Actual Knowledge Necessary To Find Defamation Liability For Bbs Operators

In Cubby Inc. v. Compuserve, Inc., the court determined the issues of whether a bulletin board system operator could be held liable for a defamatory statement in an article posted in one of its forums. The BBS operator was held only to be liable if “knew or had reason to know” about the defamatory statements. The tort of defamation is treated differently than copyright infringement for BBS operators.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is defamation?
Who are the parties and what are the facts of this case?
What is the standard for distributors of defamatory material?
What did the court determine?
What is the significance of this ruling?

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