Communications & Media Science, Computers & Technology Civil Procedure

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TCPA Connect - September 2016

SPECIAL FOCUS: Responses to Retail Webinar Attendee Questions - During our hugely successful “Avoiding TCPA Pitfalls: Essential Guidance for Retailers” webinar this summer, we received dozens of questions from attendees,...more

Ninth Circuit Issues Two Recent Decisions Further Definining Liability Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

In July, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two decisions by which it intends to clarify liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (“CFAA”). The CFAA imposes criminal penalties and...more

“Face It”- Snapchat, Facebook, and Google Dealing with Suits Over Facial Recognition Technology

Snapchat, the popular “disappearing image” messaging social media corporation, was free to enjoy this past Labor Day weekend due to a voluntary dismissal of a biometric privacy class action. On August 30, 2016, the class...more

Privacy and The Cell Phone: Arizona Says Yes

Arizona recently recognized a “legitimate expectation of privacy” in cell phones. The case was State v. Peoples, and the opinion was issued on September 12, 2016. The Peoples case was about the police’s search of a cell...more

Litigation Alert: The Eighth Circuit Applies Spokeo to Reject Standing for Technical Violation of Privacy Statute

Last week, the Eighth Circuit became the first Circuit Court to address the reach of Spokeo v. Robbins in a privacy case, holding that a plaintiff’s allegation that a cable company’s retention of his personal information in...more

Mobile App VPPA Suit Survives Spokeo Standing Challenge

In Yershov v. Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc., a user of the free USA Today app alleged that each time he viewed a video clip, the app transmitted his mobile Android ID, GPS coordinates and identification of the...more

Second Circuit Blazes New Trail in Set-Top Box Cases: Cable Service and Boxes Are Not Separate Products

Since 2008, cable customers have been suing cable operators across the country claiming operators violate the antitrust laws by forcing customers to lease set-top boxes from the operator to access “premium” cable services. ...more

Ninth Circuit Strips FTC of ‘Activities-Based’ Jurisdiction over Common Carriers

The FTC has no jurisdiction over common carriers even when they engage in non-common carrier activity, according to a recent U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit opinion. In FTC v. AT&T Mobility, No. 15-16585 (9th...more

Of “Lunch Stands and Merry-Go-Rounds”: Ninth Circuit’s Rejection of FTC Authority Over “Throttling” Could Have Far Reaching...

On August 29th, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously held that the FTC has no power to challenge “throttling” of unlimited data plan customers by mobile broadband providers as an “unfair or deceptive act.” The panel found that...more

Post-Spokeo Standing: An Evolving Landscape

Several recent federal court decisions have shed additional light on the still-unsettled question of when a plaintiff has Article III standing to sue based on a data breach or other data security or privacy event. These...more

War of the World Wide Webs: D.C. Circuit Refuses Terror Victims’ Attempt to Seize Internet Domain Names

In early August, the D.C. Circuit refused to allow victims of terror attacks to take control of the Internet domain names of Iran, North Korea, and Syria as a means of satisfying previous money judgments awarded to the...more

Controversial California Court Decision Significantly Narrows a Crucial Liability Safe Harbor for Website Operators

A recent California court decision involving Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) is creating considerable concern among social media companies and other website operators....more

When Is Using a Computer a Crime? Rehearing Sought on Ninth Circuit’s “Distressingly Unclear” Answer

Facebook recently won a landmark victory in the Ninth Circuit against a company that accessed Facebook’s computers to help users manage their social network accounts. Now the company, Power Ventures, Inc., says that the...more

FCC Thwarted in Efforts to Preempt State Broadband Laws

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has struck a major blow to the FCC’s efforts to remove barriers to broadband service and promote competition in broadband markets. In State of Tennessee v. FCC, the court...more

App Developer Not Liable Under TCPA For User-Initiated Texts

A recent defense win out of the Northern District of California brings good news for messaging software developers facing TCPA claims. In Cour v. Life360, Inc., U.S. District Judge Thelton E. Henderson granted defendant...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects FCC’s Effort To Preempt State Regulation Of Municipal Broadband Providers

The FCC’s February 2015 meeting yielded two significant and controversial orders premised on the agency’s authority under Section 706 of the Communications Act: its much-publicized Open Internet Order, and its less-publicized...more

Pokemon Go Away: Monsters Creating Nuisance Problems

This game has been all the rage since July. Engadget reports over 100 million downloads of Pokemon Go, racking up $10 million each day in revenue for game makers Niantic, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo. It’s a beast. ...more

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Fraud-Based UCL Claims Based on Lack of Reliance

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision in Haskins v. Symantec Corp., Case No. 14-16141 (9th Cir. June 20, 2016), supports the requirement that plaintiffs must allege exposure to and reliance on specific...more

Ninth Circuit Case Demonstrates That the Social Media Platform, Not the User, Is in Control

We have written before about website operators’ use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to combat data scraping. We have also noted a number of recent cases in which courts held that social media platforms,...more

Open Internet Order Prevails

Addressing challenges to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) 2015 Open Internet Order, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit concluded that the FCC acted with proper authority when it...more

DMCA Safe Harbor Protection Includes Pre-1972 Recordings

Vacating a district court’s decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit explained that the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) protects material posted on websites of online hosts...more

Section 101 Blocks Caller ID Patent

Order Granting Judgment on the Pleadings, Whitepages, Inc. v. Isaacs, et al., Case No. 16-cv-00175-RS (Judge Richard Seeborg) - Litigants continue to use Alice and its progeny to cull the ranks of patents asserted in...more

Pokémon Go…es To Court!

Hugely successful games attract lawsuits. Pokémon Go has been hugely successful and, predictably, has attracted a lawsuit. In a recently filed class action, a plaintiff has alleged that a number of the GPS coordinates...more

E-Message Patents Survive Alice Challenge

Common computer technology has fallen victim to Alice in many recent cases. It is therefore noteworthy that the District of Massachusetts declined to invalidate e-mail management patents under §101 in Sophos v....more

Advancing New Claims Under the Lanham Act

Implementing unique litigation tactics, on June 15, 2016, Foley & Larder LLP filed a complaint under Section 337 of the Tariff Act at the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) on behalf of Par Pharmaceutical and related...more

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