June 2011 Quick Links, Part 2

By Eric Goldman

Social Media

* The Third Circuit issued its en banc rulings in Layshock v. Hermitage School District and J.S. v. Blue Mountain School District, both involving school discipline against kids who created fake MySpace profiles of school administrators. Prior blog post on both cases. The good news is that the kids won in both cases; the courts held that the administrators overreacted. However, the decisions don’t resolve any of the fundamental issues about the legitimacy of school discipline for kids discussing school-related issues online.

* Too Much Media, LLC v. Hale, 2011 WL 2305620 (N.J. June 7, 2011). A blog commenter doesn’t qualify for the NJ reporter shield law.

* Dr. T.S. v. Plain Dealer, No. 96201 (Ohio App. Ct. June 16, 2011). Uploading a 20 year old version of a newspaper doesn’t reset the single publication rule, even if the article becomes newly indexable in Google.

*Back in September 2010, Xcentric v. Bird settled in a no money deal. The settlement agreement. Ripoff Report’s appended response to the original blog post. Prior blog post.

* Scott P. v. Craigslist dismissed. It appears Scott P. gave up against Craigslist. Prior blog post.

* News.com: Is the FTC going after Twitter…again?

* Another PR agency loses a client account over an ill-advised tweet.

* NY Times tries to deconstruct the Twitter hashtag convention.

* Art of Living Foundation v. Does, 2011 WL 2441898 (N.D. Cal. June 15, 2011). Griping bloggers about Ravi Shankar and his organization avoid defamation and trade secret liability for now.

* Jakobot v. American Airlines, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64824 (S.D. Fla. June 20, 2011). In a battle over whether the plaintiff lives in Florida or Texas, the court says: “The internet is often filled with old, out-of-date, unsubstantiated, self-aggrandizing and misleading information. It is not enough to submit a selective chunk of Plaintiff’s ‘Google footprint’ and note every time that a tie to Florida appears — Defendant must do more to connect the dots.”

* State v. Hanson, 2011 WL 2301801(Minn. App. June 13, 2011). Statutory rape conviction reversed based on a mistake of age defense when the victim misreported her age to MySpace. Prior blog post.

* The Duluth doctor is appealing his defamation lawsuit loss against a patient’s family member who criticized him online.

* Marin IJ: “A Greenbrae cosmetic surgeon who filed a defamation suit against an online reviewer was ordered to pay nearly $20,000 in attorney’s fees after a judge dismissed the case.”

* IT World: Is Facebook really ‘hated’ more than Bank of America?

* Job opening: Executive Director, Public Participation Project, to work towards a federal anti-SLAPP law. Spread the word!


* Reuters on how the FTC’s investigation of Google could chill innovation regardless of its outcome. Google’s blog post about the investigation.

* In June, I participated in a TechFreedom panel on search engine bias on Capitol Hill. Declan McCullagh moderated. His writeup: “On Capitol Hill, it’s all about beating down Google”. The video.

* News.com: Google’s Enemies: a Primer.

* Google hires TWELVE lobbying firms to fight the FTC (on top of the 6 they already had).

* Neeley is appealing his loss to Google. Prior blog coverage.


* Spam filters have taken a huge bite out of spam. See my 2003 article expressing confidence that technology would do a much better job fighting spam than legislation.

* Amazon’s Kindle hit by spammed e-books. Another example that service providers have to exercise editorial control to curb spam.


* The FTC approved the final order in the Chitika case.

* CA enacts an Amazon tax and Amazon instantly tosses its affiliates overboard–including me! More evidence that the taxman will effectively kill the affiliate industry.

* Weinstein v. eBay Inc., 2011 WL 2555861 (S.D.N.Y. June 27, 2011). As a secondary market, StubHub does not need to comply with NY state law requiring printing the face value on tickets.

* Ni v. Slocum, A128721 (Cal. App. Ct. June 30, 2011). Rejecting electronic signatures in support of a ballot petition. Contrast Anderson v Bell in Utah about the application of UETA to election petition signatures.

* Zamora Radio, LLC v. Last.fm LTD., 2011 WL 2580401 (S.D. Fla. June 28, 2011). A defense-favorable Internet personal jurisdiction ruling: “the AccuRadio website reflects a low quality of commercial activity; visitors cannot purchase products or download music and are primarily limited to live streaming audio. Moreover, Plaintiff has not established that (1) Florida constitutes a principal consumer base for AccuRadio’s service; (2) AccuRadio.com makes any reference to Florida, or directs visitors to any Florida establishments; (3) AccuRadio has engaged in any print, radio, television, or Internet advertising targeting Florida residents; or (4) AccuRadio has in any way specifically encouraged Florida residents to visit AccuRadio.com.” The court distinguishes co-defendant Last.fm: “AccuRadio users do not have to download a program to access and listen to AccuRadio’s programming and AccuRadio users do not download music from AccuRadio’s website….Further, AccuRadio’s website is not specifically directed at Florida consumers and local information about concert events is not provided on AccuRadio’s website.”

* Take James Grimmelmann’s Internet Law exam.