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Category Archives: Terms of Use

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

Posted in FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use, UK High Court

The latest issue of our Socially Aware newsletter is now available here. Welcome to a special privacy issue of Socially Aware, focusing on recent privacy law developments relating to social media and the Internet. In this issue, we analyze a controversial European ruling that strengthens the right to be forgotten; we examine a recent California… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Copyright, FTC, Internet of Things, IP, Litigation, Privacy, SEC, Supreme Court, Terms of Use

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 analyze a groundbreaking FTC complaint alleging deceptive practices online that could turn website Terms of Use into federal law; we summarize a U.S. Supreme… Continue Reading

German Court Finds 25 Provisions in Google’s Online Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to Be Unenforceable

Posted in Privacy, Terms of Use

In November 2013, the Berlin District Court ruled that all of the 25 provisions in Google’s online terms of use and privacy policy that had been challenged by the German Federation of Consumer Associations (VZBV) are unenforceable.  In reaching its decision, the court found that German law applies to terms of use and privacy policies… Continue Reading

Potential Limitations Placed on Unilateral Right to Modify Terms of Use

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

Contractual provisions giving a website operator the unilateral right to change its end user terms of service are ubiquitous and appear in the online terms of many major social media sites and other websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google. Although amendments to terms of service quite often cause consumers to complain, litigation regarding such… 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

Administering Arbitration Clauses in Online Terms of Service Agreements

Posted in Arbitration, Terms of Use

Morrison & Foerster’s Sherman Kahn Interviews American Arbitration Association Vice President, Sandra Partridge Many companies are providing for arbitration of disputes in their terms of service agreements governing use of their websites or other online or mobile services. Arbitration clauses in online terms of service agreements should be carefully drafted in order to ensure that… Continue Reading

Thinking About Using Pictures Pulled From Twitter? Think Again, New York Court Warns

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, IP, Litigation, Terms of Use

If you want to use those pictures you found on Twitter, beware. A federal judge in New York recently held that taking photos from Twitter to use for a commercial purpose infringes the photographer’s copyrights. On January 14, 2013, Judge Alison Nathan ruled that Agence France Presse (AFP), which provides subscribers with access to photos… Continue Reading

New Issue of the Socially Aware Newsletter Now Available

Posted in Employment Law, FCC, FTC, IP, Litigation, Privacy, Section 230 Safe Harbor, Statistics, Terms of Use, Trademark

In the latest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at recent First Amendment, intellectual property, labor and privacy law developments affecting corporate users of social media and the Internet. We also recap major events from 2012 that have had a substantial impact on… Continue Reading

That’s a Wrap: Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

Website operators often take for granted the enforceability of their websites’ terms of service. In a recent order issued in a case from the Central District of California, Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., Judge Josephine Tucker reminds us that such presumptions are not necessarily correct: terms of service that do not require an affirmative… Continue Reading

Look Before You Leap: Amazon Web Services Customers May Be Subject to an IP Covenant Not to Sue

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

The growth of cloud computing has been phenomenal, as companies ranging from early stage start-ups to conservative, blue-chip corporations have sought to take advantage of the cost savings offered by cloud-based solutions. And at the head of this revolution has been Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the earliest and most popular of the cloud… Continue Reading

We’ve Come for Your Tweets: Twitter to Appeal Denial of Its Motion to Quash District Attorney’s Subpoena

Posted in Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use

As the Occupy Wall Street protests fade from memory, a related discovery battle between Twitter and the New York County District Attorney rages on. Earlier this year, we discussed the District Attorney’s efforts to subpoena user information and tweets of criminal defendant Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly… Continue Reading

Caveat Emptor, Part II: A Brief Overview of Twitter’s Terms of Service and Related Documents

Posted in IP, Online Promotions, Privacy, Terms of Use

In our September 2010 issue of Socially Aware, we provided a brief overview of Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” the social media service’s complex set of terms and conditions that companies frequently “click-accept” with little review (often, in a rush to establish their Facebook presences).  Naturally, this situation is not limited to Facebook— for… Continue Reading

Facebooks’s Online Terms of Service Held to Be Enforceable

Posted in Terms of Use

In the recent online contracting case of Fteja v. Facebook, Inc., a New York federal court held that a forum selection clause contained in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (the “Terms”) was enforceable because the plaintiff assented to the Terms when registering to use Facebook.  The court’s analysis and holding followed the recent trend… Continue Reading

District Court Considers Value of Twitter Account

Posted in Employment Law, IP, Terms of Use

“Man, what do I write here? And what’s it going to be valued at?” So read Noah Kravitz’s Twitter profile soon after Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the Northern District of California denied Kravitz’s motion to dismiss a number of claims brought against him by his former employer related to the Twitter account. While Kravitz… Continue Reading

Running Contests and Sweepstakes on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter: How the Rules Stack Up

Posted in Online Promotions, Terms of Use

Over the past two years, Socially Aware has revisited Facebook’s Promotions Guidelines from time to time — even as recently as August 2011 — to help keep our readers up-to-date on how popular social media platforms seek to regulate contests, sweepstakes and other promotions. Online promotions are as popular as ever, and given that two-thirds… Continue Reading

Northern District of California Court Addresses the Law of the (Virtual) Horse (and Bunny)

Posted in DMCA, Terms of Use

Online “virtual worlds,” such as Second Life, have their own cultures, customs and economies.  This presents new challenges for applying existing intellectual property laws to user-created content in such virtual worlds, as illustrated by a recent case in the Northern District of California, Amaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC v. Ozimals, Inc.. Second Life places users, or… Continue Reading

Twitpic Puzzles Users With Terms of Service Changes, Photo Agency Deal

Posted in Terms of Use

Twitpic, a user-generated content service that simplifies the process of sharing photographs and other media through Twitter, came under fire earlier this year for changes to its Terms of Service that appeared to dramatically expand the rights granted to Twitpic by its users— and that were described by some media outlets as a “copyright grab.”… Continue Reading

Reboot: Facebook Overhauls Its Promotions Guidelines

Posted in Online Promotions, Terms of Use

In our February 2011 issue of Socially Aware, we reported that, at the end of 2010, Facebook had revamped its Promotions Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) to eliminate the requirement that approval be obtained from Facebook prior to offering sweepstakes, contests or similar promotions in connection with one’s Facebook page.  More recently, Facebook substantially streamlined its Guidelines, which… Continue Reading