Craigslist Isn’t Liable for Erotic Services Ads–Dart v. Craigslist

21 10 2009

By Eric Goldman

Dart v. Craigslist, Inc., 09 C 1385 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 20, 2009)

Yesterday, Judge John F. Grady of the Northern District of Illinois federal court dismissed Cook County Sheriff Dart’s lawsuit against Craigslist for user-posted advertisements in Craigslist’s erotic services/adult services category on 47 USC 230 grounds. This is hardly surprising, as I wrote in March that “this lawsuit is almost certainly preempted by 47 USC 230.” However, it was nice to see such a clean and decisive opinion–and a little ironic, as our law enforcement officials, who are supposed to enforce the laws rather than bypass them, got schooled in the limits of their legal authority.

With respect to the 230 analysis, the court characterizes Sheriff Dart’s claims as alleging that Craigslist negligently published the user-supplied ads.


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