July-August 2010 Quick Links, Part 1

By Eric Goldman

Content Regulation

* Wolk v. Olson (E.D. Pa. Aug. 2, 2010). Defamation claim against “Overlawyered” blog dismissed on statute of limitations grounds. The court treats the blog as equivalent to a mass-media publication.

* Kelledy v. Cockerham, 2010 WL 3211906 (Ariz. App. Ct. Aug. 12, 2010). A family law court’s order not to record and post an ex-spouse’s messages to YouTube was a prior restraint on speech.

* Nexus v. Swift, 2010 WL 2813505 (Minn. App. Ct. July 20, 2010): “the anti-SLAPP statute’s public-participation requirement does not exclude speech communicated through the medium of the Internet.”

* U.S. v. Blagojevich, 2010 WL 2934476 (N.D. Ill. July 26, 2010). In rejecting the early publication of jurors’ names in this high-profile trial, the judge takes an implicit swipe at bloggers: “There is little emphasis today in media or entertainment on the notion of withholding judgment until all the facts are in. ‘I think, therefore I am,’ a precept of Western philosophy, seems to have been supplanted by ‘I feel, therefore I opine.’” I opine that I feel the judge’s stereotype is ridiculous.

* Craigslist’s lawsuit against South Carolina has been dismissed as premature. In a related development, over the Labor Day weekend, Craigslist shut down its adult services category.

* Developments in Houlihan Smith v. Forte, a derivative liability lawsuit against 800Notes: the judge issued an interesting oral ruling in the case, and then Houlihan Smith dropped the lawsuit.

* Latest efforts to make sexting a crime.

* [N G] V. U.S., 2010 WL 3296853 (Fed. Ct. Claims Aug. 20, 2010). Another failed mistake of age defense based on a MySpace misreported age, this time in the context of a military discharge.

* Another unhappy lawyer has sued Avvo.

* Washington Post: Cyber-bullies are most commonly middle school girls?

Marketing and Advertising

* FDA thinks Novartis allowing users to use Facebook’s “share” feature violates FDA advertising restrictions.

* IMS v. Mills (1st Cir.). Upholding a Maine restriction on data mining on information about prescribers’ behaviors.

* Ars Technica recaps recent payola busts and explains how they undercut the record labels’ arguments that radio stations should pay them.

* Eyeblaster, Inc. v. Federal Ins. Co., 2010 WL 2869547 (8th Cir. July 23, 2010). Insurer had duty to defend ad network from claims that the network installed harmful code on users’ computers.

* BlueStar Management v. The Annex Club, LLC, 2010 WL 2802213 (N.D. Ill. July 12, 2010). “Defendants urge the court to consider the fact that the source code for the advertisement reveals that the picture was posted on the internet by a company with the email address worthathousandwords.com, not defendants, and that BlueStar has not alleged a relationship between these separate entities. Nonsense. Even if the court were to consider the source code of the advertisement, which was supplied by defendants and not mentioned in the complaint, it does not take a great inferential leap to conclude that BlueStar has alleged that defendants supplied the content of the advertisement to worthathousandwords.com, whom they hired to post the advertisement.”


* Gary Null & Associates, Inc. v. Phillips, 2010 WL 2787644 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. June 28, 2010). In a defamation action interpreting the NY long arm statute, the fact that the defendant’s website participated in AdSense did not provide jurisdiction in NY.

* Vision Media TV Group, LLC v. Forte, 2010 WL 2836791 (S.D. Fla. July 19, 2010). Another 800Notes case. This time, the operator of 800Notes.com was not responsible for jurisdiction in plaintiff’s home court. Paul Levy comments.


* Farcical panic over “i-dosing” and “digital drugs.” Wired. Ed Felten. Washington Post. NYT. Techdirt

* The Daily Beast questions the Berkman Center’s funding and Zittrain’s criticisms of Apple. JZ’s response.

* Super-interesting website that lets students “bet” on their course grades.

* Some legacy audio/video recently showed up online:

– my reputation talk at San Jose State in May, in both audio and video.

– video of my 2003 Defcon talk on criminal copyright infringement and warez trading. I think I’m a better speaker now than I was then!

– my 2008 talk at Georgia State University on UGC legal issues. The material should be pretty basic for most of you.