Blogger Isn't Liable For Anonymous Reader Comments--Mezzacappa v. O'Hare

Bernie O’Hare ran a blog called “Lehigh Valley Ramblings.” I’m focusing on the court’s treatment of four anonymous comments posted in response to O’Hare’s blogging about Tricia Mezzacappa. In general, bloggers aren’t liable for reader comments per Section 230. See…

Burlap Flower Wraps  Aren't Protectable Trade Dress--Farmgirl v. Bloom That

Farmgirl sells flowers in San Francisco. It wraps its flower arrangements in recycled coffee burlap sacks. Here is an example I found on their website: Farmgirl spurred competition from Bloom That, which replicated Farmgirl’s use of recycled coffee burlap sacks…

[My apologies for cross-posting this from my personal blog, but it’s such an important matter to me that I wanted to share it here as well.] Last week, my mom, Dr. Gail Schlachter Hauser, died tragically and unexpectedly. On May…

Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 8 (Copyright, Media)

Copyright * Comments on Blurrred Lines jury verdict. NY Times. Raustiala & Sprigman. The defense attorney. Tim Wu. Eriq Gardner. Wendy Gordon. Judith Finell musicologist’s expert report.  NY Times: “Owing to the specifics of copyright law, the jury was instructed to base…

More Section 230 Cases Than I Can Handle!

My cup runneth over with Section 230 cases! This long blog post catches up on a few from the past couple months. Warning: there are some stinkers in this batch. Google, Inc. v. Hood, 2015 WL 1546160 (S.D. Miss. March…

LinkedIn's “Reference Search” Service Doesn't Violate Fair Credit Reporting Act--Sweet v. LinkedIn

Plaintiffs alleged that potential employers found references about them through LinkedIn’s Reference Searches functions, they were denied employment as a result, and thus LinkedIn violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act. LinkedIn users, including prospective employers, generally can search LinkedIn user…

Mixed Ruling in Competitive Keyword Advertising Case--Goldline v. Regal

The lawsuit’s principal participants are rivals in the precious metals and coin industry. The defendant organization, Regal, has an affiliate program, and it appears that some affiliates bought competitive keyword advertising using the plaintiff Goldline’s trademark. The ruling is on…

Europe’s Antitrust Move Against Google: A Linkwrap

For outside observers, it’s always thrilling to see two elephants like the EC and Google go tusk-to-tusk in a high-stakes battle. Normally, the government holds the edge in such clashes; after all, their enforcement resources are functionally limitless. But Google’s…

Union Isn't Liable For Members' Posts To Private Facebook Group--Weigand v. NLRB

This case relates to a bus drivers’ strike in 2012. During the strike, union members posted “impassioned and bellicose” comments about the strike on the union’s Facebook page, which was accessible only to union members. The union didn’t authorize those…

Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 7 (Consumer Reviews, RTBF, Defamation, Censorship, Sec. 230)

International Censorship * WaPo: This was the Internet’s worst, best year ever * Wired: Russia’s Creeping Descent Into Internet Censorship * Washington Post: Russia just made a ton of Internet memes illegal * NY Times: Hungary Drops Internet Tax Plan…