Section 230 Helps Yahoo Defeat Lawsuit Over Online Harassment Campaign–Hall v. Yahoo

[It’s impossible to blog about Section 230 without reminding you that Congress is on the cusp of gutting it.] Thomas Hall is a lawyer and author. He claims he was targeted for email harassment by several individuals. He further claims…

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…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 4 (Copyright, Patent, More)

Copyright * Design Basics, LLC v. Lexington Homes, Inc., 858 F.3d 1093 (7th Cir. 2017). Three noteworthy passages from this case: – “the existence of the plaintiff’s copyrighted materials on the Internet, even on a public and “user‐friendly” site, cannot…

When Do Review Websites Commit Extortion?–Icon Health v. ConsumerAffairs

Icon Health and Fitness manufactures exercise equipment, such as the well-known NordicTrack. ConsumerAffairs is a review website. Like many other review websites, its business model is predicated on payments from reviewed businesses. However, ConsumerAffairs’ specific practices raise some extra questions….

Yelp, Twitter and Facebook Aren’t State Actors–Quigley v. Yelp

This is a pro se lawsuit against Yelp, Twitter, Facebook and other major companies, so we know the plaintiff’s chances are nil. The plaintiff claims he was unconstitutionally banned by these services and sought a TRO against their bans. The…

Another Collision of Housing Regulations and Online Innovation–SF Housing Rights Committee v. HomeAway

This is another lawsuit over short-term housing rentals in San Francisco. You’ve been watching the litigation over the San Francisco regulation (Section 41A.5(g)) requiring “hosts” (short-term landlords) to register with the city, limiting the number of days that a unit…

DMCA Safe Harbor Doesn’t Protect Zazzle’s Printing of Physical Items–Greg Young Publishing v. Zazzle

The court summarizes the key facts: “GYPI alleges that Zazzle has publicly displayed 41 paintings by Westmoreland or Erickson on its website, and that Zazzle has created consumer products bearing these images.” GYPI lacked standing to enforce the Westmoreland paintings,…