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Craigslist Lawsuit Dissed, Dismissed

By Scott Smith in News on Nov 16, 2006 3:18PM

A Chicago judge dismissed a lawsuit against online ad service Craigslist, 2006_11_craig.jpgfiled by the lengthily-named Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law because of discriminatory rental ads.

The lawsuit was dismissed because under the Communications Deceny Act, Craigslist is seen as an “interactive computer service” and not a publisher of information. The judge did note that Craigslist does not have blanket immunity from legal liability for the postings that appear on its site.

We’re not legal experts, but we’ve thought that the basis for this lawsuit was unfounded due to the nature of Craigslist as a forum. But it does raise other issues. For example, YouTube is currently purging much of its illegally-posted copyrighted content. But would sites that serve up links to copyrighted content be legally required to do the same? It’s currently an issue that’s allowed BitTorrent sites to flourish. But how long until the law catches up with technology?

Incidentally, Chicagoist is a publisher under the CDA so don’t go trying to sublease your apartment in the comments section. We don’t have time to delete all the discriminatory posts that say “No Trixies” or “Macy’s shoppers need not apply.”