FTC’s Confusing Guidance on How Merchants Should Manage Their Consumer Reviews

This blog post covers an FTC closing letter. A few words about FTC closing letters if you’re not familiar with them. When the FTC staff open an investigation but then decide not to take action, staff issues a “closing letter”…

Laura Loomer Loses Another Lawsuit Related to Her Twitter Ban–Illoominate v. CAIR

This is the detritus of Laura Loomer’s lawsuit against Twitter for banning her account. A court previously dismissed those claims on Section 230 grounds. She also sued the Council on American-Islamic Relations Foundation (CAIR), claiming they complained to Twitter about…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 4 (FOSTA)

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 4 (FOSTA)

* “Department of Justice shut down CityXGuide.com and arrested the site’s owner, for the first time utilizing the criminal expansions created under FOSTA/SESTA.” Notice of proceedings. Indictment. * Emily Morgan, On FOSTA and the Failures of Punitive Speech Restrictions, 115…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 3 (Trademarks)

* John Bean Technologies Corp. v. BGSE Group, LCC (D. Utah Aug. 13, 2020). Plaintiffs are still litigating keyword metatag cases in 2020… JBT asserts likelihood of confusion under a distinct theory known as initial-interest confusion. “Initial-interest confusion ‘results when…

Facebook Isn't a Constructive Public Trust--Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook

Facebook Isn’t a Constructive Public Trust–Cameron Atkinson v. Facebook

Cameron Atkinson self-describes himself as “a Christian, a published constitutional scholar, a soon-to-be trial and appellate lawyer, and a general hell-raiser.” He also describes himself as “Liberty’s sheriff” and you can even buy t-shirts apparently depicting him in that role….

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 2 (Section 230)

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 2 (Section 230)

* Griffin v. Google, 2020 WL 6781624 (S.D. Ga. Nov. 18, 2020). “Plaintiff only alleges these Defendants failed to screen to make sure their users were legal entities without providing any other basis for liability….Aside from some very limited exceptions,…

2H 2020 Quick Links, Part 1 (Copyright)

* UMG Recordings v. RCN Telecom Services, LLC, 3:19-cv-17272-MAS-ZNQ (D.N.J. Aug. 31, 2020): Plaintiffs have made allegations sufficient to satisfy the knowledge requirement at the pleading stage. As to actual knowledge, Plaintiffs aver that the five million notices sent to…

Ninth Circuit Says Amazon Isn’t “Seller” of Marketplace Items–State Farm v. Amazon

This is another Amazon marketplace hoverboard case. The majority summarizes its conclusion: While Amazon provides a website for third-party sellers and facilitates sales for those sellers, it is not a “seller” under Arizona’s strict liability law for the third-party hoverboard…

Google Isn't Liable for Allegedly Problematic Search Results--Diez v. Google

Google Isn’t Liable for Allegedly Problematic Search Results–Diez v. Google

Diez claims to be a “naturist” (note: these facts are taken from Diez’s complaint). He conducted Google image searches for the keywords “family naturist females,” “family naturist girls,” “family nudist females,” and “family nudist girls.” [PLEASE DO NOT INDEPENDENTLY INVESTIGATE…

Domain Name Lawsuits Are Stupid (and the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine Is Too)--Wooster Floral v. Green Thumb

Domain Name Lawsuits Are Stupid (and the Initial Interest Confusion Doctrine Is Too)–Wooster Floral v. Green Thumb

This case concerns the domain name WoosterFloral.com. It was initially owned by Wooster Floral, a florist in Wooster, Ohio. However, in 2014, the owner wound down the business and didn’t renew the domain name. The store manager then bought out…