Thursday, February 5, 2009

myspace cleans up its user base - does this signal the end of website immunity for bad acts of users?

Myspace may be a little less creepy these days but it still remains largely irrelevant in the wake of Facebook's domination of the social networking world. Nevertheless, the creepy factor was reduced when Myspace apparently used proprietary technology to identify and delete sex offender profiles. On the one hand, I applaud this effort. On the other, does Myspace's action bolster the argument that user generated content sites should be and can be more active in policing the actions of their users? How does this affect the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and Section 230 of the CDA? How does it affect Youtube's defense to the vicarious copyright infringement claims it faces from Viacom? Youtube manages to identify and keep porn off its site, why can't it identify and keep off copyrighted content owned by production companies? Internet lawyers will surely be debating these issues in the coming months.