User-Generated Content

News & Analysis as of

Ninth Circuit Reaffirms Section 230 Protections

Information Counts. That’s the title of this blog. And it’s an indisputable fact. Information is – and has been for at least 20 years – the currency of our economy, providing consumers, regulators and the general public...more

Yelp Case Shows CDA §230 Still Has Teeth

2016 has been a challenging year for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the website operators who depend on it for protection against liability stemming from user-generated content. An unusually large...more

Gawker Remains in the Crosshairs: Seventh Circuit Finds that Online Media Publisher Can Be Liable for Defamatory Third-Party User...

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently kept alive one of the multitude of legal entanglements ensnaring Gawker Media LLC, as the Court reversed and remanded a lower court’s decision to dismiss a plaintiff’s defamation...more

Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 7, Issue 6

Commercializing user-Generated Content: Five risk reduction strategies - We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in how companies interact with user-generated content (UGC). For years, companies were happy simply to...more

The FTC's Crackdown on Social Media #Ads

In the ongoing effort to reach the hearts and minds of consumers, brands are increasingly looking beyond the traditional media outlets of radio, print and television. The recent meteoric rise and diversity of social media...more

Ninth Circuit Holds Yelp Is Not Responsible for Bad Reviews

The Ninth Circuit recently reaffirmed the protection afforded to website providers and users under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. In that case, a locksmith sued Yelp over a bad review and one-star rating that...more

Locksmith Locked Out By Communications Decency Act

The Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) provides broad immunity for “providers of interactive computer services.” In essence, if an internet service provider falls within certain parameters, it is entitled to immunity against...more

I accept!

So, you’re ready to launch your new online business or mobile app. The website looks great, and the app tile has an elegant, simple design that’s sure to stand out on phone and tablet screens. Missing anything? Oh, yeah, that...more

When It Comes to Liability, Whose User Generated Content Is It Anyway?

Hospitality industry stakeholders who host sites for online reviews or rely on review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Urban Spoon, or Oyster, may take comfort in the recent Ninth Circuit decision regarding the liability of...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

Commercializing User-Generated Content: Five Risk Reduction Strategies

We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in how companies interact with user-generated content (UGC). For years, companies were happy simply to host UGC on their websites, blogs and social media pages and reap the resulting...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

Non-Party Yelp Ordered to Remove Defamatory Reviews

In 2012, attorney Dawn Hassell represented Ava Bird for a period of 25 days related to a personal injury she suffered. Bird expressed dissatisfaction with the representation and Hassell withdrew from the representation....more

Social Links: Twitter’s troll problem; Snapchat fat-shamer risks conviction; a federal anti-revenge-porn law?

Facebook Messenger joins the elite “one billion monthly users” club just four years after its release as a standalone app....more

Capitol Records LLC v. Vimeo LLC - USCA, Second Circuit, June 16, 2016

In copyright infringement suit against user-generated video website Vimeo, Second Circuit holds that DMCA safe harbor protections apply to pre-1972 sound recordings, and that Vimeo is entitled to DMCA protections even though...more

Practice Fusion and FTC Settle Complaint Over Deceptive Statements About the Privacy of Consumer-Generated Online Content

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced (press release) that Practice Fusion, the largest cloud-based electronic health company in the United States, has agreed to settle FTC charges over deceptive practices...more

SF Supes Vote to Violate Communications Decency Act with Amendment to Airbnb Law

On June 7, 2016, which also happens to be primary day in California, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to amend the City’s Residential Unit Conversion Ordinance (the so-called Airbnb Law) to require...more

Pitfalls in Managing Online Reputations

Whether you represent sports stars and high-profile entertainers, or hometown doctors, architects, and restaurateurs, you have almost certainly gotten calls in the past several years asking for your help in dealing with...more

Tenth Circuit Affirms Lower Court Ruling on Meaning of “User” in DMCA §512(c) Safe Harbor

Title II of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) offers safe harbors for qualifying service providers to limit their liability for claims of copyright infringement. To benefit from the Section 512(c) safe harbor, a...more

Self-Publishing Platforms Deemed Distributors, Not Publishers in Privacy Suit over Unauthorized Book Cover

We live in a world that has rapidly redefined and blurred the roles of the “creator” of content, as compared to the roles of the “publisher” and “distributor” of such content. A recent case touches on some of the important...more

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Backpage.com, Confirms Broad Scope of Section 230 Immunity

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit this week delivered a resounding victory for websites dependent on a federal immunity from claims based on content posted by third parties. Broadly interpreting Section 230 of...more

Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 7, Issue 2

Welcome to the newest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award winning guide to the law and business of social media. In this edition, we offer tips for a successful—and legal—advertising campaign; we examine a New York...more

New Court Decision Highlights Potential Headache for Companies Hosting User-Generated Content

In this election season, we hear a lot of complaints about laws stifling business innovation. And there is no doubt that some laws have this effect. But what about laws that spur innovation, that result in the creation...more

Online Defamation: Linking and Liking

Defamatory content on the internet?? Throw a metaphorical rock into the ether and you’ll hit something that meets the definition of defamatory content. In order to establish a claim for defamation, a plaintiff must establish...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

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