Are Websites Places of Public Accommodation?

By now, most lawyers are aware that Title III of the ADA applies to activities of an entity whose operations "affect commerce" and is a "place of public accommodation" as defined by statute.  42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(A)-(L).  Commerce is defined as "travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication (A) among the several States; (B) between any foreign country or any territory or possession and any State; or (C) between points in the same State but through another State or foreign country."   42 U.S.C. § 12181(1).  But, are the websites of these "places of public accommodation" subject to the requirements of Title III?  Certainly, one could argue that websites are the virtual cyberspace extensions of physical places, so why not?  Plaintiffs' attorneys certainly think so and are filing more and more lawsuits to make these electronic showrooms accessible to persons with disabilities.  However, the issue is not that settled.

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