Talk by Eric Goldman on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

Date(s) - 02/09/2012
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Faculty Lounge, UNC School of Law

We are thrilled to welcome Professor Eric Goldman, the director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University School of Law, to UNC-Chapel Hill for a talk about his latest paper on the immunity provisions in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Professor Goldman is one of the leading scholars on Internet law and is, by almost any measure, the nation’s foremost expert on Section 230. His research and teaching focuses on Internet law, intellectual property and marketing law. Before becoming a full-time law professor, he practiced law in the Silicon Valley for 8 years, first as a technology transactions attorney at Cooley Godward LLP and then as General Counsel of, an Internet start-up company. He blogs on Internet law matters at the Technology & Marketing Law Blog.

Professor Goldman will be speaking in the faculty lounge at UNC School of Law on February 9, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.


47 U.S.C. §230 provides a robust statutory immunity against website liability for user-generated content (UGC). This immunity, in turn, has helped catalyze the explosive growth of UGC online. However, some critics have complained that the immunity fosters problematic UGC and thus should be modified.

This Article explains why Section 230 is actually a great policy, by identifying a previously under-explored policy justification for the statute. Section 230 helps websites generate non-public information about marketplace offerings and publish that information in ways that help consumers make better decisions. As a result, 230 helps the marketplace’s “invisible hand” work more effectively—a crucial social benefit that could be easily lost by modifying the immunity.

Tagged: Scholarship, Speakers
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