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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Tag Archives: Litigation

Hot Off the Press: The April Issue of Our Socially Aware Newsletter Is Now Available

Posted in Copyright, Discovery, DMCA, E-Discovery, Employment Law, First Amendment, Litigation, Privacy, Wearable Computers

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we summarize the current status of various state laws restricting employer access to the personal social media accounts of applicants and employees; we explore how… Continue Reading

The Internet of Things Part 2: The Old Problem Squared

Posted in Ethics, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Privacy

Cisco estimates that 25 billion devices will be connected in the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2015, and 50 billion by 2020. Analyst firm IDC makes an even bolder prediction: 212 billion connected devices by 2020. This massive increase in connectedness will drive a wave of innovation and could generate up to $19 trillion in… Continue Reading

The Umpire Strikes Back: European Court Rules That ISPs Can Be Forced to Block Pirate Websites

Posted in Copyright, IP, Litigation

On March 27, 2014, the highest court in the European Union—the Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU)—decided that copyright owners have the right to seek injunctions against Internet service providers (ISPs) requiring the ISPs to block access to pirate websites illegally streaming or making copyright material available for download. The case arose out… Continue Reading

U.S. Courts’ Evolving Approaches to Social Media E-Discovery

Posted in Discovery, E-Discovery, Litigation

Courts across the United States have now made clear that discovery of social media is fair game. At the same time, courts have consistently found that litigants will not be permitted to engage in social media fishing expeditions; rather, litigants will be required to show that the sites likely contain relevant material. We explore below… Continue Reading

Google Ordered to Remove All Copies of Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube After Actress With Bit Part Threatened by Outraged Muslims; Decision Puzzles Copyright Attorneys

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

An aspiring actress moves to California and finds her life threatened. While standard fare for pulp fiction, the case of Garcia v. Google involves a twist on this well-worn plot line that not even the most imaginative Hollywood scriptwriter could invent. Cindy Lee Garcia answered a casting call for a low-budget amateur movie with the… Continue Reading

Recent UK Court Rulings on Employees’ Use of LinkedIn

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Terms of Use, UK High Court

Following our post on U.S. lawsuits concerning the ownership of LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, we report on a recent United Kingdom High Court ruling that considered who was entitled to operate four LinkedIn Groups, and other UK cases that have addressed related issues. Before we describe the High Court’s ruling, it is important to provide… Continue Reading

Court Finds Uniform Commercial Code Applies to Commoditized Software

Posted in Litigation

We’ve all seen the ads on the Internet—computer-optimization software designed to make your old PC operate like it’s brand new. Many consumers see these advertisements and, frustrated with the performance of their computers, purchase such software with the aim of speeding up their sluggish machines. But what happens when the software doesn’t work as advertised?… Continue Reading

Whose @SunValley Is It?

Posted in IP, Litigation, Trademark

Readers of our blog may remember Leonard Barshack as the co-founder of Bigfoot, a popular Internet mail forwarding service that launched in 1995. Barshack, a resident of Sun Valley, Idaho, recently became well-known once again for his role as plaintiff in Barshack v. Twitter, a suit filed in Idaho’s Blaine County District Court on May… Continue Reading

TheDirty.com Goes to Trial

Posted in Litigation, Section 230 Safe Harbor

In 2012, we reported on a pair of district court decisions that, based on similar facts, split on whether defendant TheDirty.com, a gossip website, qualified for immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), the 1996 law that states “[n]o provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the… Continue Reading

German Court Holds Google Responsible for Its Search Suggestions

Posted in Litigation

On May 15, 2013, in a case filed against Google by an entrepreneur selling dietary supplements and cosmetics (the “Plaintiff”), the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe (Bundesgerichtshof, the “Federal Court”) ruled that Google must remove any defamatory suggestions generated by its autocomplete search function. The Federal Court overturned an earlier ruling by the… Continue Reading

UK: The Latest Social Media Legal Updates

Posted in E-Commerce, Litigation

In our May 30, 2012 post on the Socially Aware blog—“Should We All Be Getting the Twitter “Jitters”? Be Careful What You Say Online (Particularly in the United Kingdom)”—we considered a variety of UK laws being used to regulate the content of tweets and other online messages. Since that post, there has been a series… Continue Reading

