by guest blogger Kieran McCarthy For years, open-Internet advocates have argued that scraping bans infringe on First Amendment rights. After all, access to information is a protected form of speech. But since most scraping cases involve two private litigants, and…

Domain Name Sniping Covered by Section 230--Scott Rigsby v. GoDaddy

It’s refreshing to see a “normal” Section 230 opinion from the Ninth Circuit. They have gotten rarer, and the Gonzalez opinion may make them extinct. Scott Rigsby is the first double-leg amputee to complete an Iron Man Triathlon. He registered…

Section 230 Still Applies to User Reviews--Daniloff v. Google

It’s well-settled law that Section 230 protects review services for tortious user reviews. The Ninth Circuit told us this in 2016 (in Kimzey v. Yelp), but the caselaw was already clear by then. Yet, here we are in 2023, still…

University-Operated Twitter Account is a Limited Public Forum--Gilley v. Stabin

This lawsuit involves the @UOEquity Twitter account, operated by the University of Oregon’s Division of Equity and Inclusion. During the relevant time period, tova stabin (who styles her name in lowercase) was the communications manager running the account. The account…

What Does the "Water" Emoji Mean? Perhaps Not What You Think--US v Swanagan

[Just a reminder that there are no “off-limits” topics in Internet Law. So yes, this post is going to go there.] Law enforcement took down a methamphetamine ring in Kentucky. Based in part on Facebook messages between two defendants that…

If You Ask Your Friend to Take Your Photo Using Your Camera, Who Owns the Copyright?--Shah v. NYP

Vivek Shah attended several Hollywood parties. While there, he preset the settings on his phone camera (including shutter speed, white balance, ISO, metering type, and exposure value) and asked friends or bystanders to use his phone to take photos of…

2022 Internet Law Year-in-Review

Three dynamics combined to make 2022 a brutal year for Internet Law. First, the techlash is taking its toll. There is widespread belief that the major incumbents are too big, too rich, and too capricious to avoid pervasive government control….

Section 230 Applies to NY Publicity Rights Claim--Ratermann v. Pierre Fabre

Patty Ratermann is a model. She signed a license with QuickFrame to use her likeness only on Instagram. Somehow (the court skips over exactly how), Pierre Fabre used her likeness to promote its Avène skincare products on its website, on…

Fourth Circuit's 230 Meltdown Gives Plaintiffs False Hope--Divino v. Google

Last year, in Henderson v. Source for Public Data, the Fourth Circuit issued a MAGAlicious Section 230 opinion that seemingly trashed 25 years of Fourth Circuit precedent. It was immediately obvious that plaintiffs would widely cite the ruling. However, so…

"Stop the Steal" Rally Attendee's Defamation Claim Fails--Chad Burmeister v. Saldich

Chad Burmeister (no Chad jokes, please…no Karen jokes, either) attended the DC “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021. One of his LinkedIn contacts, noisily dropped him as a contact, saying: Normally I’d stay away from political commentary on…