Legal Precedents for Big Tech

Primrose v. Western Union Telegraph Co., 154 US 1 – Supreme Court 1894

“in accordance with an opinion of Judge Hare, the most important parts of which were as follows: ‘A railway, telegraph, or other company, charged with a duty which concerns the public interest, cannot screen themselves from liability for negligence; but they may prescribe rules calculated to insure safety; and diminish the loss in the event of accident, and declare that, if these are not observed, the injured party shall be considered as in default, and precluded by the doctrine of contributory negligence. The rule must, however, be such as that reason, which is said to be the life of the law, can approve; or, at the least, such as it need not condemn. By no device can a body corporate avoid liability for fraud, for wilful wrong, or for the gross negligence …’

This precedent fully applies to Google (Search & YoutTube), Facebook, and Twitter.  Microsoft software EULA seems to take into account this ruling – Microsoft accepts liability in some cases and limits it to the price of the software. Google, Facebook, Twitter etc. refuse to accept any liability, so they cannot limit it.

Living Document

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