We have previously described as "robust," the protection afforded interactive service providers from liability for defamatory contents posted by third parties by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.  But in Blockowitz v. Williams, 1:09-cv-03955 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 21, 2009), involving post-judgment efforts to have defamatory postings removed from a consumer complaint Web site ,  the protection comes, not from CDA Section 230, but from Fed. R. Civ. P. 65, which governs the enforcement of injunctions.

Perhaps predictably, for followers of CDA Section 230 jurisprudence, the consumer complaint Web site involved is the Ripoff Report, operated by perennial defendant Xcentric Ventures, Inc.

With the rough and tumble of the debate over the stimulus legislation starting to wind down, Congress is starting to turn to other subjects. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law held hearings yesterday on “libel tourism,” the filing of libel lawsuits against U.S. defendants in libel-plaintiff friendly countries such as the U.K.

This is not the first Congressional run at the subject, which is of particular interest to authors and media companies that publish online and thus are more likely to be susceptible to claims of harm caused in distant locations. Indeed, authors and publishers of print works that may be sold online to offshore purchasers should be concerned as well, as a foreign court may predicate jurisdiction on even a small number of such sales.