2H 2016 Quick Links, Part 10 (Marketing, Uber, Airbnb, Taxes & More)

Marketing/Advertising * Danny Sullivan: Facebook’s racial targeting isn’t new, bad or always illegal despite renewed attention * In re Sling Media Slingbox Advertising Litigation (SDNY Aug. 12, 2016). Sling isn’t liable to consumers for adding its own ads to recorded…

2H 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Counterfeits and Olympics)

“Counterfeits” * Gucci v. Alibaba, Case 1:15-cv-03784-PKC (SDNY Aug. 4, 2016) (cites omitted): Plaintiffs have failed to plausibly allege that the Merchant Defendants engaged in anything but independent conduct, without coordination and for their own economic self-interest. Indeed, the Merchant…

Backpage Executives Defeat Pimping Charges Per Section 230–People v. Ferrer

When Kamala Harris’ office filed pimping charges against three Backpage executives, I wondered: why now? why pimping? After all, in 2013, California AG Kamala Harris signed a letter to Congress saying that Section 230 “prevents State and local law enforcement…

Section 230 Ruling Against Airbnb Puts All Online Marketplaces At Risk--Airbnb v. San Francisco

Section 230 Ruling Against Airbnb Puts All Online Marketplaces At Risk–Airbnb v. San Francisco

San Francisco wants to curb Airbnb listings. It adopted a license-and-tax requirement for Airbnb vendors (who Airbnb confusingly calls “hosts”). Vendors widely ignored SF’s rules. To minimize its enforcement obligations, SF sought to deputize Airbnb as its enforcement agency. Thus,…

Section 230 Doesn’t Protect Amazon From Products Liability Claims–McDonald v. LG

This case involves an exploding cellphone battery. LG manufactured the battery and an Amazon marketplace vendor Safetymind sold it to the buyer. In addition to suing LG, the injured buyer sued Amazon for negligent failure to warn, negligence, and breach…

Backpage Can’t Challenge the SAVE Act–Backpage v. Lynch

I never had a chance to blog the 2015 SAVE Act, but I always meant to. It’s one of the rare times that Congress intentionally circumscribed Section 230. However, instead of amending Section 230 directly, Congress added a federal criminal…

Google Loses Two Section 230(c)(2) Rulings–Spy Phone v. Google and Darnaa v. Google

Section 230(c)(2) doesn’t get a lot of love from practitioners or academics because it doesn’t get a lot of love in court. At the motion to dismiss stage, plaintiffs often can get past a Section 230(c)(2) defense by alleging the…

Court Upholds Airbnb’s Terms of Service–Selden v. Airbnb

This lawsuit alleges that Airbnb’s “hosts” racially discriminate when accepting customers’ bookings. Airbnb sought to send the case to arbitration per its Terms of Service, which the plaintiffs challenges. Contract Formation Trying to sort through the nomenclature confusion created by…

Some Comments on the CA/TX Attorneys’ General Prosecution of Backpage’s Executives

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that California Attorney General Kamala Harris is prosecuting three Backpage executives for pimping/conspiracy to pimp. This is the latest–and perhaps last–development in a decade-long effort by legislators, state AGs and local prosecutors to shut…

Spokeo Wipes Out FCRA Lawsuit Over “Improper” Mandatory Disclosures–Nokchan v. Lyft

As you recall, both the plaintiffs’ bar and defense bar declared that the Supreme Court’s Spokeo v. Robins ruling was a win for their side. Optimists might interpret that as a sign the Supreme Court found a magical win-win solution;…