An anonymous reader writes "News.com is reporting on a pair of court cases that could prove very important to ISPs in coming years. They both subtly chip away at the legal shield service providers have enjoyed against liability for hosted content. Further court cases could result in a 'chilling effect' on social networks and hosting services, as small businesses steer clear of potentially contentious content. '[The judge's ruling] differed from previous opinions in one important area. He refused to dismiss Jane Doe's argument that FriendFinder's republication of her profile invaded her 'intellectual property rights' under New Hampshire law. She claimed to be concerned about violations to her 'right of publicity,' which says an individual generally has the right to control how his name, image, and likeness is used commercially--and the court ruled that Doe's argument fell into the category of intellectual property law.'"
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