The Second Circuit’s Aereo Math: One Copy + One Subscriber ≠ Public Performance

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

Last week­—the week of May 12, 2013­—proved to be an eventful week for Aereo. On May 14, 2013, the controversial broadcast television streaming service filed a motion for summary judgment in the Southern District of New York on copyright claims brought by broadcast television networks (including ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox) that Aereo’s service directly… Continue Reading

E-Commerce Providers Take Note: New York’s Highest Court Upholds “Amazon” Sales Tax Statute

Posted in E-Commerce, Litigation

On March 28, 2013, the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, issued a decision in Overstock.com, Inc. & Amazon.com, LLC, et al., holding that New York’s “click-through nexus” statute does not violate the Commerce Clause or the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As a result, an Internet vendor may be presumed to have… Continue Reading

Southern District of New York Examines Whether News Clipping Service Qualifies as Fair Use Under Copyright Act

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

It is well settled that Internet search engines’ reproduction of limited portions of copyrighted materials in order to direct Internet users to locations of original content constitutes “fair use” under the Copyright Act. (See, for example, Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc. and Kelly v. Arriba Soft.) But where is the line between, on the one… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Holds That “First Sale” Doctrine Applies to Copies of a Copyrighted Work Lawfully Made Abroad

Posted in Copyright, Litigation

The Supreme Court of the United States issued its much-anticipated decision in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., holding that the “first sale” doctrine protects a buyer or other lawful owner of a copy of a copyrighted work that was lawfully made abroad, following a lawful first sale. The 6-3 decision resolves a contested… Continue Reading

Can Touting Your New Job on Social Media Sites Violate a Non-Solicitation Agreement?

Posted in Litigation

According to a federal judge in Oklahoma in Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. v. Cahill, simply sharing information about a new job over social media does not mean that you are inviting former co-workers to come join you in violation of a non-solicitation agreement. On February 12, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge James Payne of the… Continue Reading

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: Massachusetts Allows Actions for Violation of Privacy Rights Based on Collection of ZIP Codes

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Massachusetts appears to have followed California’s lead in opening a litigation floodgate over ZIP code collection at the point of sale. In 2011, the California Supreme Court held in Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., 246 P.3d 612 (Cal. 2011), that a retailer illegally collects personal identification information (PII) when it requests and records ZIP codes… Continue Reading

A Fistful of Data: Facebook and Profile Technology, Inc. Showdown Over the Right to Use Outdated User Information

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

As social media matures and users become more concerned about the privacy of the information they publish online, New Zealand-based search engine app company Profile Technology, Inc. and Facebook are engaged in a legal battle stemming from a dispute over the right to use certain user data. The story first came to light in October… Continue Reading

FTC Announces Important Settlement With Social Networking App and Releases New Mobile App Report

Posted in FTC, Litigation, Privacy

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a potentially groundbreaking settlement with the social networking app Path and released an important new staff report on Mobile Privacy Disclosures late last week. The FTC’s Settlement with Path suggests a new standard may be on the near-term horizon: out-of-policy, just-in-time notice and express consent for the collection of… Continue Reading

You Can’t Make a Square Peg Fit in a Round Hole: California Supreme Court Holds Online Purchases of Electronically Downloadable Products Outside Scope of Song-Beverly Act

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

Handing a victory to online retailers, on February 4, 2013, the California Supreme Court held in a split decision that online transactions involving electronically downloadable products fall outside the scope of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (Apple v. Superior Court (Krescent), S199384). Despite acknowledging the unique fraud issues present in online transactions, the Court refused… Continue Reading

Socially Aware Looks Back: The Social Media Law Year in Review

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

2012 was a momentous year for social media law. We’ve combed through the court decisions, the legislative initiatives, the regulatory actions and the corporate trends to identify what we believe to be the ten most significant social media law developments of the past year–here they are, in no particular order: Bland v. Roberts – A… Continue Reading