News & Analysis as of

Instagram and the #FreeLunch: FTC Guidelines on Social Media Endorsements

With Thanksgiving behind us and the holiday season in full swing, many of us will be dining out at local restaurants and picking up sumptuous desserts to bring to dinner parties. Looking for restaurant and bakery...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

Unflattering Photo—A Blogger’s Paradise? - Raanan Katz v. Irina Chevaldina

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant based on an assertion of fair use of an unflattering, candid headshot photograph of plaintiff....more

Establishing the Boundaries of the OCILLA Safe Harbor

As user-generated content explodes over the Internet, intellectual property disputes over posting or uploading such content without the owner’s consent continue to escalate. As we touched on in a recent post, social media...more

New Study Finds Ghost Data Haunts Devices

As the leaves change colors, the air becomes crisp and pumpkin-spiced everything fills the shelves, we think of little (and big) kids going door to door for candy, apple picking, and all those Halloween ghost stories. Not the...more

Biometrics: Facebook Files Motion to Dismiss Privacy Suit over Facial Recognition Technology

As discussed in a previous post on facial recognition technology, a putative class action has been filed against Facebook over the collection of “faceprints” for its online photo tagging function, Tag Suggestions. (See e.g.,...more

Employee consent to use of personal data reliable under German law

The German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG)) has published the reasons for its two decisions about whether an employee can revoke consent given to his or her employer for public use of the employee’s image in...more

Monkeying with Copyrights: Who Owns the Monkey Selfies? A Lesson in Copyright Ownership

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of a crested macaque monkey, who famously snapped a smiling selfie of himself using wildlife photographer David...more

Status Updates: People-rating app proves unpopular; new tech automates compelling-photo selection; Twitter 101 for the political...

Bad reviews. On September 30th, the soon-to-be-launched app Peeple was described by the app’s co-founder, Julia Cordray, as a “Yelp for people,” that is, a people-rating platform that would allow users to assign number...more

Licensing Agent Has Standing to Bring Copyright Infringement Suit - Minden Pictures, Inc. v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Addressing the issue of whether a photograph licensing agent has standing to bring an infringement suit under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court decision, concluding...more

The Complications of Copyrighted Images in the Yellow Pages - Yellow Pages Photos, Inc. v. Ziplocal, LP

Reviewing a spectrum of copyright-related issues following the conclusion of a jury trial, the U.S. Court of the Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court, concluding that willful copyright infringement...more

Making a Monkey Out of Copyright

The Monkey Selfie Caper apparently has legs, as they say in the news business. Long legs with opposable toes. (For background, see our earlier post: Monkey See, Monkey Do… However Monkey Does Not Enjoy Copyright Protection)...more

Do You Know Your IP Rights In Your Imagery and Other Data Products?

Two recent court cases highlight the need for businesses to carefully consider the intellectual property rights associated with building data products and services. This issue is of growing importance as companies...more

THIS IS JUST BANANAS: PETA Files Suit Over Monkey Selfie

In a prior blawg post, I discussed the strange case involving British nature photographer, David Slater, and his claims of ownership over a photo “selfie” that had been “taken” by a monkey (the “Monkey Selfie”) and were...more

A Good Rule of Thumbnail? Pay the Licensing Fee.

You hire a web designer to create a website for your business. In the background, the designer uses stock photography to beautify the page. Stock photography comprises copyrighted images—often presented in searchable online...more

Does Facebook’s collection of photos violate privacy laws?

An Illinois man recently filed a proposed federal class action alleging that Facebook violates state law protecting the privacy of biometric data through its alleged collection of facial recognition data from over a billion...more

Using Copyright Protection in Architectural Works to Police Unauthorized Photographs

Can I stop photographers from taking, displaying, and selling photographs of my building? The answer is, like the answer to so many other questions, maybe. This issue often arises in the context of photographers who...more

No MN State Fair Photos, Pretty Please?

Well, it is opening day at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, it was a great day, perfect weather, thank you very much! Happy to see that Lulu’s Public House is going strong, she appears to have some new food items this...more

Summary Judgment Ruling Not a Pretty Picture for Massachusetts Copyright Plaintiff

A recent decision from the District of Massachusetts demonstrates the difficulties that can arise when attempting to protect copyrighted works displayed on the internet. The July 29, 2015 order issued by the Honorable Patti...more

Twitter, the DMCA and Copyright in the Age of Sharing

As social media platforms continue to find new ways to allow users to share, post, and forward nonoriginal content and users become more engaged in the practice, the platforms hosting the content and disgruntled original...more

The changing faces of facial recognition

The new technology of facial recognition is starting with a smile. But as it develops, people may begin picturing it with a frown, or maybe a furrowed brow....more

A Photo Is Still a Photo, Even on Social Media

A recent case made headlines simply because it involved Instagram. Don’t be fooled by the hype—new technologies don’t always require new law. A photo is a photo regardless of where it appears, and its admissibility is based...more

Does Arizona Have a Revenge Porn Law?

Modern technology has given birth to a host of crimes that did not exist just a decade ago. Revenge porn is one of those crimes. As an Arizona revenge porn criminal defense attorney, I am consistently asked whether or not...more

Facial Recognition and Privacy

Based upon the way modern computers are designed, there are certain tasks they are much better at performing than humans. It wouldn’t be pedantic to point the fact that’s the purpose of a computer in the first place: to do...more

The Layered Look: Copyrights and Visual Arts

People are generally aware that a painting, photograph, sculpture or other works of art are subject to copyright protection but many are less aware that copyright has many layers of possible protection which can present legal...more

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