Travis Crabtree

Travis Crabtree

Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.

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Supreme Court determines Aereo violates copyright – back to the drawing board

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that Aereo violates copyright law by retransmitting over-the-air programming without authorization. This will shut down the controversial start-up or force them...more

6/26/2014 - Aereo Broadcasting Copyright Copyright Infringement Internet Streaming SCOTUS The Copyright Act

Copyrights, Fair Use And Elections

The mid-terms are coming up, so you know there will be stories of politicians getting into clashes with artists over the use of songs and other content in ads and at rallies. In Texas, for better or worse, the real...more

5/14/2014 - Advertising Copyright Copyright Infringement Fair Use Political Campaigns

You’ve Looked At My Site And Now You Have Waived Your Right To Sue Me. Is That Legal?

I’ll admit, General Mills did not go that far. What they did, according to The New York Times was notify customers that if they downloaded a coupon, joined a forum or entered a sweepstakes, the customer would waive their...more

5/8/2014 - American Express v Italian Colors Restaurant Arbitration AT&T Mobility v Concepcion Class Action Clickwrap Agreements Consent Coupons General Mills Social Media Social Networks Sweepstakes Waiver of Tort Websites Young Lawyers

Infographic: The Use Of Images From The Web On Your Site, Newspaper Or Broadcast

We created this infographic for some of our media clients to give them a one-page cheat sheet on the analysis they need to do when trying to decide whether they can use an image from the internet in a pinch....more

4/18/2014 - Business Development Copyright Marketing Media Right of Attribution Social Media Young Lawyers

#SMH-butnotacontestorsweepstakes – Check Your Online Promotion Hashtag Or Face Scrutiny From The FTC

As we have reported before, the Federal Trade Commission requires the disclosure of any “material connection” offered in exchange for an online endorsement or post in their Online Endorsement Guidelines. Now, they are...more

4/10/2014 - Contests & Promotions FTC Online Endorsements

When Online Behavior Crosses The Line – The Law On Threats, Libel And Just Being Rude

A frequent question we get is what can we do about the online posting about me? Often times, the answer is not much. Lawyers can only help when the online conduct crosses the line into a cognizable cause of action. Figuring...more

4/9/2014 - Class Action Cyberbullying First Amendment Libel Online Platforms Revenge Porn

Legally Compliant Online Promotions - Doing Online Promotions Without Getting Sued

In This Presentation: - User Generated Content ..What, Me Worry? What could go wrong with UGC? - The Communications Decency Act ..Section 230 - The DMCA ..Safe Harbor - Sweepstakes, Contests and...more

3/17/2014 - Communications Decency Act Contests & Promotions DMCA Internet Websites

Open Source Software: Goodwill To All Or A Cancer?

Open source software sounds like a good idea. Your create some code and then put it out there for the public to use and let people build on it and improve. The only condition is that if someone improves on it and build from...more

2/17/2014 - Corporate Sales Transactions General Public Licenses Open Source Software Software

Legal Perspective on Negative Online Reviews: What Both Sides Should Consider Before Jumping Into the Fray

We recently asked: for customers and businesses alike, what should we know about libel and defamation (and the legal pitfalls of online rants in general) before we post negative comments online? Here’s what we heard back....more

2/6/2014 - Anti-SLAPP Defamation Legal Perspectives Libel Online Reviews Social Media Yelp

Back From The Land Of Trial Mode: January Quicklinks

There has not been much activity on the blog because we have been engaged in a long copyright and misappropriation of trade secrets trial. So, we share with you some of the articles we have been reading, but just haven’t had...more

1/30/2014 - Anonymity Blogs Cyberbullying Defamation Disclosure Fake Reviews First Amendment Free Speech Libel Online Reviews Transparency Yelp

New Years Resolution Idea: Update Your Privacy Policy

There is a new California privacy law that goes into effect January 1, 2014, that you need to know about. It requires you to disclose how you respond, if at all, to do not track requests....more

12/24/2013 - CalOPPA Personally Identifiable Information Privacy Policy

Depository Of International Online Privacy Resources

One of our more popular posts of the year was the recent Online Marketers’ Guide to Online Privacy. It focuses mostly on U.S. law with some mention of of the E.U. Safe Harbor issues....more

