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Category Archives: Litigation

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Social Links: Twitter offers anti-harassment tools; Pinterest takes on video ads; P&G changes its social strategy

Posted in Advertising, Cyberbullying, Disappearing Content, First Amendment, Litigation, Marketing

Twitter took steps to remedy its harassment problem. In addition, over the last six months, Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism. The Washington Post is using language-generation technology to automatically produce stories on the Olympics and the election. Video ads are going to start popping up on Pinterest. Does it make sense for big… Continue Reading

Social Links: Facebook’s anti-ad-blocking software; LinkedIn’s “scraper” lawsuit; FTC’s upcoming crackdown on social influencers

Posted in Advertising, Compliance, Cyberbullying, Data Security, Endorsement Guides, Free Speech, Litigation, Marketing, Mobile, Online Endorsements

Facebook introduced technology that disables ad blockers used by people who visit the platform via desktop computers, but Adblock Plus has already foiled the platform’s efforts, at least for now. A look at Twitter’s 10-year failure to stop harassment. Are mobile apps killing the web? LinkedIn sues to shut down “scrapers.” The FTC is planning… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Case Demonstrates That the Social Media Platform, Not the User, Is in Control

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

We have written before about website operators’ use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to combat data scraping. We have also noted a number of recent cases in which courts held that social media platforms, rather than the users of those platforms, have the right to control content on and access to… Continue Reading

First Circuit Issues Potentially Significant Ruling on Federal Video Privacy Statute’s Application to Mobile Apps

Posted in Litigation, Mobile, Privacy

The First Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. may carry important implications for mobile app providers seeking to navigate federal privacy laws—in particular, the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988 (“VPPA”). Although Yershov is not the first case to consider how the VPPA applies to mobile apps, the opinion contains… Continue Reading

Social Links: Twitter’s troll problem; Snapchat fat-shamer risks prosecution; a federal anti-revenge-porn law?

Posted in Cyberbullying, Disappearing Content, First Amendment, Free Speech, Litigation, Livestreaming, Mobile, Privacy, Protected Speech

Facebook Messenger joins the elite “one billion monthly users” club just four years after its release as a standalone app. A Canadian judge ordered a couple convicted of child neglect to post to all their social media accounts his decision describing their crime. Leslie Jones of Ghostbusters highlights Twitter’s trolling problem. One tech columnist says… Continue Reading

Augmenting Reality: A Pokémon Go Business and Legal Primer

Posted in Litigation, Mobile, Privacy

We have become inured to the sight of people staring at their phones rather than engaging with one another or enjoying their real-life surroundings. But, over the past two weeks, enslavement to mobile devices rose to new levels, with smartphones and tablets actually propelling users’ movements in the real world as opposed to merely distracting… Continue Reading

Controversial New Jersey Consumer Protection Law Creates a Potential “Gotcha” for E-Commerce Companies

Posted in Class Actions, E-Commerce, Litigation, Terms of Use

If your company is involved in selling products or services to consumers in New Jersey over the web or through mobile apps, you’ll want to read this blog post. In what amounts to a feeding frenzy, plaintiffs’ lawyers are working overtime bringing class action suits against e-commerce companies, alleging that their online terms and conditions… Continue Reading

Social Links: Appeals court opinions show reach of anti-hacking law; a virtual reality sickness cure; intrigue at Vine

Posted in IP, Litigation, Livestreaming, Patent, Privacy, UK

The UK wants to use the blockchain to track the spending of welfare recipients. Some believe that a recent Ninth Circuit holding could turn sharing passwords into a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. And another Ninth Circuit opinion sided with Facebook in a closely-watched case interpreting the same federal law, this… Continue Reading

Social Links: Kids roll eyes as parents embrace Snapchat; teen sues Snapchat over sexual content; Snapchat to become less ephemeral with new “Memories” feature (plus some other news not involving Snapchat)

Posted in Asia, Disappearing Content, E-Commerce, Litigation, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy

Snapchat has caught on with “oldies” (that’s people 35 and older, FYI). Facebook Messenger is testing “Secret” mode, a feature that allows some messages to be read only by the recipient. A South Korean copy of Snapchat has taken off in Asia. Using social media to help promote your brand? Here’s a list of top… Continue Reading

App Developer Prevails in Class Action Lawsuit Challenging Shift to New Business Model

Posted in Litigation, Mobile

If you make available a service through a free app, and you subsequently decide to migrate users of that app to a paid subscription model, that shouldn’t create any problems, right? Well, app developer LogMeIn did just that, and became the target of a class action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of California. Although… Continue Reading

Social Links: Implications of Facebook’s algorithm change; branded emoji; free travel apps

Posted in Cyberbullying, Data Security, Employment Law, Litigation, Marketing

The Internet is abuzz over the Facebook algorithm change. Here are the implications for marketers and publishers and for regular users. U.S. Customs wants to start collecting the social media accounts for foreign travelers. Court: Woman fired for posting to her Facebook page that she would quit her job before doing “something stupid like bash… Continue Reading

The Kirtsaeng Opinion: Supreme Court Guidance on Attorneys’ Fees Awards in Copyright Cases

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

Recently, in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court provided substantial guidance in an unsettled area of law by holding that, when deciding whether to award attorneys’ fees under 17 U.S.C. §505, the Copyright Act’s fee-shifting provision, a court should give substantial weight to the objective reasonableness of the losing party’s… Continue Reading

