Communications & Media Personal Injury

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Can a hyperlink be defamatory?

Now that traditionally print and television-based publications are being published on the internet, courts are being asked to apply defamation law to internet publications. The unique structure of the internet as a medium...more

Section 230 Does Not Apply to Allegations that Website for Models Failed to Warn Plaintiff About Potential for Rape

The 9th Circuit earlier this month decided that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, does not bar claims that a networking website for models failed to warn a member that a third party might use the...more

David v. Goliath in DC Superior Court

A “David versus Goliath” battle is playing out in the DC Superior Court, with the DC anti-SLAPP statute in the role of the slingshot. Our “David” is the Center for Defense Advanced Studies (“C4ADS”). According to an...more

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals: CDA Does Not Bar Claims for Failure to Warn - Communications Decency Act May Be Exploited by...

In reversing the dismissal of a negligent failure to warn action, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals appears to have carved out an exception to the immunity afforded to website operators under the Communications Decency Act...more

Executing Noriega?

As some of you may recall, I posted about a lawsuit Manuel Noriega brought against purveyors of the Call of Duty video game franchise arising from his depiction in the game. In essence, I suggested that Noriega’s lawsuit was...more

California Court of Appeal Rules Models’ Right of Publicity Claims Assignable, Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California Court of Appeal held earlier this month that certain right of publicity claims are freely assignable, and that the Copyright Act does not preempt a right of publicity claim where the defendant has no legal...more

Defamation Action Regarding Fraudulent Accounting Claim Withstands Motion To Dismiss

Action by Greenberg against Spitzer for defamation based on public statements by Spitzer about Greenberg’s stewardship of AIG regarding, among other things, Spitzer’s assertion that Greenberg engaged in fraudulent accounting....more

Can a comment on a blog post be defamatory?

Defamation law continues to be in the news, with actions recently being threatened or commenced against municipal and provincial politicians in Ontario. The rise of the internet as a medium through which anyone can (and many...more

A New Remedy for Online Defamation

In the United States it is enormously difficult to remove allegedly defamatory information from the internet. A victim can take the expensive and time-consuming step of suing the author for defamation in court. However,...more

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

Status Updates - September 2014

..We can work it out. Actress Katherine Heigl and the Duane Reade chain of drugstores have settled a $6 million federal suit filed by Heigl this past April in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. ...more

What is More Defamatory? A False Accusation of Homophobia or of Homosexuality?

In July 2014, Judge Barbara Jaffe of the New York Supreme Court dismissed the defamation claims in Kramer v. Skyhorse Publications. Kenny Kramer, the real life inspiration for the beloved eponymous Seinfeld character, had...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: Video Game Makers Strike Out In College Athlete Cases – Coaching Tips For The Virtual World

Over the past several years, I have written about a series of decisions in suits brought by former collegiate athletes against EA Sports and the NCAA, seeking compensation for the use of their likenesses and those of...more

How far can companies leverage the name and image of celebrities when promoting their brand?

It is common to see celebrities, which have captivated the public for decades, photographed using a company product or wearing a branded garment. Using such photos for promoting a company’s brand can be problematic especially...more

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

Texas Web Publishers Earn Novel Protection Against Stale Lawsuits

In a case of first impression for a state appellate court, a Texas broadcaster was protected against a stale libel suit arising from a news report posted to the Internet. ...more

Renowned Architect Wins Retraction From The New York Review of Books

On August 25, 2014, The New York Review of Books issued a retraction in response to a defamation suit filed in New York State Court by well-known architect Zaha Hadid. Hadid was selected to design one of the stadiums for the...more

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

Weeks II: Innovator Liability Finds a Sweet Home in Alabama

Last week, the Supreme Court of Alabama confirmed its January 2013 holding that manufacturers of brand drugs can be liable for injuries caused by generic drugs. Weeks v. Wyeth, Inc., No. 1101397, slip op. (Ala. Aug. 15,...more

Doctor’s Slapp at Yelp Reviewer Largely Dismissed by DC Superior Court

Yelp, and websites like it, have certainly added to the development of law in the First Amendment area. The Virginia Supreme Court is poised to decide the standard for unmasking anonymous commentators on websites like Yelp. ...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #6

..Ahead of the law? In Hidalgo County, Texas, a former sheriff has been sued civilly over allegedly illegal campaign contributions. (He was also criminally convicted of money laundering.) At a civil deposition in the case, a...more

The costs of social media

Misuse of social media can prove expensive. The New South Wales District Court’s recent decision in North Coast Children’s Home Inc v Martin [2014] NSWDC 125 demonstrates that defamatory remarks posted on social media...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #3

..Completely liable? A Hong Kong court has found that Google may be liable for defamation based on the words that it used to “auto-complete” a person’s name in a search. In this case, the words that were added implied that...more

Social media fraud: should you trust stock advice on Facebook?

If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter today, there’s a chance you’ve been a victim of fraud. Let me explain: in this day and age, we’ve come to expect and protect ourselves from the familiar forms of fraud...more

Imputations- jury decides whether ‘the antidote has overcome the bane.’

The New South Wales Court of Appeal recently handed down judgment in the matter of Corby v Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd. In this case Rosleigh Jill Rose, Michael Corby Junior and Mercedes Pearl Esma Corby (‘the Appellants’)...more

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