Third Circuit Says Section 230 Doesn't Apply to Publicity Rights Claims--Hepp v. Facebook

Third Circuit Says Section 230 Doesn’t Apply to Publicity Rights Claims–Hepp v. Facebook

The Third Circuit ruled today that Section 230 doesn’t preempt publicity rights claims because they qualify as “intellectual property” claims. This ruling directly conflicts with the Ninth Circuit’s rule, which says that all state IP claims are preempted by Section…

What I Did Last "Summer" (2021)

What I Did Last “Summer” (2021)

It’s time for my annual roundup of my “summer” publications beyond my blogging. Once again, I did not teach last Spring. So here’s what I’ve done in 2021 since I finished my Fall 2020 teaching obligations: Internet Law: Cases &…

Texas Enacts Social Media Censorship Law to Benefit Anti-Vaxxers & Spammers

Texas Enacts Social Media Censorship Law to Benefit Anti-Vaxxers & Spammers

State legislatures are competing with each other to see who can enact the most ill-advised laws to impose censorship on the Internet. Florida made a splash enacting its social media censorship bill SB 7072, only to have a federal district…

Florida and Its Amici Try to Justify Government Censorship in the 11th Circuit--NetChoice v. Moody

Florida and Its Amici Try to Justify Government Censorship in the 11th Circuit–NetChoice v. Moody

Earlier this year, Florida enacted a wide-ranging, complex, poorly drafted, and enthusiastically censorial law, SB7072. Among other problems, the law dictates how “social media platforms” can make their editorial decisions. Fortunately, a Florida federal judge blocked Florida’s social media censorship…

Instagram Defeats Copyright Claim Over Its Embedding Feature–Hunley v. Instagram

“In-line linking” uses the Internet’s magic to let a web page incorporate a file, such as a photo or video, into a page’s display without actually hosting it. In 2007, in Perfect 10 v. Amazon, the Ninth Circuit ruled that…

To No One's Surprise, FOSTA Is Confounding Judges--J.B. v. G6

To No One’s Surprise, FOSTA Is Confounding Judges–J.B. v. G6

Plaintiffs underutilitized FOSTA’s new Section 230 exclusions for the first two years after the law’s enactment, but now we are getting FOSTA rulings at a rapid clip. Given FOSTA’s terrible drafting, it’s not surprising that the rulings are not agreeing…

Australian High Court Says Facebook Accountholders "Publish" Third-Party Defamatory Comments--Fairfax Media v. Voller

Australian High Court Says Facebook Accountholders “Publish” Third-Party Defamatory Comments–Fairfax Media v. Voller

The High Court of Australia has issued a troubling ruling that says Facebook accountholders potentially¬†could be strictly liable for all defamatory comments to their Facebook posts. That legal standard could devastate social media usage in Australia. It increases the risk…

FOSTA Claim Can Proceed Against Twitter--Doe v. Twitter

FOSTA Claim Can Proceed Against Twitter–Doe v. Twitter

The court summarizes the allegations: Plaintiffs John Doe #1 and John Doe #2 allege that when they were thirteen years old they were solicited and recruited for sex trafficking and manipulated into providing to a third-party sex trafficker pornographic videos…

As Expected, Malwarebytes Defeats Enigma's Lawsuit Without Section 230's Help

As Expected, Malwarebytes Defeats Enigma’s Lawsuit Without Section 230’s Help

Malwarebytes and Enigma offer competitive anti-threat software. Malwarebytes classified Enigma’s software as a “potentially unwanted program,” or PUP, and quarantined the programs. Enigma sued Malwarebytes for that classification/quarantine. Initially, the district court dismissed the case on Section 230(c)(2)(B) grounds. In…

Court Casts Doubt on the Legality of the Data Brokerage Industry--Brooks v. Thomson Reuters

Court Casts Doubt on the Legality of the Data Brokerage Industry–Brooks v. Thomson Reuters

Thomson Reuters (TR) offers a database called “CLEAR” that assembles personal information into individual dossiers. The plaintiffs are Black civil rights activists leading a class action lawsuit for publicity rights and related claims. The court denies TR’s motion to dismiss–in…