The Law and Business of Social Media
March 26, 2020 - DMCA, Privacy, User-Generated Content, Copyright, Section 230 Safe Harbor

Social Links: Biden’s stance on CDA §230; liability for user-generated content; Twitter’s process for reviewing Trump’s tweets

A federal district court in Illinois allowed claims for vicarious and direct copyright infringement to proceed against an employee of the Chicago Cubs Baseball Club for retweeting a third-party tweet containing the plaintiff’s copyrighted material. Read the opinion.

Thinking of backing Biden in November? Would his unequivocal opinion on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act affect your decision?

In an opinion important to platforms that monetize user-generated content, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held the safe harbor provisions in §512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) did not exempt Zazzle—a company that creates and sells items such as t-shirts and mugs bearing images uploaded by users—from copyright liability for willfully infringing 35 separate copyrighted works. In one of this blog’s most popular posts ever, I explain how platforms that commercialize their user-generated content can reduce their risk.

The advertising industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are encouraging California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to postpone the anticipated July enforcement of the California Consumer Privacy Act, citing the law’s complexity.

The estate of the late musician Prince successfully brought a copyright infringement claim against an individual who unofficially recorded and uploaded videos containing performances of copyrighted songs. Accordingly to a federal district court in Massachusetts, the videos do not qualify for the fair use exception to copyright infringement because the uploader/defendant “did not imbue Prince’s musical compositions with new meaning or add any of his own expression to the underlying works.” Read more of the court’s reasoning.

In a controversy as old as the Internet itself, Germans are debating whether social media users should be permitted to remain anonymous.

Actor Steven Seagal will pay more than $300,000 to resolve U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claims that he failed to tell Twitter and Facebook followers he was being paid to promote an initial coin offering.

Twitter has a special process for reviewing tweets by public figures—including President Trump—that have been flagged for potentially violating the platform’s rules. This profile of Twitter’s top lawyer, Vijaya Gadde, describes it.