This concern was raised by legal challenges against Compu Serve and Prodigy, early service providers at this time. Service providers made their Congresspersons aware of these cases, believing that if upheld across the nation, it would stifle the growth of the Internet.Compu Serve stated they would not attempt to regulate what users posted on their services, while Prodigy had employed a team of moderators to validate content. Compu Serve Inc., Compu Serve was found not be at fault as, by its stance as allowing all content to go unmoderated, it was a distributor and thus not liable for libelous content posted by users. United States Representative Christopher Cox (R-CA) had read an article about the two cases and felt the decisions were backwards.
If the minor is less than two years younger than the adult, the amount shall not exceed $2,000.
If the minor is at least two years younger than the adult, the amount shall not exceed $5,000.
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Prior to the Internet, case law was clear that a liability line was drawn between publishers of content and distributors of content; publishers would be expected to have awareness of material it was publishing and thus should be held liable for any illegal content it published, while distributors would likely not be aware and thus would be immune. California (1959), where the Supreme Court ruled that putting liability on the provider (a book store in this case) would have "a collateral effect of inhibiting the freedom of expression, by making the individual the more reluctant to exercise it." In the early 1990s, the Internet became more widely adopted and created means for users to engage in forums and other user-generated content.
While this helped to expand the use of the Internet, it also resulted in a number of legal cases putting service providers at fault for the content generated by its users. found that as Prodigy had taken an editorial role with regard to customer content, it was a publisher and legally responsible for libel committed by customers.
Ability to pay is considered, as probation will not be denied merely for an inability to pay.