Online Kevorkian’s First Amendment Challenge to Assisted Suicide Convictions Unsuccessful -– State v. Melchert-Dinkel

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani, with comments from Eric] State v. Melchert-Dinkel, A11-0987 (Minn. Ct. App.; July 17, 2012) The State of Minnesota prosecuted a Minnesota nurse for engaging in Internet conversations with people who were contemplating suicide. The individuals who…

Backpage Gets Important 47 USC 230 Win Against Washington Law Trying to Combat Online Prostitution Ads (Forbes Cross-Post & More)

By Eric Goldman [I've added some bonus content to the end of this Forbes cross-post] In 1996, Congress enacted a powerful statutory immunity for user-generated content, located at 47 U.S.C. 230 (“Section 230″).  Section 230 says that websites aren’t liable…

4th Circuit Limits the Reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – WEC Carolina Energy Solutions v. Miller

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani, with comments from Eric] WEC Carolina Energy Solutions LLC v. Miller, et al., 2012 WL 3039213 (4th Cir.; July 26, 2012) We’ve blogged about the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act being stretched by plaintiffs in civil…

Franchisor Isn’t Liable Under the TCPA for Franchisees’ Text Message Campaign – Thomas v. Taco Bell

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani with comments from Eric] Thomas v. Taco Bell Corp., SACV 09-01097-CJC(ANx) (C.D. Cal.; June 25, 2012) Thomas allegedly received unauthorized text messages as part of an advertising campaign for Taco Bell’s Nachos BellGrande (“[a] large platter…

Ex-Spouse Hit With 20K in Damages for Email Eavesdropping – Klumb v. Goan

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Klumb v. Goan, 09-cv-115 (E.D. Tenn.; July 19, 2012) Klumb, described by the court as “a wealthy man,” met and married Crystal Goan, a law student who later became a lawyer. As the court describes it,…

Offering P2P File-Sharing Software for Downloading May Be Copyright Inducement–David v. CBS Interactive

By Eric Goldman David v. CBS Interactive Inc., CV 11-9437 DSF (C.D. Cal. July 13, 2012). The complaint. When the Grokster Supreme Court opinion came out in 2005, there was a lot of confusion about the relationship between copyright “inducement”…

Judge Koh Puts the Kibosh on LinkedIn Referral ID Class Action — Low v. LinkedIn

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Low v. LinkedIn, 11-CV-01468-LHK (N.D. Cal.; July 12, 2012) This case involves the fact that LinkedIn put users’ unique identifiers into its URLs, allowing advertisers (and others) to associate that unique identifier with users–and, potentially, access…

Why Defensive Domain Name Registrations Aren’t a Good Deal for Small Businesses (Forbes Cross-Post)

By Eric Goldman [Introductory note: every article has a backstory, but some backstories are more complicated than others. Earlier this year, I was commissioned by a well-known publication to participate in a point/counterpoint regarding registering domain names in new TLDs….

PissedConsumer Defeats Trademark Claim…On a Motion to Dismiss!?–deVere v. Opinion Corp.

By Eric Goldman deVere Group GmbH v. Opinion Corp., 2012 WL 2884986 (E.D.N.Y. July 13, 2012) Here’s something you don’t see every day: a trademark infringement lawsuit defeated for lack of consumer confusion–on a 12b6 motion to dismiss. For several…

Announcing a New Casebook: “Advertising & Marketing Law: Cases & Materials” by Tushnet & Goldman

By Eric Goldman I’m thrilled to announce the public release of a new casebook, Advertising & Marketing Law: Cases and Materials by Rebecca Tushnet and me. We are publishing the book as a DRM-free PDF download at Scribd for only…