[Air-l] MySpace sued again ...
jstromer at albany.edu
Thu Jan 18 18:39:22 PST 2007
I can't help but think that My Space, like an ISP or the telephone company, is
a neutral carrier of content and therefore not responsible for what happens in
Now, I should say I am NOT a policy-wonk on new communication technology, and
my last brush with policy on this was in, oh, 1999, and I suspect things have
For those of you who are knowledgeable about policy: Why isn't My Space viewed
as a common carrier, and hence not responsible for the content that is shown
on its pages? Or is it, and this whole lawsuit is just, well, B.S.?
Department of Communication, SS 340
University at Albany, SUNY
1400 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12222
jstromer at albany.edu
> Possibly, but I think there's a few significant differences.
> In the MySpace cases, a crime was committed by someone against a minor.
> We're not talking about "metal-inspired" teen suicide ... perhaps more
> analogous with the record company that sold music to the Columbine
> teenagers, but I don't recall that claim being made ... at least, not in
> court ...
> Also, it's not just about these court cases ... there are no numbers
> mentioned in that story, but let's assume the complainants are after another
> $30Mill each ... Does anyone know the payout figure from the first case? Has
> it settled? Murdoch only paid $580Mill for MySpace in the first place, so
> adding $150Mill to that looks bad for the bottom line ... maybe they can
> afford it, maybe not ... there's also the compliance cost, which they have
> already tried to meet (apparently).
> But it's also about the political pressure this will generate. Parents
> forming anti-MySpace lobby groups - getting the entire legislative framework
> arround the protections that a social netwok provider must comply with
> changed. The US government is traditionally loathe to interefere with big
> business and their practices, but they also traditionally very quickly and
> quite irrationally respond to any suggestion that children might be abused
> (see Dana Boyd on moral panics:
> ... ignoring children in danger is a sure-fire vote loser and these examples
> give the campaigners a clear rallying point ... and they're in several
> states ...
> Didn't I read something the other day about crimes being committed in the
> Second Life environment??
> Time will tell ... thoughts? predictions?
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