YouTube Isn’t a State Actor (DUH)–PragerU v. Google

We live in an upside-down world where “conservatives” are actively seeking to impose must-carry obligations on Internet services by characterizing them as state actors. These arguments are ill-considered as “conservative” doctrine because they would massively expand the scope of government…

Yelp Finally Defeats a False Advertising Lawsuit Over Its Review Functionality–Demetriades v. Yelp

This is a long-running case against Yelp initiated by a restaurant in Mammoth Lakes. I first blogged the case in 2013 when the lower court granted Yelp’s anti-SLAPP motion; I also blogged it in 2014 when the appellate court reversed…

New Paper Explains How FOSTA Devastated Male Sex Workers

New Paper Explains How FOSTA Devastated Male Sex Workers

I call your attention to a new article: David Eichert (a JD/PhD student), “‘It Ruined My Life’: FOSTA, Male Escorts, and the Construction of Sexual Victimhood in American Politics,” 26 Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law 201 (Winter…

FOSTA Constitutional Challenge Revived--Woodhull Freedom Foundation v. US

FOSTA Constitutional Challenge Revived–Woodhull Freedom Foundation v. US

The DC Circuit revived the EFF-led constitutional challenge to FOSTA, holding that at least two of the plaintiffs have standing. This raises the specter that key parts of FOSTA might still be struck down as unconstitutional. Among other things, FOSTA…

New Civil FOSTA Lawsuits Push Expansive Legal Theories Against Unexpected Defendants (Guest Blog Post)

New Civil FOSTA Lawsuits Push Expansive Legal Theories Against Unexpected Defendants (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Alex Yelderman In the year and two-thirds since it was signed into law, FOSTA has reputedly shattered online networks that sex workers relied upon to keep safe, crippled human trafficking investigations, and scared websites into taking down…

Section 230 Helps Salesforce Defeat Sex Trafficking Lawsuit--Doe v. Salesforce

Section 230 Helps Salesforce Defeat Sex Trafficking Lawsuit–Doe v. Salesforce

Salesforce provided SaaS services to Backpage. On that basis, the plaintiffs sought to hold Salesforce liable for any Backpage-caused sex trafficking victimization. This represents an attempt (possibly unprecedented) to impose tertiary liability for sex trafficking. The advertisers, such as pimps,…

State Court Rejects Prager University's Lawsuit Against YouTube

State Court Rejects Prager University’s Lawsuit Against YouTube

Prager University publishes videos on YouTube. YouTube demonetized some of its videos and placed some in “restricted mode,” meaning that users of YouTube’s restricted mode functionality won’t see them. Prager claimed that YouTube took these steps due to anti-conservative bias,…

Your Periodic Reminder that Blogging About Litigation Can Generate More Litigation–Wexler v. Dorsey & Whitney

As I’ve mentioned many times, blogging about lawsuits has its own legal peril. By definition, I’m commenting on people who’ve shown a willingness to litigate, so there’s a higher-than-average chance they will want to litigate against me. Though I’m quite…

E*Trade Defeats Copyright Claim Over Dancing Old Man in Commercial--Vacchi v. E*Trade

E*Trade Defeats Copyright Claim Over Dancing Old Man in Commercial–Vacchi v. E*Trade

Gianluca Vacchi is an Italian entrepreneur. He has a large social media presence, including nearly 12M Instagram followers and 1.8M Facebook followers. He claims his social media presence depicts a fictional alter ego who is “an extravagant millionaire dancing with…

Competitor Gets Pyrrhic Victory in False Advertising Suit Over Search Ads--Harbor Breeze v. Newport Fishing

Competitor Gets Pyrrhic Victory in False Advertising Suit Over Search Ads–Harbor Breeze v. Newport Fishing

The litigants compete in the whale watching industry in LA/Orange Counties. The plaintiffs operate out of Long Beach/San Pedro, the defendants out of Newport Beach. If you’re not familiar with the geography, Long Beach and Newport Beach are about 20…