12/6/2013 - Data Protection EU Internet Privacy Policy Safe Harbors Websites

Thankful I Didn’t Copy Images, Parody The Beastie Boys, Use Overbearing TOS Or Have To Stand Behind Thedirty

With the short Thanksgiving week, I thought we would touch on a few interesting stories developing over the last couple of weeks. Photographer gets $1 million+ verdict from AFP and Getty for copied Twitpics - In...more

11/27/2013 - Copyright Copyright Infringement Infringement Parody Terms of Service

The Online Marketer’s Guide To Privacy

I’ve hesitated to write this post because the law is always changing and you can’t cover it all in one blog post (thank goodness for linking). I did a presentation to the Houston Interactive Marketing Association this week...more

11/22/2013 - CalOPPA COPPA Data Collection Disclosure Requirements Do Not Track EU EU Data Protection Laws FTC HIPAA Marketing Minors PHI Safe Harbors

Can You Use Pre-Suit Discovery To Unmask An Anonymous Blogger In Texas?

Last week, the Supreme Court of Texas heard oral arguments on whether a party can use a pre-suit deposition to identify an anonymous blogger. The petitioner tried to use a pre-suit subpoena to force Google to identify a...more

11/12/2013 - Blogs Discovery Jurisdiction Subpoenas

Regulating Revenge Porn And Explicit Online Communications With Children – Easier Said Than Done

Everyone supports the prevention of sexual predators texting illicit material to people under 17. Everyone knows that revenge porn is a scourge on public decency. ...more

11/1/2013 - Felonies Internet Minors Revenge Porn Sexual Conduct

Does California’s Amended Online Privacy Law Mean We All Have To Change Our Privacy Policies?

When it comes to privacy policies, I usually tell clients they need to comply with California law. Beginning January 1, 2014, California is adding a new wrinkle we all need to consider....more

10/9/2013 - Do Not Track Internet Privacy Laws Privacy Policy

Facebook “Like” Is Protected First Amendment Speech

I don’t often make predictions on legal outcomes, so when I do and I get it right, it’s worth sharing. In May, we talked about whether “liking” a candidate would constitute protected speech under the First Amendment. A...more

9/24/2013 - Facebook First Amendment Free Speech

Can I Use The Social Media Image For My Story – Part 3

In part one, we discussed how fair use may apply to the media’s use of social media images. In part two, we looked at how the various sites’ terms of service come into play. Today, we look at the one prominent case in this...more

9/20/2013 - Fair Use Social Media

Can I Use The Social Media Picture For My Story? – Part Two

Last time, we looked at whether the media can use images from social media sites applying fair use to several typical situations. Today, we look at the specific terms of service of various popular sites to see if some make...more

9/17/2013 - Copyright Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Pinterest Social Media Terms of Service Twitter Vine

Can I Use The Social Media Picture For My Story? – Part One

The answer is one that frustrates people the most — it depends. In most circumstances, you run the risk of violating the copyright of the person who took the picture, so the best practice is to seek permission first (more on...more

9/9/2013 - Copyright Fair Use Right of Publicity Social Media

The Anatomy Of A Defamation Claim – Scottie Pippen’s Case Is Dismissed

I think Scottie Pippen is one of the most overrated players in the history of the NBA. My opinion may be soured because I am a Houston Rockets fan and the experiment with him, Olajuwon and Charles Barkley did not end well....more

8/29/2013 - Actual Malice Anti-SLAPP Athletes Defamation Dismissals NBA Sports

Quick Links – August 2013

Because of an extended working vacation away from Houston’s heat in Colorado, I’ve been away from the blog. Like my kids gearing up to go back to school, I’m getting back to the normal work mode back in the office while...more

8/21/2013 - AdWords Cybertheft Dismissals Email Independent Contractors Minors Social Media Trademarks

Taking Legal Control Of The Company Social Media Account

What happens when the employee who set up the company’s LinkedIn account leaves? ...more

8/1/2013 - Facebook Former Employee LinkedIn Social Media Social Media Account Ownership

TheDirty.com Held Liable Despite Section 230 Of The Communications Decency Act

TheDirty.com is not exactly deserving of sympathy. Much like Playboy and Hustler pushed the boundaries of the First Amendment in the past, rumor sites like TheDirty.com are pushing the limits of Section 230 immunity for...more

7/29/2013 - Communications Decency Act Defamation TheDirty.Com Websites

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