The Cases Against The Cozy Kitten Hosting Inc.

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Susan and Robert Johnson filed a state civil suit making claims against several defendants as a result of defamatory statements posted on an Internet discussion board on the Complaints Board’s website. The complaint was against the InMotion Hosting Inc.: Melanie Lowery and Heineman. The district court dismissed the claims against InMotion due to prejudice reasons of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. The Communications Decency Act provides immunity from defamation lawsuits for Internet Service Providers (ISP) and website owners from liability to a certain extent. The Johnsons had an argument that the district court erred in dismissing the claims against InMotion Heinemean. As a result of the complaints The Johnsons suffered lost sales, …show more content…
The Johnsons live in Unionville, Missouri where they own an limited cat breeding business established in 2007 named “Cozy Kitten Cattery” operating under the trademark and licensed use of the trademark to the Cozy Kitten Cattery, LLC (Craig, 2013). There were several negative, defamatory statements about Cozy Kitten Cattery on the website www.ComplaintsBoard.com. Resulting from the statements, Cozy Kitten Cattery filed a suit against Elizabeth Arden (www.ComplaintsBoard.com), Michelle Reitenger, and (www ComplaintsBoard.com, Lowery, and Heineman (InMotion) (Craig, 2013). It was alleged that all six defendants were conspiring to use the Complaints Board to post false negative statements about the Johnson’s business. The Johnson’s only served InMotion Hosting Inc., Melanie Lowery and Heineman with the complaints. The district court dismissed the claims against InMotion due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (Craig, …show more content…
InMotion is California Company that maintains a principal place of business as an Internet service provider (ISP) (Craig, 2013). The Internet service provider only hosts the www.ComplaintsBoard.com website and does not operate the website, modify any content, monitor or control the content of it’s customer’s websites (Craig, 2013). There is an immunity provision under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In addition, the statutory protections provide immunity from any defamation lawsuits for Internet Service providers (ISPS). However, to have immunity from defamation the three step pronged test has to be in force (1) the online entity uses or provides interactive computer services; (2) the entity is an information content provider with respect to the disputed activity or objectionable content; and (3) the plaintiff seeks to treat it as the “ publisher or speaker” of information originating with a third party (Craig, 2013). The Internet service providers are considered providers of an interactive computer service and are entitled to immunity. The court held InMotion immune because the company InMotion is an ISP host and does not provide the content of the website. The website host is not responsible for content submitted by others that appear on the website

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