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Internet Association Files Amicus Brief In Support Of Home Sharing, Section 230

BECKERMAN: “Intermediary liability protections are foundational to the internet’s success.”


Washington, D.C. – Today, the Internet Association, along with CALinnovates, filed an amicus brief supporting home sharing platforms in their challenge to San Francisco’s ordinance that looks to hold internet platforms liable for content posted by users. The brief delivers a full-throated defense of the intermediary liability protections in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

“Intermediary liability protections are foundational to the internet’s success,” said Michael Beckerman, President and CEO of the Internet Association. “San Francisco’s ordinance erodes those protections, setting a dangerous precedent that, if left unchallenged, will hinder innovation and undermine growth across the internet ecosystem.”

Section 230 allows internet platforms to scale by protecting them from liability resulting from the actions of people using their services – in this case, users who list unregistered properties on home sharing sites. The threat of liability can transform internet platforms into gatekeepers and enforcement agents by obligating them to block user generated content, even if it’s legal. This in turn makes the web less free, innovative, and collaborative.

From the brief:

“The CDA’s core immunity provision is unequivocal: ‘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.’ 47 U.S.C. § 230(c)(1). Since the enactment of Section 230 in 1996, this simple directive has allowed Internet-based businesses to flourish by barring claims against intermediaries based on third-party conduct except in intellectual property cases. Indeed, as one prominent legal scholar recently put it, ‘No other sentence in the U.S. Code, I would assert, has been responsible for the creation of more value than that one…’”

To read the full brief, click here.