California Court of Appeal Rules That State Attorney General’s Privacy Suit Over Fly Delta Mobile App Is Preempted

Posted in Compliance, Litigation, Privacy

In the recently decided People ex rel. Harris v. Delta Air Lines, California’s Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed the dismissal of the State of California’s complaint against Delta Air Lines, Inc., which alleged that the company’s Fly Delta mobile application violated California’s privacy laws. The Court of Appeal held that the lawsuit was expressly preempted… Continue Reading

Terms and Conditions Buried in Easily Ignored Scroll Box Don’t Cut It, the Seventh Circuit Holds

Posted in E-Commerce, Litigation, Terms of Use

As we have noted before, if you want to increase the likelihood that your website terms of use are enforceable against users, you need to do two things. First, you need to display the terms to users in a conspicuous way, and second, you need to require users to affirmatively accept the terms. Sgouros v…. Continue Reading

Big Data Can Lead to Big Legal Problems For Companies

Posted in Big Data, Compliance, Employment Law, FTC, Litigation

Deluged with an unprecedented amount of information available for analysis, companies in just about every industry are discovering increasingly sophisticated ways to make market observations, predictions and evaluations. Big Data can help companies make decisions ranging from which candidates to hire to which consumers should receive a special promotional offer. As a powerful tool for… Continue Reading

Social Links: Publishers claim ad blockers violate FTC rules; Twitter bags its “buy button”; has the IoT gone too far?

Posted in Advertising, Defamation, FTC, Internet of Things, Litigation, Marketing

The Newspaper Association of America has filed a first-of-its-kind complaint with the FTC over certain ad blocking technologies. Is it “Internet” or “internet”? The Associated Press is about to change the capitalization rule. Lots of people criticized Instagram’s new logo, but, according to a design-analysis app, it’s much better than the old logo at doing… Continue Reading

Will Ad Blockers Kill Online Publishing?

Posted in Advertising, Litigation, Privacy

The Internet contains over 4.6 billion Web pages, most of which are accessible for free, making content that we used to have to pay for—news, videos, games—available without having to hand over a credit card number. What makes all of this possible is online advertising. As Internet industry commentator Larry Downes has noted, “If no… Continue Reading

Social Links—Twitter loosens up; case against Google stands; should millennials be in charge of big social media campaigns?

Posted in Litigation, Livestreaming, Marketing, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor

Here’s how Twitter is loosening up its 140-character limit. The federal government will now check the social media history of prospective employees before granting them security clearance. One expert says C-level executives shouldn’t entrust millennials with their companies’ social media feeds. Federal court refuses to dismiss a lawsuit against Google for allegedly removing sites from… Continue Reading

Social Links—Fines for social-media-posting jurors; Microinfluencers; Snapchat’s and Tinder’s sketchy new features

Posted in Advertising, Disappearing Content, Litigation, Privacy

A lawsuit alleges this Snapchat feature is making driving even more dangerous, and it’s not texting or instant messaging. This state is considering imposing hefty fines on jurors who post information to social media about the lawsuits they’re hearing. Facebook pulls back the veil (ever so slightly) on political ads. The exposure of the personal… Continue Reading

Judge in High-Profile Case Obtains Attorney Agreement Not to Engage in Juror Social Media Snooping

Posted in Litigation

It seems that almost everyone uses social media today. Of course, this means that most every juror is a social media user, and that courts are dealing with the thorny questions that arise out of the proliferation of social media usage among jurors. Like the long-standing practice of warning jurors not to talk about the… Continue Reading

New Jersey Supreme Court Questions Ethics of “Friending” a Litigation Foe

Posted in Litigation

Attorneys often research adverse parties online to obtain potentially useful—and publicly available—evidence for use in a case. But, as an ethical matter, may an attorney access information available only through an adversary’s private social media account? The New Jersey Supreme Court just considered this question in a professional-misconduct complaint involving “Facebook spying” of a plaintiff… Continue Reading

Social Links—Facebook-spying litigators; employees’ social media posts; Europe’s Right To Be Forgotten

Posted in Employment Law, Ethics, European Union, FTC, Litigation, Online Endorsements, Privacy, Protected Speech

Defense lawyers who checked out the Facebook page of a plaintiff suing their client can be prosecuted for attorney misconduct, New Jersey judge rules. Norwegian band changes its name to avoid “social media censorship.” Can public agencies control their employees’ social media posts? Google has complete discretion over whether or not to grant “right to… Continue Reading

Mixed Messages: Courts Grapple With Emoticons and Emoji

Posted in Litigation

Emoticons—such as :-)—and emoji—such as —are ubiquitous in online and mobile communications; according to one study, 74 percent of Americans use emoticons, emoji and similar images on a regular basis. Given their popularity, it comes as no surprise that courts are increasingly being called upon to evaluate the meaning of emoticons and emoji that are… Continue Reading

Social Links: A social media marketing fail; Facebook and prisoners, jurors, older people

Posted in Big Data, First Amendment, Litigation, Marketing

We’re trying something new here at Socially Aware: In addition to our usual social-media and tech-law analyses and updates, we’re going to end each work week with a list of links to interesting social media stories around the Web, primarily things that caught our eye during the week that we may or may not ultimately… Continue Reading