App Listening For Audio Beacons May Be Illegal Wiretapping--Rackemann v. Colts

App Listening For Audio Beacons May Be Illegal Wiretapping–Rackemann v. Colts

This is a lawsuit against the Colts and app developers, alleging that the Colts’ app activates a device’s microphone and temporarily records portions of audio, for advertising purposes. The app monitors the audio for “beacon tones” which are then used…

The DOJ's Busts of MyRedbook & Rentboy Show How Backpage Might Be Prosecuted (Guest Blog Post)

The DOJ’s Busts of MyRedbook & Rentboy Show How Backpage Might Be Prosecuted (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Cary Glynn [Eric’s introduction: Backpage has defeated numerous efforts by civil litigants and state AGs to shut it down, with substantial help from Section 230. These unsuccessful enforcement efforts have fueled a key narrative for SESTA that, because of Section…

On Remand, Ninth Circuit Says Robins Satisfied Article III Standing

Robins v. Spokeo is a putative class action that looked like it would examine the contours of Article III standing. The Supreme Court remanded to the Ninth Circuit so it could take a second look as to whether Spokeo’s allegations amounted…

German Court Says Ad-Blocking is Liberation, Not Extortion (Guest Blog Post)

[By guest blogger Russell A. Miller, the JB Stombock Professor of Law at Washington & Lee University, where his teaching and research focuses on German law and legal culture. He is the co-founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the German Law Journal. He has…

Backpage Executives Must Face Money Laundering Charges Despite Section 230--People v. Ferrer

Backpage Executives Must Face Money Laundering Charges Despite Section 230–People v. Ferrer

Yesterday, a California superior court judge dismissed pimping charge (due to Section 230) but did not dismiss money laundering charges against three Backpage executives. This ruling has potentially significant consequences for Backpage and its executives, the pending Congressional bills to…

White-on-White Trademark Usage Might Constitute Initial Interest Confusion–Agdia v. Xia

Are we really litigating trademark references in white-on-white text in 2017??? Yes, we are, and yes, the whole case is a throwback to the mid-2000s (e.g., the 2008 Venture Tape case)–with effects that would be comical if they weren’t so…

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…

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…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks, Keyword Ads)

Trademark * Viacom Int’l Inc v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, 2017 WL 107141 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 11, 2017): “Because “The Krusty Krab” is a recurring element of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” show, the court finds that the mark is eligible for…

1-800 Contacts Charges Higher Prices Than Its Online Competitors, But They Are OK With That--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

1-800 Contacts Charges Higher Prices Than Its Online Competitors, But They Are OK With That–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

As you recall, the FTC has taken the position that 1-800 Contacts’ agreement with competitors, via settlement agreements, not to bid on each other trademarks as keywords violates antitrust laws. Prior blog posts: * FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts For Restricting…