In what comes as great news to anyone who runs a web site with user generated content, a federal judge ruled that a site is qualified under “safe harbor” protection and not liable for what’s inside. The lawsuit was brought by a porn-producing company which had had some of its videos uploaded to Veoh.
This is a great precedent but what popped out at me was the judge’s researching techniques. He used Wikipedia to investigate such things as IP addresses, concluding that they could be shared between users. But that’s not all:
The judge also consulted Wikipedia to better understand what “Flash” might be, and he concluded that it is “the name of a file format used to transmit videos over the Internet.”
I’d love to see what else the judge researched on Wikipedia but unfortunately, you have to go through an arcane and and almost anachronistic procedure to get access to the full ruling. Hopefully, the document will pop up on here soon.
Update: the actual document popped up here. Unfortunately, no other wikipedia references. Here’s one of the footnotes from page 16:
The court takes judicial notice of the Wikipedia definition of “IP address” as to the fact that an IP address may be shared by multiple users. This is not a matter that is subject to reasonable dispute.