Communications & Media Personal Injury

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
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Digilante Justice: Defamation By Camera Phone

Earlier this month, a man in Melbourne, Australia decided to take his very first selfie next to a Darth Vader poster at a local shopping center. A nearby shopper mistakenly thought that the man was taking pictures of her...more

Federal anti-SLAPP Statute Proposed in Congress

With the District of Columbia Circuit holding that the DC anti-SLAPP act does not apply in federal court, and at least four judges in the Ninth Circuit concluding that Circuit erred in applying state anti-SLAPP statutes in...more

Yelp Fights for the Right to Complain Anonymously

In e-commerce, user reviews can make or break a business. Review sites such as Yelp are a double edged sword for merchants and service providers: on one hand satisfied customers can generate buzz about the company and bring...more

If You Know About It, You’re the Publisher – Website Operator Liability for Defamation

The first few months of 2015 have brought some welcome direction from Canadian courts regarding the liability of operators of websites for defamatory postings on their websites made by third parties. In plain English: we’ve...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

Food Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

In This Issue: - RECENT SIGNIFICANT RULINGS ..Court Dismisses in Part “Natural” Claims ..Court Enters Partial Dismissal of “Handmade” Claims ..Court Dismisses Injunctive Relief Claim Allows Others to...more

Statements Made in HOA Recall Election Campaign are Subject to Anti-SLAPP Protection

A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation or “SLAPP” is a civil lawsuit brought to either prevent or punish another person for exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government or to speak about public...more

"Defamation Claims Brought by Texas Health Care Providers Will Be Subject to Anti-SLAPP Act Requirements"

Health care providers should keep in mind that virtually any suit alleging defamation or other harm from a “communication” relating to the provision of services by a health care professional will be subject to the demanding...more

Food and Beverage News and Trends

Judge rejects consumer claim concerning evaporated cane juice - On March 12, a US district judge in the Northern District of Illinois dismissed with prejudice a consumer lawsuit against the manufacturer of Healthy Grains...more

Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users

Virginia’s highest court recently held that Yelp could not be forced to turn over the identities of anonymous online reviewers that a Virginia carpet-cleaning owner claimed tarnished his business....more

Paul Watler Speaks: Save the Plane – Or Save Yourself From a Libel Suit?

Fear of liability may match fear of flying for many Americans. We all know that commercial aviation is one of the safest forms of modern transportation. But it only takes a gut-wrenching drop of an aircraft in the...more

The Bermuda Triangle of Online Defamation: Copyright, Clickwrap and the CDA

We have written many times about attempts to use copyright law to do what defamation law can’t: take stuff down from the internet. Because Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) prevents a defamation plaintiff...more

House Passes the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act

Following Wednesday’s approval of the Protecting Cyber Networks Act (H.R.1560) (“PCNA”), the House of Representatives passed the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act (H.R. 1731) (“NCPAA”) on Thursday, a move...more

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

Screenwriter SLAPPs Down Libel-in-Fiction Claim

In a victory for all authors of fiction, a screenwriter of the film “What Maisie Knew” has successfully defended a lawsuit that sought to hold him liable for defamation based on the portrayal of a character drawn from an 1897...more

Vanity Fair Prevails in Libel Suit Brought by Oleg Cassini’s Widow

Oleg Cassini, the designer who created Jacqueline Kennedy’s iconic styles, had been linked or married to the most beautiful women of his day – Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg, Gene Tierney, among countless others....more

Blogging with Intent: Personal Jurisdiction and Defamation in the Internet Age

A California court of appeal recently decided that posting allegedly defamatory statements from Illinois on the Internet about a person living in California, without more, did not create “minimum contacts” for purposes of...more

Blogger Immune From Suit for Anonymous Comments

A Pennsylvania judge in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas ruled that the defendant blogger was not liable for anonymous posts in the “comments” section of his website, despite his active moderation of these posts....more

Media Companies Snipe at Potential Expansion of Defamation Risk in Ventura v. Kyle

“A Navy SEAL and a professional wrestler walk into a bar and begin to argue politics …” sounds like the beginning of a pretty good bar fight story. The story only gets more promising when you learn that the SEAL was the...more

Stacy Allen Speaks: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Unpopular Celebrities And The Right Of Publicity

In retrospect, the victories won by former college football stars in their right of publicity lawsuits against Electronic Arts and its hugely popular NCAA Football videogame franchise are hardly surprising. How could anyone...more

Second Circuit Joins Chorus In Favor Of CDA Immunity

In Ricci v. GoDaddy.com, the United State Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a dismissal of defamation claims against GoDaddy.com, a website host, invoking the immunity and preemption provisions of the...more

Two Rights of Publicity Decisions Explore the Boundaries of Commercial Speech in Commemorating Public Figures

Two recent rights of publicity cases illustrated the parameters of using a public figure’s name, likeness, identity or image for commercial purposes, without consent for commemorative purposes. But when does commemoration...more

Trademark Review | March 2015

Registration Cancelled Where Services Related to Mark Not Provided - Playdom, Inc. filed a petition to cancel Couture’s mark, arguing that the registration was void because Couture did not use the mark in commerce as of...more

Time for Your Close-up: The Right of Publicity in the Social Media Era

Michael Jordan is one of America’s most revered and iconic professional athletes. He spectacularly led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships, was named league MVP for five years and, off the court, reached a...more

Bob Marley and Federal False Endorsement Claims

Since his death in 1981, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his “image” continue to be broadly popular and command millions of dollars each year in merchandising revenue. ...more

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