The ruling may even be good news for the tiny-pocketed Matt Drudge, whose entire operation is run from his apartment: “With AOL out of the suit, there’s very little for Blumenthal to go after,” says Netly News and TIME Daily editor Josh Quittner. “What’s he going to get -- Drudge’s fedora?”
AOL is off the hook, and its competitors can breathe easier too. U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman yesterday dismissed the service provider as a codefendant in presidential adviser Sidney Blumenthal’s $30 million libel suit against Matt Drudge -- on the grounds that the 1996 Communications Decency Act absolves ISPs from responsibility for content supplied by third parties. "Whether wisely or not, [Congress] made the legislative judgment to effectively immunize providers of interactive computer services from civil liability... with respect to material disseminated by them but created by others," wrote Judge Friedman.