Communications & Media Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Website Accessibility Regulations Delayed Again! (For At Least Three Years!!)

In a surprise announcement with major repercussions for businesses and their websites, on November 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced in its Fall 2015 Statement of Regulatory Priorities that it is delaying—by at...more

The Risks of Plaintiff Lawyer DTC Advertising

We have been riding the Philly subway for years, but only recently realized how much the ads on the car walls have changed. Not so long ago there were lots of ads for vocational schools, inducing today's un- or underemployed...more

French Trademark Office Will Not Register “PRAY FOR PARIS” Or “JE SUIS PARIS”

After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, the French Trademark Office received so many applications for “JE SUIS CHARLIE” that the Office issued a statement in which it warned that it would not register any...more

What is public can still be ‘private’: European Court of Human Rights halts journalists from re-publishing Finnish citizens’...

In a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) handed down in July 2015, the right to respect for individuals’ privacy balance trumped journalists’ right to freedom of expression....more

FCC Slams Door to Higher Pole Attachment Rates

After kicking open a door to potential annual pole attachment rental increases in the hundreds of millions of dollars when it adopted its February 2015 Net Neutrality order, the Federal Communications Commission yesterday...more

Sales Data Alone Insufficient to Support CAFA Jurisdiction in Gerber’s Graduates Puffs Labeling Case

In Gyorke-Takatri v. Nestle USA, Inc., the United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that parties in a class action seeking to remove an action to federal court must provide sufficient...more

Keeping it Legal: Managing FDA Compliance for Consumer-Generated Content

Social technology platforms allow manufacturers to leverage consumer-generated content about their products (“CGC”) more easily than ever before. Such CGC generally takes the form of written testimonials and product reviews...more

FCC Seeking Expedited Comment on Opening Service Provider Opportunities between U.S. and Cuba

With President Obama’s announcement last December that the United States is charting a new course in its relations with Cuba, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) is taking expedited steps to open up...more

National Grid’s Limited Waiver of Caller Identification Requirements Granted by the FCC

The FCC continues to dispose of pending petitions or requests for waiver of its TCPA rules. One slightly unusual request was the petition filed last February by National Grid USA, Inc. (“National Grid”) requesting a limited...more

Facebook Seeks Dismissal in Illinois Facial Recognition Biometric Privacy Suit

As we have previously noted, Facebook has been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits claiming that its facial recognition-based system of photo tagging violates the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA). ...more

Small Business Securities Bulletin: SEC Adopts Long-Awaited Crowdfunding Rules

A periodic bulletin keeping small businesses informed about current developments in securities law and related matters. By way of background, pursuant to Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and state...more

A New Lenz: Google Weighs In on Fair Use

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act creates a liability “safe harbor” for online service providers that post content that may be protected by copyright. It facilitates the takedown of an infringing work by providing a...more

Why Can’t We Be Friends? FTC and FCC Formalize Cooperation in Consumer Privacy Enforcement

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently formalized an agreement to cooperate when regulating the “deceptive, unfair, unjust and/or unreasonable” acts and practices of common...more

Justice Department Delays Web Accessibility Regulations For At Least Three More Years, Leaving Businesses in Turmoil

In an astonishing move, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it will not issue any regulations for public accommodations websites until fiscal year 2018—eight years after it started the rulemaking process with an...more

Down Stream from Aereo: FilmOn Pulled by Different Legal Currents

Last year in American Broad. Cos., Inc. v. Aereo, Inc., the Supreme Court dealt a significant victory to the broadcast industry when it concluded that Aereo’s online streaming services infringed the broadcasters’ copyrighted...more

Revival of Cookie Litigation Highlights Risks Associated with Mobile Tracking Technologies

On November 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit revived several privacy claims against Google pertaining to the Internet company’s practice of side-stepping “cookie blockers” on Microsoft’s Internet...more

Maine Is Latest State To Restrict Employer Access To Personal Social Media Accounts

Recently, Maine became the latest state to enact legislation restricting an employer’s access to employees’ and job applicants’ personal social media accounts. The new statute prohibits an employer from requiring, coercing or...more

Alberta Securities Commission and Nunavut Securities Office Publish Proposed Start-up Business Exemption

The Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) and Nunavut Securities Office recently published for comment proposed Multilateral Instrument 45-109 Prospectus Exemption for Start-Up Businesses (the Proposed Exemption). The Proposed...more

Employers’ Thanksgiving Plans Should Include Cyber Monday Prep: Are Your Computer Policies Up to Date?

No online shopping day is bigger than Cyber Monday. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 127 million people shopped on Cyber Monday last year—significantly more than the estimated 87 million in-store,...more

FDA Approves Genetically Engineered Atlantic Salmon as Safe and Effective for Human Food and Releases Related Draft Guidance on...

On Thursday, November 19th, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had approved an application for AquAdvantage Salmon, a type of Atlantic Salmon that has been genetically engineered to grow to market size...more

The Second Circuit Tackles Employee Rights, Obscenities & Social Media Use

Employers took note last year when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that “liking” a Facebook post can qualify as protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB held that the owner of...more

The Genericide of the Turkey Stick: Another Thanksgiving Trademark Tale

For the past few years, the Trademark and Copyright Law Blog has marked Thanksgiving with a note about the history of turkey trademarks. Last year, we discussed the ownership of GOBBLE GOBBLE, and before that we told you why...more

Black Friday: It’s Not Just About Brick & Mortar Stores Anymore

Here at Socially Aware, we’re focused on Thanksgiving dinner, but we’re well aware that the day after Thanksgiving—Black Friday—is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and a critical sales day for brick-and-mortar...more

DAA Guidance for Cross Device Data Collection

On the same day that the Federal Trade Commission was holding a workshop on cross-device tracking, the privacy self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance released guidance related to the cross-device collection and...more

Are Things Getting Nutty at the USPTO?

As we enter the Thanksgiving and holiday season this year, it is particularly apropos to ponder the following question: Is the TTAB going nuts? Congress tells us that the PTO cannot register trademarks that are scandalous...more

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