your Site, Aren't You REQUIRED TO TAKE THAT DOWN?
Well, it is at our sole discretion. Generally if it can be proven to be defamation/libel, we will automatically remove any such posts because these are against our terms of service. If you feel that someone has committed libel, please prove it to us that it is and the issues can be solved quickly without any further actions.
BUT if it is a claim/comment/article from a user that WE can't verify truth or not or puts us in a position to judge who is really telling the truth, we may leave such posts/comments/articles up... IF SO we are still protected under the CDA even if these posts/comments ARE libel.
If it is simply an opinion from a user, THERE IS NO CHANCE WE WILL DELETE IT
no matter how harsh or negative the opinion is.
AGAIN PROVE to us that something is libel or purposely false and we WILL exercise our administrative power and remove it.
Just bumping this up to the forefront as to remind the readers about our policies regarding 3rd party discussions appearing on BT and what the law say regarding our responsibilities as a service provider.