Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • July 18, 2024

    Panel Remands For Discovery Cost Calculations In Dispute Between Gamer And Twitch

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appellate court on July 17 reversed a lower court’s order denying an online gamer’s motion to tax or strike Twitch Interactive’s electronic discovery costs in the gamer’s breach of contract suit against Twitch for suspending his Twitch account, finding that remand is required for a correct determination of Twitch’s discovery costs.

  • July 17, 2024

    Federal Judge: Trademark Claims Over Social Media Giant’s Use Of ‘X’ Can Continue

    ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida largely denied a motion to dismiss from the company formerly known as Twitter Inc., finding that a much smaller social media advertising company adequately supported its claims that the social media giant infringed on its “X SOCIALMEDIA” trademark when it rebranded to X Corp. after being purchased by Elon Musk.

  • July 17, 2024

    Judge Won’t Freeze Assets Of Electronics Company Accused Of Faking Online Reviews

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on July 16 denied a consumer’s motion for a preliminary injunction freezing more than $5 million of a Chinese manufacturer-owned company’s assets pending the outcome of his lawsuit accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other statutes for allegedly faking reviews on Amazon.com to sell shoddy electronics, finding insufficient evidence of damages.

  • July 17, 2024

    Rehearing Granted In GoDaddy TCPA Suit, Class Settlement Opinion Clarified

    ATLANTA — An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 16 granted a petition for panel rehearing filed after a May opinion vacated a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class settlement with GoDaddy.com LLC and issued an opinion substituting its previous opinion with one that was “the same as our previous except that we clarify that the opinion of this Court is delivered solely in Section III.C.iii, in which” the entire panel joined; the class’ rehearing petition sought clarification for “the basis of” the May decision, arguing that the opinion titled “Opinion of the Court” was not actually that.

  • July 15, 2024

    Connecticut Court Hears Arguments On CDA Immunity In Snapchat Assault Suit

    WATERBURY, Conn. — Snap Inc., which operates the Snapchat social network, squared off in Connecticut court against the parents of a minor who was sexually assaulted by two men that she met through the platform, with the social media company asserting that it is immune from liability for the rapists’ actions under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

  • July 12, 2024

    DMCA Claims In GitHub AI License Dispute Dismissed For 3rd, Final Time

    OAKLAND, Calif. — John Doe defendants suing GitHub Inc. and others for a purported lack of attribution of their shared materials in artificial intelligence (AI) products saw their claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) dismissed for a third time, this time with prejudice.

  • July 12, 2024

    Anonymous Messaging App And Founders Must Pay $5M, Ban Minors Under Consent Order

    LOS ANGELES — The Federal Trade Commission and the state of California jointly filed a consent order in California federal court with a company that operates an anonymous messaging app and two of its founders requiring the defendants to pay $5 million and permanently enjoining the company from allowing minors to use its app, resolving claims that the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws.

  • July 12, 2024

    Judge Finds Verdict For Epic In Google Play Antitrust Row Supported By Evidence

    SAN FRANCISCO — More than three months after denying a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) by Google Inc. in its antitrust dispute with Epic Games Inc. over the Android app market, a California federal judge issued an order with a “detailed explanation” for why a jury verdict in Epic’s favor was supported by substantial evidence and why the defendant was not entitled to a new trial.

  • July 11, 2024

    Split 9th Circuit: Equal Rights Protections Include U.S. Citizenship Bias

    HONOLULU — Equal rights protections in 42 U.S. Code Section 1981 prohibit citizenship or alienage discrimination of U.S. citizens in hiring, a divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, reversing a trial court’s dismissal of putative class discrimination claims by a naturalized U.S. citizen and creating a split with the Fifth Circuit’s 1986 decision in Chaiffetz v. Robertson Research Holding, Ltd.

  • July 10, 2024

    Denying FTC’s Motion To Compel Amazon Messages, Judge Instead Orders Deposition

    SEATTLE — Acknowledging that production of Amazon.com Inc.’s internal litigation hold notices may ultimately be necessary to establish if any spoliation occurred due to its employees’ use of an ephemeral messaging app related to antitrust claims against it, a Washington federal judge on July 9 denied a motion by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to compel production of the notices, which are not generally discoverable, deeming it more appropriate for the commission to first depose an Amazon representative on the matter.

  • July 09, 2024

    Class Seeks Rehearing After Settlement, Attorney Fees Vacated In GoDaddy TCPA Suit

    ATLANTA — A class whose Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement with GoDaddy.com LLC was vacated by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in May filed a petition for panel rehearing seeking clarification for “the basis of its decision.”

  • July 09, 2024

    DOJ Tells Supreme Court Trump Twitter Warrant Complied With 1st Amendment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Opposing a petition for certiorari by X Corp.  (formerly known as Twitter Inc.), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) tells the U.S. Supreme Court that a warrant that it obtained to search former President Donald J. Trump’s Twitter account and an accompanying nondisclosure order (NDO) did not violate executive privilege because they were issued in accordance with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Stored Communications Act (SCA).

