Vesa Perälä, the CEO of WOT, contacted us late last night about the ruling of the lawsuit (which we covered in February) against them. They won and the court of justice in Florida granted the motion to dismiss with prejudice.
The case was brought up against WOT by ten differenf companies, which were later found out to belong to Mr. Ayman El-Difrawi. The companies wanted WOT to remove the ratings and comments left by users against those websites.
WOT’s advocacy was based on the article 230 of the Communications Decency Act, legislated in 1996 for similar cases. The article protects Internet service providers clearing them from liabilities related to content created by third parties.
CEO of WOT, Vesa Perälä, went on to comment “the court’s decision is a very important precedent for WOT as it highlights the importance of freedom of speech also on the Internet. Unfortunately this view is not shared by all other countries and WOT is facing other battles about its right to publish user’s opinions on its service. Especially German courts easily censor negative but otherwise fully legit feedback by the means of preliminary injunctions issued without hearing WOT.”
“Using preliminary injunctions web sites and companies try to force WOT to delete comments and ratings they feel are not favorable for their business. WOT has no plans to voluntarily delete legit user feedback from the service and will take whatever necessary steps to ensure it can operate freely also in the future.”