FTC Wins Deception Case Over Faux User-Generated Content--Fanning v. FTC

FTC Wins Deception Case Over Faux User-Generated Content–Fanning v. FTC

John Fanning challenged the FTC findings that the website he developed, named Jerk.com, materially misrepresented its attributes. On appeal, the First Circuit affirms. Jerk.com resembled Ripoff Report, but for people. The court’s description of the site and its offerings are…

Important and Troubling Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) Ruling From First Circuit--Yershov v. Gannett

Important and Troubling Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) Ruling From First Circuit–Yershov v. Gannett

This is a Video Privacy Protection Act case alleging that Gannett, the owner of USA Today, improperly disclosed personally identifiable information to Adobe. Adobe offers analytics services to its clients by collecting user information and building user profiles. As alleged…

Q1 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Copyright, Marketing and More)

Q1 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Copyright, Marketing and More)

Copyright * Naruto v. Slater: “Naruto is not an “author” within the meaning of the Copyright Act.” I heart Naruto! * Handshoe v. Abel, 1:14-cv-00159-KS-MTP (S.D. Miss. Jan. 8, 2016) (cites omitted): Given that there is no dispute that the…

Sketchy Suit Between Native Advertising Competitors Produces Sketchy Section 230 Ruling--Adblade v. RevContent

Sketchy Suit Between Native Advertising Competitors Produces Sketchy Section 230 Ruling–Adblade v. RevContent

This case is filled with sketchiness. First, the litigants compete in the “native advertising industry,” which doesn’t have a great reputation (and this lawsuit isn’t likely to improve it). Second, the ads in question promote wrinkle creams, diet pills and…

Q1 2016 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks and Domain Names)

Q1 2016 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks and Domain Names)

* Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences v. GoDaddy.com, Inc., 2015 WL 5311085 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 10, 2015). A major win for GoDaddy—and domain name parking programs generally—against a long-running cybersquatting suit by the Motion Picture Academy. This ruling…

Does Two-Factor Authentication Violate the TCPA?--Duguid v. Facebook

Does Two-Factor Authentication Violate the TCPA?–Duguid v. Facebook

Plaintiff sued Facebook alleging TCPA claims on behalf of a putative class. Facebook sends text messages when someone logs in to their account via a new or unrecognized device. Plaintiff was a non-Facebook user who received these messages. Unfortunately, despite…

Big Win For Free Speech Online In Backpage Lawsuit (Forbes Cross-Post)

Big Win For Free Speech Online In Backpage Lawsuit (Forbes Cross-Post)

Regulators and plaintiffs have been trying to eradicate online prostitution ads for a decade. These efforts have been partially hampered by 47 U.S.C. 230 (Section 230), a law Congress enacted in 1996 to protect websites from liability for third party…

PGA Can Turn Caddies Into 'Human Billboards'--Hicks v. PGA Tour

PGA Can Turn Caddies Into ‘Human Billboards’–Hicks v. PGA Tour

As I’ve written before, marketers are in a never-ending quest to find and exploit new ways to capture consumer attention. With the rise of DVR ad-avoidance technologies, marketers keep finding more unskippable broadcast TV ad exposures like product placements. And…

Google Defeats Lawsuit Over Duplicate Content Penalty--D'Agostino v. Appliances Buy Phone

Google Defeats Lawsuit Over Duplicate Content Penalty–D’Agostino v. Appliances Buy Phone

D’Agostino provided web development services to the Appliances Buy Phone (ABP) website. He wanted to sharpen his SEO skills, so he agreed in 2009 with the ABP owners to create a mirror version of ABP, called Appliances4Sale (AFS) as a…

Buyer Wins Dispute Over Earnout For Purchased Websites

Buyer Wins Dispute Over Earnout For Purchased Websites

This is an earnout dispute arising out of Internet Brands’ purchase of the “doityourself.com” website. The website was launched in 1995. By 2006, it averaged 1,770,000 unique monthly visitors and earned almost $1 million in revenues. In December 2006, Internet…