The Communications Decency Act (CDA), passed in 1996, immunized Internet service providers (ISPs) from being treated as the publisher or speaker of any information posted on their website by another person and from possible subsequent liability. The CDA also carved out an exemption for violations of intellectual property‹meaning an ISP could still be liable for information posted on their website by another person that violates an intellectual property right. However, the CDA did not spell out whether it intended to include only federal intellectual property rights or both federal and state intellectual property rights.

This Comment proposes two possible reasons why an intellectual property exemption was carved out in the CDA. It explains why these proposed purposes and the plain language of the statute indicate that the right of publicity, a state intellectual property right, should fall under the umbrella of the CDA¹s intellectual property exemption.