Yelp

News & Analysis as of

Social Links: Google Maps gets social; Twitter puts trolls in time out; today’s teens take to chat rooms

New York City’s Conflicts of Interest Board has issued guidelines prohibiting elected officials from using official social media accounts for political purposes or having their staff draft content for their personal social...more

How to Comply with the Consumer Review Fairness Act

In January 2015, we wrote about California’s ban on nondisparagement clauses in consumer contracts under the “Yelp” Bill. A new law, the Consumer Review Fairness Act, covers nondisparagement clauses in a similar vein at the...more

Think Twice Before Tweeting up a Storm

One of the more memorable lines from 1989’s Steel Magnolias is “if you can’t say anything nice about anybody, come sit by me.” That sentiment— referred to as “schadenfreude” in German — is amplified on social media, and this...more

New U.S. Federal Law Prohibits Contracts With “Anti-Yelping” Provisions

Late last year, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act (“CRFA”). Intended to protect individuals who write unflattering online reviews of businesses, the CRFA voids contractual provisions in form...more

New Federal Law Protects Consumers’ Right to Post Negative Online Reviews

In the digital age, online reviews of a business are often the first place consumers turn to in order to gather information about a business, such as a restaurant, retail store or even a professional service provider. It is...more

Social Links: Will a fan-made Star Trek prequel live long and prosper?; California bans driving while Snapchatting; apps that...

A federal district court judge refused to grant summary judgment to the copyright owners of the Star Trek franchise in the infringement suit they brought against the team behind a fan-made, crowdfunded prequel to the original...more

The Freedom to Yelp: Congress Curbs ToS Overreach

Worried about a company retaliating against you when you post a negative review on Yelp or TripAdvisor? Worry no longer because Congress has your back. Last week, Congress passed a law that will make it illegal for companies...more

The Freedom to Yelp: Congress Curbs ToS Overreach

Worried about a company retaliating against you when you post a negative review on Yelp or TripAdvisor? Worry no longer because Congress has your back. Last week, Congress passed a law that will make it illegal for companies...more

NY Medical Providers: Use Caution When Soliciting Positive Reviews on Consumer-Review Websites

Consumers often seek online reviews of a business on platforms such as Yelp, CitySearch, Yahoo and Google Plus Pages before purchasing products or services. This includes patients seeking online reviews of a physician or...more

Congress Passes “Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016” to Protect Online Reviews

New legislation passed by Congress on Monday, November 28, attempts to curb aggressive tactics against the authors of negative online reviews. The legislation bans the practice of contractually prohibiting consumers from...more

In a Rough Year for CDA §230, Manchanda v. Google Provides Comfort to Website Operators

As we noted in our recent post on the Ninth Circuit case Kimzey v. Yelp! Inc., in the right circumstances, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) still provides robust protection against liability for website...more

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

Consumers Are Unlikely to Confuse Yelp with a Local Property Management Company Using the Same Tagline in Ads, Court Rules

In a ruling that neatly illustrates some of the challenges a company is likely to face when trying to enforce trademark rights in an advertising tagline, a federal judge in the Northern District of California recently denied...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

Yelp Cannot Be Held Liable for Negative Review

Retailers are familiar with Yelp.com as a ratings website with a star rating system that allows customers to rate products and services they receive, as well as add individual reviews and comments. Positive reviews can...more

Augmented Reality, and the Inevitable Regulations, Go!

Well before Pokémon Go burst onto the mobile gaming scene in July, we had written about some of the pitfalls associated with AR gaming. When the game netted some 45 million daily users in just a few weeks, we talked about...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

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

Social Links: Yelp’s Communications Decency Act claim; Twitter loosens its character limit; building a Snapchat audience

The California Supreme Court agreed to hear Yelp’s case arguing that requiring the company to remove a one-star review of a law firm “creates a gaping hole” in the immunity that shields internet service providers from suits...more

UPDATE: CA Supreme Court Grants Review of Order Requiring Yelp.com to Remove Negative Reviews of Law Firm Following Determination...

In a case which was the subject of our Alert dated June 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court agreed on September 21, 2016 to review a lawsuit that Yelp.com warns could lead to the removal of negative reviews on the popular...more

Yelp Seeks Dismissal of Consumer Privacy Lawsuit

Last Tuesday, the federal district court for the Northern District of California held oral arguments on a motion for summary judgment filed by Yelp in a consumer privacy lawsuit involving other prominent technology companies,...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

Advertising Law - August 2016 #2

Electric Toothbrushes Battle It Out Before NAD - In a battle over electric toothbrushes, the National Advertising Division determined that Procter & Gamble can support superiority claims for its Oral-B models challenged...more

Social Links: Twitter’s tough quarter; Yelp warns users about litigious dentist; Pinterest battles Snapchat

Instagram now allows celebrities to block trolls. The rest of us will have to continue trying to ignore Instagram trolls. While Facebook reached new highs last quarter, Twitter continued to stumble. Will adding more live...more

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