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Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Company

New York Supreme Court
1995 WL 323710 (1995)


Prodigy Services Company (Prodigy) (defendant) was an investment-banking firm. Prodigy also owned and operated a computer network that featured online bulletin boards. Stratton Oakmont (Stratton) (plaintiff) sued Prodigy for defamation based on messages posted on the bulletin boards. Stratton argued that Prodigy was a publisher of the messages and, thus, was liable for defamation in certain messages posted on the bulletin boards. Stratton supported this argument by claiming the Prodigy held itself out as a service that exercised editorial control over the content of the messages posted on the bulletin boards. Stratton noted that Prodigy employed Board Leaders who acted as editors for the bulletin board. Prodigy argued that it changed its earlier policy of manually reviewing all messages long before the messages at issue were posted. However, no documentation of the change was presented at trial.

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