Ted Cruz’s Presidential Campaign Apparently Committed Copyright Infringement. Oops.

I know it may be my own idiosyncratic and romanticized view of governance, but I hold politicians to a higher standard when it comes to knowing, and complying with, the law. After all, if the people in charge of making…

Q2 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Marketing, Privacy, Contracts)

Advertising/Marketing * Google will no longer run ads for payday lenders. * GALA: Brazil Enacts New Ambush Marketing Laws in Advance of Rio 2016 Olympic Games * Slate: The Do Not Call list was supposed to defeat telemarketers. Now scammy…

"Manufactured" TCPA Suit Fails For Lack of Standing

“Manufactured” TCPA Suit Fails For Lack of Standing

This is a TCPA lawsuit over unsolicited calls. Although plaintiff resided in Pennsylvania, she purchased 35 pre-paid phones with Florida area codes. The area codes were selected because they are comparatively economically depressed and thus more likely to get collection…

Preemption Dooms Suit Over LinkedIn Group Spam

Preemption Dooms Suit Over LinkedIn Group Spam

This is a lawsuit over spam sent to the member of a LinkedIn group. The common sense failings underlying the claims speak for themselves, but the court ends up dismissing on preemption grounds. Plaintiff was a member of the “C,…

Review Website Gets Hammered In Court–Consumer Cellular v. ConsumerAffairs

This is not a good opinion for the review website industry. However, the court’s harshest treatment turns on the idiosyncratic practices of ConsumerAffairs.com, which set a key Fourth Circuit Section 230 precedent in 2009 but whose current business practices probably…

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…