San Francisco – February 2, 2023 – Cooley, led by partner Benjamin Kleine, has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation in the US Supreme Court case Gonzalez v. Google LLC. The case could prove critical to addressing the scope of immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act for online platforms' publication of third-party content. The Supreme Court will hear arguments on February 21.
A diverse group of organizations and individuals have weighed in to argue that a robust understanding of Section 230's protections is both compelled by its text and vital to the basic functioning of the internet. Indeed, a ruling enabling litigation against platforms' use of algorithms in publishing third-party content online could lead to future lawsuits against non-algorithmic forms of recommendation.
Cooley's brief underscores this position by illustrating that the model of the Wikimedia Foundation – and its numerous projects, including Wikipedia, that are relied upon as critical resources worldwide – depend on the protections and certainty of Section 230. And the brief further demonstrates that the petitioners' interpretation of Section 230 is disconnected from its text.
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