Travis Crabtree

Travis Crabtree

Gray Reed & McGraw, P.C.

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Texas eMediaLaw Legislative Update: 2015

It’s Spring in Texas which means one of two things – the bluebonnets are out and in odd years, our legislature is back at work. One makes me grateful to be in Texas and the other only meets every other year. Here are a few...more

4/21/2015 - Defamation Frivolous Lawsuits Patent Litigation Pending Legislation Service of Process Social Media

Will Net Neutrality Kill the Internet 3.0?

As expected, the FCC passed the net neutrality rules today.  Other than spokesmen for the large telecoms (and perhaps some politicians who listen to that lobby), you don’t hear much reasoned opposition to net neutrality....more

2/26/2015 - Broadcasting FCC Net Neutrality Telecommunications

Getting Pictures Off the Internet – Not Easy To Do

I love college basketball.  Given that my Missouri Tigers haven’t given me much to talk about, I thought we could discuss the efforts by this upset Duke fan to have her image removed from the Internet captured during the...more

1/15/2015 - Copyright DMCA Invasion of Privacy Photographs Social Media Social Networks Twitter Websites

5 Most Popular eMediaLaw Posts of 2014

This was one of the more interesting stories of the year – does the photographer who set up everything to allow for a monkey to take a selfie own the copyright to that selfie?  This year we learned that no, the photographer...more

12/31/2014 - Contests & Promotions Copyright Defamation FTC Photographs Social Media Unpaid Interns

Top 10 Legal Mistakes For Start-Ups

1. You Haven’t Lawyered Up. OK, that may be a little dramatic, but the worst case scenario is that you have a handshake deal with your co-founders. After all, we are all buds, this won’t go wrong. Even if it never goes...more

12/23/2014 - Accountants Corporate Counsel Entrepreneurs Funding Partnerships Small Business Startups

Thinking of buying your child their own laptop or smart phone? Read this first – a look at whether parents are liable for their...

A Georgia seventh-grader created a fake Facebook profile that defamed a classmate, according to this Wall Street Journal story. In middle school fashion (I am not looking forward to parenting through this period), a boy...more

12/9/2014 - Facebook Liability Minors Offensive Language Social Media

What exactly does Texas Intrastate Crowdfunding Look Like?

As you probably read, the Texas Securities Board approved intrastate crowdfunding yesterday without limiting it to accredited investors. For those wanting to issue equity through intrastate crowdfunding: -...more

10/24/2014 - Compliance Crowdfunding Funding SEC Securities Act of 1933

Former FTC Regional Director and Court of Appeals Justice Answers What To Do When the FTC Investigates

We like to give you information that helps you stay off the radar of the Federal Trade Commission with posts. But, what do you do if the FTC does investigate? I asked newly-minted Gray Reed & McGraw shareholder Justice Jim...more

10/9/2014 - Compliance Corporate Counsel FOIA FTC Investigations

Lawyers Fighting Over Domain Names Never Looks Good

Law360 reported that two competing DUI defense lawyers are fighting over the domain name www.dontblow.com. Well-known DUI attorney Tyler Flood is the plaintiff. He has been using the domain name www.DoNotBlow.com for almost...more

10/1/2014 - ACPA Domain Names Trademark Litigation Trademarks UDRP

Texas High Court Rules Improper Photography Law Unconsitutional; Or, Why You Care a Creepy Dude Is Not Guilty

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled in a 8-1 decision yesterday that the “Improper Photography and Visual Recording Act” is facially unconstitutional. The case involved a guy who allegedly took pictures of kids at a...more

9/19/2014 - Consent Invasion of Privacy Photographs

Unmasking the anonymous online critic – first, there is the matter of jurisdiction

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Texas issued a 5-4 decision holding a plaintiff needs to establish jurisdiction over an anonymous blogger before a court will allow pre-suit discovery that would likely unmask the blogger’s...more

9/11/2014 - Anonymity Discovery Jurisdiction Online Reviews Popular

The Supreme Court of Texas Rules Injunctions for Defamation Not Proper and Requires Proof of Damages

On Friday, the Supreme Court of Texas issued two important defamation rulings. The first, Kinney v. Barnes, held that injunctions to prohibit defamatory speech do not pass constitutional muster. ...more

9/2/2014 - Defamation Injunctions Proof of Loss

Lawsuits Against Social Media Sites Rarely a Good Idea – This One Probably Isn’t Either

A Houston area woman has sued Facebook asking for $123 million because Facebook was slow to take down a fake a profile created by her ex-boyfriend with pornographic images. The plaintiff sued Facebook and the...more

8/25/2014 - Breach of Contract Defamation Facebook Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress Invasion of Privacy Negligence Popular Revenge Porn Social Media

How to Enforce Terms of Service for Online Social Media Promotions and Contests

General Mills incurred blowback on social media earlier this year when it was suggested the company sought releases for all claims whatsoever from anyone who visited the company Facebook page. The truth, as always, was not as...more

8/19/2014 - Contests & Promotions Social Media Terms of Service

Using Images Without Permission is No Monkey Business

Who owns the rights to a selfie taken by a monkey? While it sounds like a law school exam, it is based on a real story as reported here by the American Bar Association. According to the article, a monkey picked up the...more

8/12/2014 - Copyright Photographs Popular Wikimedia

Website Operator Not Liable for UGC; Also, Sun Rises in the East

Last month, the Sixth Circuit ruled that website operators are not liable for content provided by others (User Generated Content or UGC) because of Section 230 immunity under the Communications Decency Act in the Jones v....more

7/22/2014 - Communications Decency Act Defamation Internet Social Networks TheDirty.Com User-Generated Content Websites

Facebook Demands Court Order for Local Threats – Internet Privacy Always Sounds Good In Theory

This weekend The Houston Chronicle reported Facebook did not turn over information requested by local authorities in response to death threats. People have been criticizing social media companies for turning over data to...more

7/15/2014 - Facebook Personally Identifiable Information Police

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

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