Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-05 > 0990634302

From: "Todd A. Farmerie" <>
Subject: Re: Trivial Pursuits
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 10:11:42 -0600
References: <>

> In response to a message sent by Todd A. Farmerie dated 5/22/2001, I submit
> the following:
> Todd, are you inferring that ROOTSWEB.COM has put out a statement that there
> is such a thing as an UNMODERATED LIST? If so, I would like to know where I
> can get a copy of this data.

No. I am unaware of any statement by RootsWeb defining the
moderation condition of their lists, and particularly of their
gatewayed list for USENET newsgroups.

> Todd, can you supply me with a definition of "hasits." I am unaware of such
> a word.

(Playing along) Try "has its"

> I have never made a statement that either of the list owners "are trying to
> get away with?"

"subterfuge" is certainly suggestive. Since you have your
dictionary handy, looking up hasits, perhaps you could try this
one too.

> Todd, if you want to say that both you and Don are "It is possible that the
> listowners are aliens in the form of mice" that is your right and privilege.
> I am not going to argue with you on this point.

For those who didn't pick that up, it was a tribute to the late
Douglas Adams.

> I am not sure of your statement "I suspect that the liability of interest to
> RootsWeb regards copyright law..." There may be other things such as slander
> and libel.

While early case law did hold publishers liable (see for example,
US vs. Haswell, 1799), since at least the 1960s (when a SCOTUS
case explicitly stated in the majority opinion that the Haswell
decision was universally viewed as being in error - Congress had
even voted compensation to Haswell's heirs), the criteria for
liability have required actively publishing something in blatant
disregard for the truth. Likewise, in some of the early internet
case law, the complete absence of content moderation makes an ISP
a simple conduit, and not a perpetrator, of an offence. It was
only with content moderation that they then were subject to
liability for their decisions. Thus I seriously doubt that
RootsWeb would be held legally liable for something said on one
of their mailing lists (and in fact, a listowner has no ability
to prevent a single insult), but then, take something before a
jury, and anything can happen. I should point out that I am NOT a
lawyer, and anyone that takes my words as truly representing
anything more than my own understanding deserves what they get.


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