Media Law

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  • Google's Plan To Offer Accounts to Kids Under 13 May Harm Their Privacy

    Shear on Social Media Law
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:32 am
    Recently, multiple media outlets reported that Google plans to offer accounts for their wide array of services to children under 13 years of age.  While the details regarding this alleged plan have not been publicized, it has already created a lot of concern with multiple privacy advocates.  In response to these reports, the Center For Digital Democracystated, " [a]nyone who knows how Google really conducts its business should be alarmed about its plans to make money off of kids."There are many unanswered questions about this proposal.  For example, how does Google plan on…
  • Netflix and the European Market

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:30 am
    From the Hollywood Reporter: a discussion of Netflix's European launch, and its importance for the company that specializes in streaming content.
  • Videogame Technology and Personal Privacy

    Media Law Prof Blog
    Media Law Prof
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:21 am
    Joe Newman & Joseph Jerome, Future of Privacy Forum, and Christopher Hazard, Hazardous Software, Inc., are publishing Press Start to Track?: Privacy and the New Questions Posed by Modern Videogame Technology in the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quaterly Journal...
  • California Enacts Yelp Bill To Protect Consumers Freedom of Speech

    Shear on Social Media Law
    11 Sep 2014 | 8:59 am
    Earlier this week, California enacted a law that protects consumers from businesses that want to ban them from providing truthful negative online reviews.  Yelp supported AB 2365 and stated, "AB 2365 makes it explicitly clear that non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts for goods or services in the state of California are void and unenforceable. What this means is that individuals writing online reviews in California are now further protected from those bad actors who hide jargon in consumer contracts in attempts to prohibit you from posting reviews -- positive or negative --…
  • California Supreme Court Limits Franchisor Liability

    Seller Beware Blog
    Neil Rosenbaum
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:58 pm
    In a closely watched case, the California Supreme Court provided significant protection to franchisors from liability for lawsuits based on the actions of their franchisees. In clarifying the standard for franchisor liability -- an issue that has been increasingly troubling for franchisors -- the Court ruled in Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC that a franchisor was not liable for the acts of a franchisee’s employees where the franchisor did not have day-to-day control over the operations leading to the claim. In Domino’s, the Court determined that the franchisor was not liable for…
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    Media Law Prof Blog

  • Videogame Technology and Personal Privacy

    Media Law Prof
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:21 am
    Joe Newman & Joseph Jerome, Future of Privacy Forum, and Christopher Hazard, Hazardous Software, Inc., are publishing Press Start to Track?: Privacy and the New Questions Posed by Modern Videogame Technology in the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quaterly Journal...
  • ASA Bans "Lookalike" Government Websites

    Media Law Prof
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:18 am
    The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has banned several websites from operating after they deceived users into paying for government documents such as health cards, passports, and birth and death certificates. The websites, which used URLS that closely resembled official government...
  • Netflix and the European Market

    Media Law Prof
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:30 am
    From the Hollywood Reporter: a discussion of Netflix's European launch, and its importance for the company that specializes in streaming content.
  • Re-Thinking IP Infringement

    Media Law Prof
    16 Sep 2014 | 8:57 am
    Irina D. Manta, Maurice A. Deane School of Law, and Robert E. Wagner, CUNY Baruch College Zicklin School of Business, Department of Law, are publishing Intellectual Property Infringement as Vandalism in the Stanford Technology Law Review. Here is the abstract....
  • Let Them Go?

    Media Law Prof
    15 Sep 2014 | 12:36 pm
    Claire Enders (the Guardian) anticipates a host of changes for the media if Scottish voters opt to leave the UK and set up on their own. Among them: no access to the BBC--Scots will have to subscribe to SkyTV, Virgin...
 
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    Seller Beware Blog

  • A Memorable Decision?

