Tag Archives: In the Courts

Serial (or Rather Cereal) Issues in Advertising

This post was written by Rachel Rubin. If it looks like fruit and sounds like fruit, it must be fruit. Well, not exactly, and please don’t waste our time, says a California court. Ray Werbel recently filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court claiming that he bought and ate Froot Loops cereal, believing it was healthy … Continue Reading

Maine Children’s Privacy Law Update

This post was written by Dan Jaffe. The business community has won an important victory in a lawsuit challenging a Maine law that severely restricts the collection, transfer and use of “personal information” or “health-related information” from minors.  The Maine Attorney General has publicly committed not to enforce the law, which was scheduled to take … Continue Reading

“No Credible Risk of Enforcement” – Opponents of Maine Privacy Law Await Decision

The lawsuit filed in Maine to stay enforcement of a Maine privacy law targeting minors, received a hearing today in federal district court. The Maine attorney general argued that the motion for a preliminary injunction should be denied and that the case should be dismissed. MediaPost reports that Attorney General Janet Mills, having already stated … Continue Reading

California Gift Card Law – Redemption or Enslavement

Over the past year, we’ve written on several occasions about various topics related to gift cards. In fact, earlier this month, Adlaw by Request featured a handy grid that originally appeared on our companion blog, Legal Bytes, of the gift card laws across the United States on a state-by-state basis. A settlement reached in California in early … Continue Reading

‘Astroturfing’ – A problem for marketers, not sports stars

On July 14, 2009, Andrew Cuomo, the attorney general of New York, settled with Lifestyle Lift, a plastic surgery franchise, for false and deceptive trade practices. The case concerned the growing practice of “astroturfing,” which refers to flooding the Internet with false positive reviews about one’s goods or services. The case is believed to be the first … Continue Reading

A Mobile Marketer’s Horror Story

When Laci Satterfield’s son answered his mother’s cell phone in the middle of a cold January night in 2006, he heard the following message: “The next call you take may be your last.” Seconds later, when a text message arrived to the same number promoting Steven King’s newest horror novel, The Cell, Ms. Satterfield decided that … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Amends Barnes v. Yahoo Decision; Resolves Split as to Application of the Communications Decency Act

In the past two weeks, I’ve twice blogged about the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Barnes v. Yahoo. This case split the Ninth Circuit from other circuits as to how the CDA should be applied – should it support a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, or should it be treated as an affirmative defense? In deciding that the CDA … Continue Reading

Can the CDA Support 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss? Ninth Circuit Says ‘No’; New York District Court Says ‘Yes.’

On May 28, I wrote about the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Barnes v. Yahoo. In that case, the Ninth Circuit held (among other things) that the Communications Decency Act (47 USC § 230) (“CDA”) could not support a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, because the CDA is an affirmative defense. As an … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit CDA Decision

In what is likely to be seen as a watershed moment for the application of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (the “CDA”), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has released an opinion in Barnes v. Yahoo that has the potential to dramatically increase the cost of defending social media and computer service providers. The … Continue Reading

Virginia Anti-Spam Law Stays Unconstitutional

In September 2008, the Virginia Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Virginia’s then-enacted anti-spam laws were per se unconstitutional on the grounds that they violated the First Amendment right of freedom of speech. At the time, Virginia’s anti-spam laws prohibited the sending of unwanted, unsolicited e-mails, both commercial and non-commercial. The Virginia Supreme Court argued that since … Continue Reading

DMCA Alive and Well? An Analysis of the Veoh Decision

On Aug. 27, 2008, in the case Io Group, Inc. v. Veoh Networks [1] (Veoh), U.S. Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd granted Veoh’s motion for summary judgment, that it qualified for “safe harbor” protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S.C. § 512. The Veoh decision has been hailed by some as a major … Continue Reading

News Gathering in an Internet Age

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently issued a “first-of-its-kind” opinion in a case with potentially wide-ranging implications for anyone engaged in the online dissemination of news. (See, The Associated Press v. All Headline News Corp., et al., 08 Civ. 323 (PKC), Memorandum and Opinion, dated Feb. 17, 2009). By denying a … Continue Reading

Actress Charlize Theron Settles With Watchmaker

Actress Charlize Theron has settled a lawsuit brought against her by watchmaker Raymond Weil (RW) for breaching a contract to exclusively promote its watches. The terms of the settlement were undisclosed, but it came just more than a month after a federal judge in New York concluded that Theron had breached her agreement, and that … Continue Reading

Target, Apple Agree To Make Blind-Friendly Website Changes

Target Corporation and Apple, Inc. have reached agreements with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to make changes to their websites to accommodate blind consumers. The agreements follow a groundbreaking federal ruling concluding that retailers with physical locations must make accommodations to their websites under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, the … Continue Reading

Arbitron, NY AG Go To Court Over Ratings Spat

New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo has announced plans to file suit against Arbitron, alleging that the company has deceptively claimed that its new radio ratings system fairly measures audiences, when in fact it underrepresents African American and Latino listeners. Arbitron has decided that the best defense in this instance is an offense, and … Continue Reading

Va. Spam Law Ruled Unconstitutional; Spammer Conviction Overturned

The criminal conviction of Jeremy Jaynes—the first-ever such conviction under Virginia’s strict anti-spam law—has been vacated in a ruling in which Virginia’s highest court concluded that the law in question is unconstitutionally overbroad. Had Jaynes’ conviction stood, he could have served as much as nine years in prison. Jaynes was convicted under the Virginia Computer … Continue Reading

Rock Star Sues McCain Over Use of Song

When the Republican Party recently ran an ad attacking Sen. Barack Obama’s energy policy, with Jackson Browne’s song “Running on Empty” playing in the background, long-time Democratic activist Browne punched back. Browne sued John McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Republican Party for using his song in the commercial, which mocks the suggestion … Continue Reading