Q2 2016 Quick Links, Part 2 (Terrorism Content, Hate Speech, Thiel/Gawker, Censorship & More)

Terrorism Content * Washington Post: “There’s a new tool to take down terrorism images online. But social media companies are wary of it.” For good reason. If all it takes to scrub content permanently is to deem it “terrorism content,”…

Web Host Defeats Copyright Liability Despite Mishandled Takedown Notice–Hydrenta v. Luchian

The plaintiff produces pornography and distributes it through paid membership sites. The defendants run ad-supported websites that allow users to upload videos, a total of 475,000 user-submitted videos. Moderators screen user submissions to confirm they do not contain “child pornography,…

A Dozen Organizations File Comments Opposing Copyright Office’s Plan to Undermine Section 512

I recently posted about the Copyright Office’s proposed new prices for designating 17 USC 512 agents for notice. While the proposed price reduction sounded good, the announcement obscured the real news: the Copyright Office still wants to nix valid designations…

Trade Secret Owner Penalized For ‘Specious’ Misappropriation Lawsuit–BTS v. Exclusive Perspectives

As you know, I’ve expressed many concerns about the new ex parte seizure provisions in the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). To support the ex parte seizure provision, DTSA proponents sometimes argued that legitimate trade secret owners and their lawyers…

Announcing the 2016 Edition of 'Internet Law: Cases & Materials'

Announcing the 2016 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…

Supreme Court Revisits Copyright’s Attorney Fee Shifts–Kirtsaeng v. Wiley

The Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 505, has a discretionary “loser-pays” attorneys’ fee shift. We’ve blogged repeatedly about abusive copyright enforcements where that fee shift provides a modicum of fairness to defendants (e.g., Inglewood v. Teixeira; Katz v. Chevaldina; Righthaven v….

Review Website Gets Hammered In Court–Consumer Cellular v. ConsumerAffairs

This is not a good opinion for the review website industry. However, the court’s harshest treatment turns on the idiosyncratic practices of ConsumerAffairs.com, which set a key Fourth Circuit Section 230 precedent in 2009 but whose current business practices probably…

Scraping Lawsuit Survives Dismissal Motion–CouponCabin v. Savings.com

We blog pretty much every scraping case we see; we just don’t see many of them. As I’ve told you before, scraping is ubiquitous but of dubious legality. Today’s case reiterates just how hard it is for scrapers to win…

Yelp Forced To Remove Defamatory Reviews–Hassell v. Bird

[Warning: Brutally ugly opinion and long blog post ahead] The evisceration of Section 230 continues. Yesterday I explained that the last 12 months have been tough for Section 230 jurisprudence. Today’s opinion is worse than *all* of the cases I…