    Neil Rosenbaum
    15 Sep 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Forgetting is a normal part of life. Many people forget where they put their keys, when that meeting was scheduled, when to charge their cell phones, and so on. Memory jogs such as handwritten notes and reminders or alarms on devices often remedy this situation. Martek Biosciences Corp. and i-Health, Inc. marketed its BrainStrong supplement  as clinically-proven to boost adult memory. On August 21, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) adopted the final order to settle allegations that Martek and i-Health falsely claimed that BrainStrong would improve memory and prevent cognitive decline.
  • California Supreme Court Limits Franchisor Liability

    Neil Rosenbaum
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:58 pm
    In a closely watched case, the California Supreme Court provided significant protection to franchisors from liability for lawsuits based on the actions of their franchisees. In clarifying the standard for franchisor liability -- an issue that has been increasingly troubling for franchisors -- the Court ruled in Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC that a franchisor was not liable for the acts of a franchisee’s employees where the franchisor did not have day-to-day control over the operations leading to the claim. In Domino’s, the Court determined that the franchisor was not liable for…
  • FTC to App Developers: More Disclosure Needed

    Neil Rosenbaum
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:54 am
    For some time the FTC has been focused on mobile shopping apps and whether businesses have been providing consumers with enough information about those apps. We have previously blogged about the FTC’s concerns about mobile payment technologies here. Earlier this month, the FTC continued its efforts in this area and issued a staff report on mobile shopping apps, complete with recommendations for the companies that provide these apps. The gist of the recommendations? Provide consumers with clear and accurate information -- available before they download the apps -- about privacy,…
  • Red Bull Settles False Advertising Suit

    Neil Rosenbaum
    13 Aug 2014 | 6:38 am
    We know what you’re thinking, and no, this has nothing to do with Red Bull giving you wings. Last week, Red Bull reached a proposed settlement of a suit alleging that the company falsely claimed in its advertisements that Red Bull’s energy drink provided more benefits to consumers than a cup of coffee or a caffeine pill. The plaintiffs argued that these advertisements amounted to a breach of express warranty, unjust enrichment, and violations of over thirty state consumer protection acts, including New York’s Deceptive Acts and Practices Act (N.Y. Gen. Bus. Law §§ 349 and 350) and…
  • FTC: Made in USA Certifier Must Actually Certify (or Disclose Self-Certification)

    Neil Rosenbaum
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:57 pm
    As we have discussed in several posts (for example, here, here, here, and here), the FTC has stringent standards for “Made in U.S.A.” claims.  On July 22, 2014, the FTC reached a settlement with Made in the USA Brand, LLC, which charges companies to use its “Made in USA” certification mark and to be listed on its website as a company whose products are made in the United States.  Made in the USA Brand says that it uses the FTC’s Enforcement Policy Statement for U.S. Origin Claims as its accreditation standard to determine whether a company can license its certification…
 
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    Media Law Journal

  • Web hosts’ defamation liability restricted

    Steven
    18 Sep 2014 | 10:03 pm
    In a significant Court of Appeal decision (see Murray v Wishart), hot off the press, the judges have unanimously ruled that a third party publisher (the owner of a Facebook page that contained comments by others) was not liable for other people’s comments simply because he “ought to have known” that they contain defamatory material (even if he didn’t actually know of the content of the comments). So hosts of Facebook pages will only be liable for defamation of posters’ comments if (a) they actually knew about the comments and (b) failed to remove them in a…
  • Some questions for the PM

    Steven
    14 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    I’m struggling to find the provisions in NZ’s policy about the classification of documents that allow the PM to declassify documents for the purpose of protecting his reputation (his word, not mine, on Morning Report this morning). Perhaps the PM could help me out here. The PM has said he would declassify documents to prove he stopped a mass surveillance proposal, in response to criticisms by journalist Glenn Greenwald (and, it seems, whistleblower Edward Snowden). A few other questions spring to mind: Why were these documents classified in the first place, and who by? What was…
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (3)?

    Steven
    13 Sep 2014 | 11:26 pm
    Yes. Yes, he is. The High Court says so, as Whale Oil points out triumphantly. Like the good journalist he is, he even shows us the evidence: para 145 of Justice Asher’s judgment. Mr Slater then goes on to demonstrate his journalistic chops by entirely failing to report the rest of the judgment. That includes the part where the judge says the material in his posts was “extreme and vindictive” and bore “the hallmarks of a private feud”, was not of any public interest , and was probably unlawfully obtained. He also omits the judge’s conclusion that he…
  • Is Whale Oil a journalist (2)?

