Internet Access Providers Can Be Contributorily Liable for Subscribers' Infringements--Sony Music v. Cox

Internet Access Providers Can Be Contributorily Liable for Subscribers’ Infringements–Sony Music v. Cox

As I’ve previously written, for many years after the DMCA passed, everyone assumed that 17 USC 512(a) completely shielded Internet access providers from liability for subscribers’ copyright infringements. Then, about a dozen years ago, the rightsowners coerced Internet access providers…

Snapchat Isn't Liable for Offline Sexual Abuse--VV v. Meta

Snapchat Isn’t Liable for Offline Sexual Abuse–VV v. Meta

According to the complaint, a 12-year-old girl made a Snapchat account, connected with sexual predators on Snapchat, met them offline, and was sexually abused. She sued Snapchat for her harms. Snapchat successfully defends on Section 230 grounds. The contested issue…

Judge Reconsiders SAD Scheme Ruling Against Online Marketplaces--Squishmallows v. Alibaba

Judge Reconsiders SAD Scheme Ruling Against Online Marketplaces–Squishmallows v. Alibaba

You may have heard about Squishmallow’s recent lawsuit against Build-a-Bear over plushy knockoffs. While that’s interesting, I’m focused on Squishmallow’s abuse of the SAD Scheme. I previously blogged about one such case, where Squishmallow sued 90 e-commerce merchants in a…

Another Court Finds an "Enforceable Browsewrap." MAKE IT STOP--Hawkins v. CMG

Another Court Finds an “Enforceable Browsewrap.” MAKE IT STOP–Hawkins v. CMG

This is a Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) case against a media website, so you have good reason to wonder about the legitimacy and sincerity of the case. The named plaintiff created a WSBTV account by opting to log in…

Ninth Circuit Enforces a "Browsewrap" (That Was Actually a Clickthrough)--Patrick v. Running Warehouse

Ninth Circuit Enforces a “Browsewrap” (That Was Actually a Clickthrough)–Patrick v. Running Warehouse

This is a data breach case. Several e-commerce sites were hit, first by hackers and then by plaintiffs’ lawyers. The sites invoked their TOSes to send the data breach cases to arbitration. The Ninth Circuit agrees. The Ninth Circuit opinion…

The European Union’s Digital Services Act: In Force from This Saturday, February 17, 2024, Including for U.S. Intermediaries (Guest Blog Post)

The European Union’s Digital Services Act: In Force from This Saturday, February 17, 2024, Including for U.S. Intermediaries (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Prof. Marketa Trimble [Eric’s introductory note: I briefly addressed the DSA in this blog post, along with the attached meme. Otherwise, I generally try to avoid the DSA because it is so long, complicated, and mind-bending. To…

Boat Rental Marketplace Defeats Lawsuit Over Offline Boating Accident--In re Chaves

Boat Rental Marketplace Defeats Lawsuit Over Offline Boating Accident–In re Chaves

A rare case analyzing Section 230’s intersection with admiralty law. 🚢 The case involves GetMyBoat, an online marketplace for boat rentals. Listings are free, but GetMyBoat takes a cut of any booked transactions. A young woman, Lindsey Faith Partridge, used…

Fourth Circuit Issues a Bummer Fair Use Ruling--Philpot v. IJR

Fourth Circuit Issues a Bummer Fair Use Ruling–Philpot v. IJR

Larry Philpot is a repeat copyright plaintiff. We’ve blogged some of his cases before (1, 2), including the lower court ruling in this case. In 2016, the defendant IJR published an article/listicle titled “15 Signs Your Daddy Was a Conservative.”…

Retweeting as Copyright Infringement--Prepared Food Photos v. Chicken Joe's

Retweeting as Copyright Infringement–Prepared Food Photos v. Chicken Joe’s

The issue is, what is (the copyright implication of retweeting a photo of) chicken? (head nod to Judge Friendly). * * * The plaintiff allegedly licenses a photo database to grocery stores for $12k/yr. The case involves one of those…

YouTube Still Isn't a State Actor--Albertson v. Google

YouTube Still Isn’t a State Actor–Albertson v. Google

This year, the Supreme Court is expected to issue an opinion on jawboning and its implications for when Internet services may become state actors because of such government pressure. Until then, plaintiffs will keep losing lawsuits that claim Internet services…