Congress May Crack Down On Businesses' Efforts To Ban Consumer Reviews (Forbes Cross-Post)

Congress May Crack Down On Businesses’ Efforts To Ban Consumer Reviews (Forbes Cross-Post)

Imagine a dentist telling her patients that they can’t write online reviews about her. Or a hotel deducting money from a newly married couple’s security deposit if any member of the wedding party blasts the hotel on Yelp. These types…

Jointly Editable Online Document Doesn't Provide Evidence of Contract Formation--Turner v. Temptu

Jointly Editable Online Document Doesn’t Provide Evidence of Contract Formation–Turner v. Temptu

The litigants discussed working together to launch a new product in the marketplace. As seems to be inevitable in situations like this, the parties’ relationship fell out. Trying to salvage something from the situation, Turner alleged the parties had formed…

Lock Manufacturer Onity Had Only One Job, But Isn't Liable For Failing To Do It Well (Forbes Cross-Post)

Lock Manufacturer Onity Had Only One Job, But Isn’t Liable For Failing To Do It Well (Forbes Cross-Post)

Let’s start with two non-controversial propositions: (1) no lock offers perfect security, and (2) any lock that can be defeated by a “stupidly simple” method is functionally worthless. But can a buyer of a functionally worthless lock recover in court?…

Court Denies AFP/Getty Bid to Set Aside Morel Copyright Verdict

Court Denies AFP/Getty Bid to Set Aside Morel Copyright Verdict

The dust is settling on AFP v. Morel, and the wreckage that emerges isn’t pretty. Following trial, a jury awarded Morel $1,503,889.77 in actual and statutory damages for infringement. The jury also found that defendants violated Morel’s rights under the…

It's Not Possible To Steal Facebook 'Likes'--Mattocks v. BET

It’s Not Possible To Steal Facebook ‘Likes’–Mattocks v. BET

In 2008, Plaintiff Stacey Mattocks developed an (initially unofficial) Facebook page focusing on “The Game,” a television series initially aired on CW and later acquired by BET. In 2010, BET contacted Mattocks and hired her as a part-time worker, paying…

What's a Browsewrap? The Ninth Circuit Sure Doesn't Know--Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble

What’s a Browsewrap? The Ninth Circuit Sure Doesn’t Know–Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble

This is a lawsuit over Barnes & Noble’s alleged failure to honor its closeout advertisements for Hewlett-Packard Touchpads. (Coverage of the district court ruling here: “Barnes & Noble’s Online Contract Formation Process Fails–Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble.” Plaintiff (Nguyen) placed an…

Fining Customers For Negative Online Reviews Isn't New...Or Smart (Forbes Cross-Post)

Fining Customers For Negative Online Reviews Isn’t New…Or Smart (Forbes Cross-Post)

Last week, we learned that a New York hotel, the Union Street Guest House, was fining guests $500 for posting negative online reviews. The story received considerable media attention because the restriction violates our social norms and is almost certainly…

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 3 (Privacy, Marketing, E-Commerce & More)

Q2 2014 Quick Links, Part 3 (Privacy, Marketing, E-Commerce & More)

Privacy * Snapchat’s basic value proposition (“Disappearing digital photos”) has been deceptive from the beginning. The FTC busted them for it. (I saw James Grimmelmann added this to his Internet Law casebook. We’ve also added it to our Advertising Law…

23andMe's Browsewrap Fails, But Its Post-Purchase Clickthrough Works Anyway--Tompkins v. 23andMe

23andMe’s Browsewrap Fails, But Its Post-Purchase Clickthrough Works Anyway–Tompkins v. 23andMe

You may recall 23andMe’s legal troubles last Fall, when the FDA launched a big smackdown over selling genetic tests. In the wake of the FDA takedown, the class action lawyers moved in for their cash grab. 23andMe defended with an…

Plastic Surgeon's "Before & After" Photos Violate NY Publicity Rights--Manzione v. Mashkevich

Plastic Surgeon’s “Before & After” Photos Violate NY Publicity Rights–Manzione v. Mashkevich

Dr. Grigoriy Mashkevich performed rhinoplasty on Catherine Manzione and took before-and-after photos of Manzione. Confusingly, Manzione apparently signed two seemingly inconsistent form consent agreements regarding the photos. One said: I do not want my photos to be used. I understand…