    Steven
    21 Aug 2014 | 10:07 pm
    Some time ago, I wrote about Cameron Slater’s claim to be a journalist, which he is invoking for the purposes of protecting his confidential sources. The District Court ordered him to turn over his sources in a defamation case brought against him by Matt Blomfield. The court said Slater didn’t qualify for source protection under the Evidence Act. I argued that the judge’s reasoning was very poor, and that there were good arguments that he should be treated a journalist. Nevertheless, I noted that the court still had a discretion to order  him to turn over his source.
  • Did Nicky Hager “make stuff up”?

    Steven
    17 Aug 2014 | 9:13 pm
    As many of you know, I act for Nicky Hager. I vetted his book, Dirty Politics, and the three before that. It is a surreal experience watching what happens to Nicky’s books in the days after their publication. It often seems as if the book that’s being discussed by politicians and in the media is entirely different from the one I’ve just spent weeks vetting. What’s more amazing is that politicians who admit they haven’t read the book and don’t intend to are given free rein to speak authoritatively about its content. Often they say things that are completely…
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    Shear on Social Media Law

  • Dr. Selfie, Joan Rivers, Social Media Privacy, and HIPAA Violations

    16 Sep 2014 | 9:19 pm
    CNN is reporting that while the late comedian Joan Rivers was under anesthesia during the procedure that led to her death one of the doctors took a selfie with her without her consent.  If this allegation is true this is a blatant violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.This is not the first time a doctor has been accused of inappropriate digital behavior.  Earlier this year, a Seattle doctor was accused of sexting during surgery.  Last year, a doctor was accused of posting photos of a drunk emergency room patient online.  There is no excuse…
  • California Enacts Yelp Bill To Protect Consumers Freedom of Speech

    11 Sep 2014 | 8:59 am
    Earlier this week, California enacted a law that protects consumers from businesses that want to ban them from providing truthful negative online reviews.  Yelp supported AB 2365 and stated, "AB 2365 makes it explicitly clear that non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts for goods or services in the state of California are void and unenforceable. What this means is that individuals writing online reviews in California are now further protected from those bad actors who hide jargon in consumer contracts in attempts to prohibit you from posting reviews -- positive or negative --…
  • California Passes Non-Disparagement Consumer Contract Clause Ban

    30 Aug 2014 | 12:58 pm
    California's AB 2365 which prohibits businesses and service professionals from contractually silencing customers who may want to complain about their experiences has been passed by California's legislature and is awaiting the approval of Gov. Brown.  In layman's terms, the legislation generally prohibits a business from inserting into its adhesion contracts and terms of service language that requires a consumer to waive their right to publicly comment about their customer experience on websites such as Yelp, Ripoff Report, etc...At first glance, this bill…
  • California Bill To Regulate Student Social Media Monitoring Services

    29 Aug 2014 | 8:12 am
    California's legislation that would regulate social media monitoring of secondary students is one step away from becoming law.  AB-1442 is now on the governor's desk and awaiting his signature or veto.  The bill appears to compliment SB 1349 that protects the social media privacy of students.  While I believe this bill is a good first step, it should be expanded to include post-secondary students. AB-1442 is greatly needed because companies are approaching secondary and post-secondary schools to social media monitor students.  In secondary schools, these companies…
  • Google's Plan To Offer Accounts to Kids Under 13 May Harm Their Privacy

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:32 am
    Recently, multiple media outlets reported that Google plans to offer accounts for their wide array of services to children under 13 years of age.  While the details regarding this alleged plan have not been publicized, it has already created a lot of concern with multiple privacy advocates.  In response to these reports, the Center For Digital Democracystated, " [a]nyone who knows how Google really conducts its business should be alarmed about its plans to make money off of kids."There are many unanswered questions about this proposal.  For example, how does Google plan on…
 
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