Internet Law Year-in-Review for 2020

[I know 2020 feels like it was 100 years ago, but I’ve been busy in 2021 so far. I did year-end roundups of developments in Section 230 and emoji law.] My top Internet Law developments from 2020: 8. TSPA/TSF Launch….

CAN-SPAM Requires Falsity or Deception, But What Do Those Words Mean?--Rad v. US

This is an unusual federal appellate ruling interpreting CAN-SPAM because it came to the court from the Board of Immigration Appeals. Rad was tried and convicted of violating CAN-SPAM. The Third Circuit affirmed his conviction in 2014. Rad was a…

When Can Plaintiffs Serve Process Via Online Methods? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This post recaps three recent decisions dealing with service of process via alternative means (e.g., email or social media). The rulings arise in different contexts so they are useful illustrations of how courts deal with alternative service under different rules….

Are Social Media Services "State Actors" or "Common Carriers"?

Yesterday, I did a videoconference with Prof. Eugene Volokh (UCLA Law) discussing if and how legislatures could regulate Internet services. Watch the video. Prof. Volokh and I usually agree on most things, but this time we may reach different conclusions….

Comments on the "SAFE TECH" Act

This year’s tsunami of Section 230 “reform” bills includes the “Safeguarding Against Fraud, Exploitation, Threats, Extremism and Consumer Harms (SAFE TECH) Act” from Sens. Warner, Hirono, and Klobuchar. This bill proposes over ten different Section 230 reforms, some of which…

How Section 230 Makes My Life Better (A Celebration of Its 25 Year Anniversary)

Section 230 turns 25 today. 🎂🎂🎂🎉🎉🎉 In this post, I’ll reminisce about Section 230’s enactment and celebrate some ways Section 230 makes my life better. [Note: tomorrow I’m on a panel about Section 230 with David Greene (EFF) and Cathy…

TripAdvisor Doesn't Get Early Section 230 Dismissal--Putt v. TripAdvisor

Putt booked a tour through TripAdvisor’s subsidiary, Viator. On the tour, she suffered personal injuries. Putt sued TripAdvisor for negligence, misrepresentation, and more. Section 230. TripAdvisor invoked Section 230. The court says it’s too early to tell if TripAdvisor qualifies…

Natasha DeLima (a/k/a “Natasha Athens”) claims that Google and Twitter have imposed various sanctions on her accounts, including suspension and termination. She alleges that Google and Twitter took these actions due to political bias against her. (This article notes some…

It’s been years since I’ve blogged a lawsuit against Google for selling trademarked keyword ads. About a decade ago, Google was dealing with about a dozen cases. Google won some of them and settled the rest, and everyone moved on….

Continued Access to Service Not Sufficient to Bind User to New Terms of Service--Stover v. Experian

Stover signed up for an Experian subscription for credit monitoring in 2014. She alleged that Experian overstated the relevance of the credit report. She cancelled her subscription in 2014. In 2018, she accessed Experian’s website again, shortly before filing suit….