Q2 2010 Quick Links Part 2

By Eric Goldman

Marketing and Advertising

* Good talk from FTC Chair Leibowitz: “we have great hopes for self-regulation….So long as self-regulation is making forward progress, the FTC is not interested in regulating” behavioral targeting.

* NYT on teaching middle schoolers how to interpret ads. We’re going to need to teach kids how to consume information if we have any chance to survive infoglut.

* The LA Times and Chicago Tribune are integrating paid text links into story content.

* Search Engine Land: Google: Now Recommending Brands For Searches.

* Keeller v. Groupon Inc., No. 10 CH 8666 (Ill. Cir. Ct. Cook Cty. March 2, 2010). Groupon settles lawsuit over expired and unused coupons.

* NYT: Online coupons may not be as anonymous as people assume.

* An inside look at the MPAA’s self-regulatory effort to police movie ads.

* Avi Goldfarb & Catherine Tucker, Privacy Regulation and Online Advertising.

* Microsoft sues for click laundering. Coverage at Search Engine Land and WSJ

* The FTC shut down Pricewert/3FN.net.


* News.com: Second Life sued by its users for changing the terms of land “ownership.” Evans v. Linden Research complaint.

* Shell v. AFRA: website venue selection clause not binding just because web visitors viewed it.

* Omri Ben-Shahar & Carl E. Schneider, The Failure of Mandated Disclosure. This paper shows why mandatory disclosures fail in part because regulators think in terms of what consumers SHOULD want to know rather than what information consumers ACTUALLY want to know.

* WaPo: Reality TV secrets are hard to keep in the age of social media. My 2003 analysis of using contract law to keep reality TV secrets.

* Want to be on the TV show Survivor? Check out its contract first.

* Anderson v. Bell, No. 20100237 (Utah June 22, 2010): “electronic signatures may satisfy the Election Code’s requirements under section 20A-9-502 regarding unaffiliated candidates wishing to run for statewide office.” Tom O’Toole’s writeup.


* Jim Jansen: “Only 4% of sponsored ads were triggered by competitors’ trademarked terms. When it does happen, the results are pretty much what consumers are use to seeing, so there doesn’t appear to be many negative consequences….Thus, competitive use of trademarked terms to trigger online ads does not appear to be a widespread phenomenon and is similar to the query suggestion feature that many search engines employ.”

* Michael Geist on the first Canadian keyword advertising ruling (a nice defense win).

* 2010 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement.

* Qassas v. Daylight Donut Flour Company LLC, No. 09-663 (N.D. Okla. June 10, 2010). A company and its entrepreneur are liable for their web developer’s infringements when creating the company’s own website.


* Stephen Wu on Estate Planning for Online Assets

* Declan at News.com lauds Justice Stevens’ Internet jurisprudence. We owe Justice Stevens many thanks for helping the Internet bloom.

* Anthony v. Yahoo!, Inc., 2010 WL 1552819 (9th Cir. April 20, 2010). Upholding Yahoo’s settlement in a class action lawsuit over its online dating site. My original blog post on the case.

* Tom O’Toole reports on various stupid state efforts to regulate technology, inadvertently making the case that they are a terrible laboratory of experimentation.

* Vacation Club Services Inc. v. Rodriguez (M.D. Fla. April 22, 2010). No CFAA action against the buyer of data from a database the seller allegedly acquired in violation of the CFAA.

* Lawyers behaving badly on the Internet.

* 23 state AGs have contacted Topix about its takedown procedures, including its fee for expedited takedown review.