When the class actions lawsuit against Facebook, Google, and Twitter was filed in April, many assumed it was going to be a win for consumers.
But it looks like the class could be on the road to a bitter, expensive battle that could leave consumers paying millions in fines and attorneys fees.
While the lawsuit was originally filed in California, the California District Court of Appeal has now granted a preliminary injunction that blocks the defendants from bringing the case to another state, and potentially the U.S. Supreme Court.
The injunction was issued on Wednesday.
According to the ruling from the district court, the plaintiffs failed to establish that the California law violates federal law.
Instead, the court found that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Plaintiffs have suffered significant economic losses as a result of Defendants’ use of the Plaintiances’ online content in violation of Section 230(b)(2).”
The class action was brought against the three major companies after they failed to remove the offending content.
The plaintiffs allege that Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram were not notified of the copyright violation in advance of the lawsuit being filed.
The defendants, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, have since been notified of their liability.
According a filing from Google, the injunction prevents them from using the complaint to try to enforce Section 230 in the future, as they have not yet been served with the complaint.
Facebook and Twitter have not responded to requests for comment.
The lawsuit argues that Section 230, which was created in 1998, protects consumers from being forced to take actions that they believe will harm their reputation.
While Section 230 applies to companies that have a “nexus” in the U, the class is not one of those companies.
“We think this is a bad outcome for consumers and consumers of online platforms and content.
It is a sad day when the courts are treating a class action suit to be the same as a class complaint,” said attorney Michael Biederman of Biedersmith Solicitor in a statement to TechCrunch.
The plaintiffs’ complaint alleges that Google and YouTube were not properly notified of a possible copyright violation that was found on their servers.
In other words, the defendants knew that the plaintiffs’ content was being uploaded to YouTube, but didn’t have the legal authority to remove it.
The lawsuit states that Google’s compliance with Section 230 is a violation of the plaintiffs rights under the First Amendment.
In order to avoid a class trial, the parties have requested a temporary restraining order, which the court has granted.