Generative AI has been most synonymous in the public mind with “AI” since the commercial breakout of ChatGPT in November 2022. Consumers and businesses have seen the fruits of impressive innovation in various generative models’ ability to create audio, video, images and text, analyze and transform data, perform Q&A chatbot

UPDATE:  Last month, the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the action, holding that there was no language in Homeaway’s “Basic Rental Guarantee” that makes any representation or warranty that Homeaway pre-screened listings before they were posted, as the document, at that time, simply established a process for obtaining a refund of up to $1000 (subject to certain conditions). (Hiam v., Inc., No. 17-1898 (1st Cir. Apr. 12, 2018)).  Beyond examining the Guarantee, the court followed the lower court’s reasoning that focused on HomeAway’s business-specific terms and conditions, which expressly notified users that listings are not pre-screened (“[W]e have no duty to pre-screen content posted on the Site by members, travelers or other users”).  With dismissal based upon the language of HomeAway’s Guarantee and site terms, the appeals court declined to opine on whether the dismissal was also justified on CDA Section 230 grounds.

In a resounding victory for well-drafted terms and conditions and robust immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230 (“CDA Section 230”), a Massachusetts district court granted summary judgment in favor of HomeAway, the online vacation rental marketplace, on two users’ claims stemming from a dispute over a property listing on the site. (Hiam v., Inc., No. 16-10360 (D. Mass. July 27, 2017)).   In its opinion, the court not only held that CDA Section 230 bars HomeAway from being treated as a “seller of travel services” under state consumer protection regulations, but also that HomeAway’s terms and conditions and privacy policy expressly disavowed any promises to pre-screen or monitor rental listings or release member information upon a user’s request.