Fourth Circuit Takes a Wrecking Ball to Zeran and Section 230--Henderson v. Public Data

Fourth Circuit Takes a Wrecking Ball to Zeran and Section 230–Henderson v. Public Data

Ugh, this Fourth Circuit opinion is terrible. I instantly knew it was written by a Trump appointee from the Federalist Society because it had the characteristic self-assured yet sloppy writing style. And what’s the deal with Justice Thomas fandom among…

Does the CFAA Help Airlines Control Their Distribution Channels?–RyanAir v. Booking (Guest Blog Post)

by Kieran McCarthy When the Supreme Court decided Van Buren v. United States last summer, many Computer Fraud and Abuse Act experts felt that the decision avoided the worst interpretations of the CFAA, while consciously leaving most of its practical…

Section 230 Protects TikTok for "Blackout Challenge" Death, Despite the Algorithms--Anderson v. TikTok

Section 230 Protects TikTok for “Blackout Challenge” Death, Despite the Algorithms–Anderson v. TikTok

A tragic story: a 10-year old girl saw the Blackout Challenge on TikTok, tried it herself, and died. The mom sued TikTok for design defect and failure to warn claims under strict products liability and negligence theories. The mom claimed…

Defendants Get Important FOSTA Win in 9th Circuit--Doe v. Reddit

Defendants Get Important FOSTA Win in 9th Circuit–Doe v. Reddit

This is the first federal appellate ruling applying FOSTA. (The DC Circuit evaluated a facial constitutional challenge to FOSTA in Woodhull). It’s an important defense win. If this ruling stands and persuades other appellate courts, it has significant implications for…

My New Article Drops a Truth Bomb on Zauderer and Censorial Efforts to Mandate Editorial Transparency

My New Article Drops a Truth Bomb on Zauderer and Censorial Efforts to Mandate Editorial Transparency

The battle over online free speech has drifted away from direct Section 230 reform and towards a variety of other regulatory ideas that would instead undermine Section 230’s core principles. One such ancillary battleground involves the regulatory push for “editorial…

Memes as Judicial Opinions--Courthouse News Service v. Forman

Memes as Judicial Opinions–Courthouse News Service v. Forman

This opinion came out in June, but I just learned about it. In this opinion, a federal judge incorporated a meme into the opinion’s narrative to emphasize a rhetorical point (pun intended): [Later, the court adds: “one final point, this…

If the Word "Emoji" is a Protectable Trademark, What Happens Next?--Emoji GmbH v. Schedule A Defendants

If the Word “Emoji” is a Protectable Trademark, What Happens Next?–Emoji GmbH v. Schedule A Defendants

Emoji Co. GmbH has registered trademarks in the dictionary word “Emoji.” They mostly are a licensing organization, and their registrations are in a wide range of classes: “from articles of clothing and snacks to ‘orthopaedic foot cushions’ and ‘[p]atient safety…

Facebook's Website Isn't Governed by the ADA--Lloyd v. Facebook

Facebook’s Website Isn’t Governed by the ADA–Lloyd v. Facebook

This is a standard kitchen-sink pro se lawsuit against Facebook, but it touches a couple of key blog themes that makes it worth covering. Americans With Disabilities Act Lloyd claims that the Facebook website violates the ADA Title III. Citing…

More Evidence that FOSTA Benefited No One

More Evidence that FOSTA Benefited No One

This is another empirical study into FOSTA’s effects. At the Stanford Trust & Safety conference, I heard a presentation of this paper: Helen Shuxuan Zeng, Brett Danaher, & Michael D. Smith, Internet Governance Through Site Shutdowns: The Impact of Shutting…

A Million-Dollar Thumbs-Up Emoji?--Lightstone v. Zinntex

A Million-Dollar Thumbs-Up Emoji?–Lightstone v. Zinntex

This is a pandemic case. The buyer ordered $2.1M of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the seller in April 2020 and wired the money. The seller subsequently didn’t deliver, and the buyer cancelled the order. That left the issue of…