  • July 08, 2024

    Federal Judge: DraftKings Customer Plausibly Shows Company’s NFTs Are Securities

    BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts held that a customer of an online sports gambling company adequately showed that nonfungible tokens (NFTs) sold by the company are a security under a long-standing test, denying a motion from the company and certain of its executives to dismiss the customer’s putative class complaint alleging that the company sold unregistered securities in violation of federal law.

  • July 03, 2024

    Justice Thomas Dissents From Certiorari Denial In Snapchat Section 230 Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — With the U.S. Supreme Court’s July 2 denial of certiorari for a John Doe defendant seeking to hold Snap Inc. liable for purportedly failing to protect minors from online predators, Justice Clarence Thomas took the opportunity to again voice his opinion that the high court should review Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to ensure that it is not being used too broadly by social media platforms and other providers of interactive computer services (ICSs).

  • July 03, 2024

    Suspended Twitter User’s 1st Amendment State Actor Certiorari Petition Denied

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Less than a week after it found that social media users with suspended accounts did not have standing in a suit alleging violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by federal government parties, the U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 denied a petition for certiorari by a Twitter user who brought similar claims against California government officials.

  • July 02, 2024

    U.S. Supreme Court To Decide If Texas Porn Age Verification Law Is Constitutional

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 granted certiorari to a group of adult entertainment industry petitioners that are challenging the constitutionality of a recently passed Texas law that requires the operators of pornographic websites to verify that their visitors are adults.

  • July 02, 2024

    Homeowners Insurer Disputes Coverage For Wire Fraud Suit Brought Against Insured

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A homeowners insurer filed suit in a Connecticut federal court seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend and indemnify its insured in an underlying lawsuit alleging that she and an associate provided fraudulent wire instructions and absconded with $1.4 million in closing funds with respect to the purchase of a Lavallette, N.J., property.

  • July 01, 2024

    9th Circuit Affirms Use Of ‘Server Test’ To Reject Goat Photo Copyright Claim

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Nevada federal judge correctly applied the “server test” to determine that a photographer’s copyright to a picture of an escaped goat was not infringed by a website operator showing the photo on the website, a panel of judges in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 28.

  • July 01, 2024

    Supreme Court Vacates, Remands Suits Over States’ Social Media Moderation Laws

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 1 concluded that lawsuits over social media content moderation laws enacted by Texas and Florida were not properly before the court because neither the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals nor the 11th Circuit, respectively, conducted the necessary analysis for a facial challenge to the statutes under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, reversing and remanding the appeals courts’ rulings.

  • July 01, 2024

    Nonprofit Tells D.C. Circuit TikTok Ban Violates 1st Amendment Rights

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Joining TikTok Inc. and a group of its social network’s creators in an effort to get the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to enjoin enforcement of a recently enacted law that would shut down the platform within the United States, nonprofit educational organization BASED Politics Inc. (BPI) filed its opening brief on June 28, calling the statute an infringement of TikTok users’ rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it is a prior restraint on speech.

  • July 01, 2024

    Judge Nixes Clothier’s Contributory Infringement Claim Against Website

    NEW YORK — A streetwear company founded by rapper Young Thug does not show that online marketplace websites were aware that merchants were selling trademarked material and thus cannot pursue a contributory trademark infringement claim against them, a federal judge in New York found, dismissing one count against the websites from the complaint.

  • June 28, 2024

    High Court Overrules Chevron Deference, Changes Standard For Regulatory Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on June 28 voted 6-3 to overrule the doctrine of Chevron deference as incompatible with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in two cases arising out of federal fishing regulations, changing governing precedent for federal courts reviewing agencies’ regulatory actions.

  • June 28, 2024

    WhatsApp Seeks Letter Rogatory To Depose Spyware Firm’s Israel-Based Employees

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In its motion for issuance of a letter rogatory to obtain the testimony of 11 witnesses residing in Israel, WhatsApp Inc. represents that these past and present employees of NSO Group Technologies Limited “have relevant information regarding” the company’s  purported computer fraud, complaining that the defendant “has refused to make them available for depositions.”

  • June 26, 2024

    High Court: Plaintiffs In Social Media Coercion Suit Lack Standing To Enjoin Feds

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of plaintiffs that sued to stop the federal government from purportedly coercing social media platforms into censoring disfavored speech do not have standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution to seek injunctive relief against the governmental defendants, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 26, finding that the plaintiffs failed to establish that their “one-step-removed, anticipatory” claimed injuries, which were based on the platforms’ actions, were “fairly traceable” to the defendants.

  • June 25, 2024

    Judge: Securities Class Claims Against Crypto Firm Barred By Repose Statute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California largely granted a motion from an issuer of crypto tokens and its CEO to dismiss class action securities claims against them, finding that the lead investor plaintiff failed to show that the crypto token at issue was first offered after the cutoff date for a statute of repose in the Securities Act of 1933.