First Amendment Precludes Disorderly Conduct Conviction for Ranting on Police Department Facebook Page

Smith was convicted following a jury trial of disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a computerized communication system. His charge stemmed for comments to the local police department’s Facebook page (access the town’s webpage here). The police department initially posted…

The Supreme Court ruled that Aereo infringed broadcasters’ copyrights by transmitting, in near-real-time, the stream of over-the-air television broadcasts, even when it did so at viewers’ direction. Adopting a pragmatic and functional assessment of Aereo’s activities, the majority held that…

Republishing Litigation Brief Is Fair Use--White v. Westlaw

It’s a perennial question in copyright law: to what extent does copyright law protect attorney-drafted documents such as litigation briefs or contracts? Despite the venerability of the issue (I tested on copyrightability of contracts in my 2002 copyright class), we…

Want To Encourage Gossipy Content Online? Go For It--Jones v. TheDirty (Forbes Cross-Post)

In 1996, Congress enacted a crucial Internet law, 47 USC 230 (Section 230), which says that websites aren’t liable for third party content. This law, though sometimes counterintuitive, has played a huge and helpful role in the Internet’s growth by…

Criminal Cyberbullying Statute Violates First Amendment--New York v. Marquan

Albany County enacted a criminal cyberbulling statute, which defined cyberbulling as: any act of communicating or causing a communication to be sent by mechanical or electronic means, including posting statements on the internet or through a computer or email network,…

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…

Are We Going To See An Explosion Of Food Labeling Lawsuits?--POM v. Coca-Cola (Forbes Cross-Post)

POM, the pomegranate juice maker, is unhappy that Coca-Cola sells a Minute Maid “Pomegranate Blueberry Blend of 5 Juices” that contains only 0.3% pomegranate juice and 0.2% blueberry juice. Even though Coca-Cola apparently complies with Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…

Stalking Conviction For Friending a Prosecutor's Facebook Friends?--State v. Moller

Online stalking and threats are hot topics today, especially in light of the Supreme Court granting cert in US v. Elonis (we plan to recap that case before oral arguments). Today’s case highlights the grey area between veiled threats and…

Chelvadina griped about Raanan Katz on her blog. As is common practice for bloggers, Chelvadina included a headshot photo of Katz. The court says the photo is unflattering (I’ll let you decide). Chevaldina found the photo on an Israeli website…

Bad Idea: Shaming An Employee On Facebook For Health Issues--Shoun v. Best Formed Plastics

Jane Stewart, a company manager, posted the following on her Facebook page: Isn’t [it] amazing how Jimmy experienced a 5 way heart bypass just one month ago and is back to work, especially when you consider George Shoun’s shoulder injury…