Earlier this week I taught the case of DiMeo v. Max in civil procedure. As Derek explained the district court ruling last year in this space , it was both a funny opinion and also a clear explanation of the federal-law immunity that certain web sites enjoy for user-generated content that might otherwise give rise to liability for, say, defamation or privacy torts.
Just as it did last year, the case provided my class a great primer not only on the relevant internet law, but also on a fundamental point of civil procedure. That issue is: when can a court dismiss a complaint — before any factfinding or further activity — because of its “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” While that’s generally judged by a pretty forgiving standard, the legal immunity here resulted in dismissal.
Now Eric Goldman reports that the Third Circuit has affirmed the dismissal. The appellate decision (written by Federal Circuit Judge Michel, sitting by designation) is a lot less colorful than the district court’s. But it marks the end of the story.