Another Tough Ruling for People Search Databases--Camacho v. Control Group Media

Another Tough Ruling for People Search Databases–Camacho v. Control Group Media

This is another people search case with another rough outcome for defendants. If the defendants in these cases don’t get relief on appeal, I don’t know how the people search and yearbook industries are going to survive. [Note: this opinion…

Publicity Rights Claim Isn't Preempted by Section 230--Albert v. Tinder

Publicity Rights Claim Isn’t Preempted by Section 230–Albert v. Tinder

This is a pro se lawsuit against Match and Tinder for fake dating profiles in the plaintiff’s name. I’m going to focus on the publicity rights claim piece of the lawsuit. Match invoked Section 230. The court says that Match…

HuffPost Contributor Isn't an "Agent," So Their Content Qualifies for Section 230--KGS v. Huffington Post

HuffPost Contributor Isn’t an “Agent,” So Their Content Qualifies for Section 230–KGS v. Huffington Post

This long-running lawsuit relates to publications made in 2015. I previously blogged a related Alabama Supreme Court ruling involving Facebook in 2019. In that post, I summarized the complicated and heart-breaking facts: This case involves an allegedly “predatory” adoption. As…

Lawyer’s Agreement to Online Terms if Investigating a Claim May Bind a Client

Knapke sued PeopleConnect for alleged violations of her publicity rights under Ohio law. PeopleConnect moved to compel arbitration on the basis that Knapke’s counsel Reilly assented to the terms of service in the course of his pre-filing investigative efforts. The…

Who Owns a Disputed Social Media Account? – JLM v. Gutman

Who Owns a Disputed Social Media Account? – JLM v. Gutman

This is a case focusing on ownership of social media accounts. The dispute is between bridalwear designer Hayley Paige Gutman and JLM Couture, a bridalwear company. We blogged this case twice before. (See “Social Media Ownership Disputes Part II: Bridal…

Three More Yearbook/People Database Cases Signal Trouble for Defendants

Three More Yearbook/People Database Cases Signal Trouble for Defendants

Yearbook/people database opinions are being issued faster than I can blog them. They are not going well for defendants. The opinions are so lengthy and repetitive that I’m just going to cut-and-paste the parts I think are relatively noteworthy. Sorry…

Facebook Can't Shake Publicity Rights Claim--Hepp v. Facebook

Facebook Can’t Shake Publicity Rights Claim–Hepp v. Facebook

Third parties created ads featuring Hepp without her consent. From the complaint (Hepp is the upper right image; the photo was taken from security camera footage): Facebook ran some of the ads featuring Hepp’s image. The district court dismissed Hepp’s…

If a Lawyer Accepts a TOS While Investigating a Claim, Does It Bind the Client to Arbitration?

Judge Chen (of the Northern District of California) answered this question “no”. The Ninth Circuit affirms in a memorandum opinion. This is a putative class action lawsuit against a people search company for allegedly misusing publicity and personality rights by…

Trademark Registration of Political Messages for Expressive Merchandise–In re Elster (Guest Blog Post)

By guest blogger Lisa Ramsey, Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law Federal Circuit holds refusal to register a political message for T-shirts violates the First Amendment, but fails to acknowledge that these types of registrations can…

Another Confused Entry in the Social Media Account Ownership Jurisprudence--JLM v. Gutman

Another Confused Entry in the Social Media Account Ownership Jurisprudence–JLM v. Gutman

This is a lawsuit between a wedding gown company, JLM, and Hayley Paige Gutman, a designer/influencer who worked for JLM. For background, check out my post on the district court’s ruling here: “Social Media Ownership Disputes Part II: Bridal Wear…