Section 230 Helps VRBO Defeat Claim Over Fraudulent Listing–Hiam v. Homeaway

[It’s impossible to blog on Section 230 rulings right now without acknowledging that Section 230 is facing its most serious threat to date. I doubt the bills would change the result in this ruling, but the bills would so radically…

Senate's "Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017"--and Section 230's Imminent Evisceration

Senate’s “Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017”–and Section 230’s Imminent Evisceration

A new anti-Section 230 bill, the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, will be introduced in the Senate imminently, perhaps tomorrow. [UPDATE: It has been introduced as S. 1693]. It is being introduced by six senators (Senators Portman, Blumenthal,…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 6 (Defamation, Section 230, Consumer Reviews)

Defamation * Gillon v. Bernstein, Civ. No. 2:12-4891 (WJM) (D.N.J. Nov. 3, 2016). No liability for negative Ripoff Report. * Jackson v. Mayweather, 2017 WL 1131869 (Cal. Ct. App. March 27, 2017). CA’s anti-SLAPP law protects the following Facebook/Instagram post: “the real reason me…

Courts Keep Shredding Online Contract Formation Processes--McGhee v. NAB; Applebaum v. Lyft

Courts Keep Shredding Online Contract Formation Processes–McGhee v. NAB; Applebaum v. Lyft

A couple more online contract formation cases to enliven your Saturday: McGhee v. NAB This case involves mobile credit card processing services. The plaintiffs are merchants who think they were overcharged for card readers. The vendor invoked the arbitration clause…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 5 (Advertising, Contracts)

Advertising * David A. Hyman et al, Going Native: Can Consumers Recognize Native Advertising? Does It Matter?, 19 Yale J.L. & Tech. 77 (2017): “We tested sixteen examples of native advertising. For fifteen of the sixteen examples, fewer than 50% of…

Politician Can't Ban Constituent From Her Official Facebook Page--Davison v. Loudoun County Supervisors

Politician Can’t Ban Constituent From Her Official Facebook Page–Davison v. Loudoun County Supervisors

This is a First Amendment social media case, where the plaintiff was banned for a 12 hour period from the defendant’s ostensibly official Facebook page. My prior blog post. Following a bench trial, the court finds in favor of plaintiff…

Vegetarian Ethiopian Cookbook Copyright Lawsuit Turns Sour--Schleifer v. Berns

Vegetarian Ethiopian Cookbook Copyright Lawsuit Turns Sour–Schleifer v. Berns

Law professors love to riff on the copyrightability of cookbooks because it raises several subtle issues. Are recipes copyrightable? Normally not–at least, not the ingredient lists. Cf. the chicken sandwich case. Are compilations of recipes copyrightable? Sure, but compilation copyrights…

Appropriation Artist Can't Win Fair Use Defense on Motion to Dismiss--Graham v. Prince

Appropriation Artist Can’t Win Fair Use Defense on Motion to Dismiss–Graham v. Prince

This is a lawsuit by plaintiff Donald Graham against well-known “appropriation artist” Richard Prince and his gallery for copyright infringement. As described by the court: Prince’s [work] is [an . . . ] inkjet print of a screenshot taken by…

Announcing the 2017 Edition of 'Internet Law: Cases & Materials'

Announcing the 2017 Edition of ‘Internet Law: Cases & Materials’

I’m pleased to announce this year’s edition of my Internet Law casebook, Internet Law: Cases & Materials. It’s available for sale as a PDF at Gumroad for $8, as a Kindle book for $9.99, and in hard copy at CreateSpace…