Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • March 12, 2024

    9th Circuit Partly Reverses Ruling In $40M Commercial Crime Coverage Dispute

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 11 reversed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a financial services company insured’s claim for loss under its commercial crime insurance policy’s “Computer And Funds Transfer Fraud Insuring Agreement” and its claim for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, finding that the authorized submission of fraudulent electronic data into the insured’s computer system can arguably be described as “fraudulent entry” to trigger coverage.

  • March 12, 2024

    Colorado Federal Judge: App Store Notices Not Enough For Jurisdiction

    DENVER — A Colorado-based business on March 11 saw its infringement complaint dismissed without prejudice by a federal judge in Colorado, who said trademark notices sent by defendants to the Apple and Google app stores did not rise to the level of “express aiming” at the state.

  • March 12, 2024

    ISP Asks 4th Circuit To Rehear ‘Exceptionally Important’ Secondary Liability Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — Filing an amicus curiae brief on March 11 in support of fellow internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications Inc.’s quest for rehearing in an appeal where it was found liable for contributory infringement for its subscribers’ file-sharing activities, Frontier Communications Parent Inc. tells the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a panel’s holding on copyright liability for merely providing internet service that is misused by customers “drives a wrecking ball through the ordinary limits of secondary liability in direct conflict with [U.S.] Supreme Court precedent.”

  • March 11, 2024

    Investor Says Social Media Platform Owner Misled About User Retention After COVID

    OAKLAND, Calif. — An acquisitions company that merged with a local community-focused social media platform misled investors by suggesting the platform would be able to maintain spikes in usage it saw during the initial waves of COVID-19 lockdowns, an investor alleges in a putative class complaint filed in a California federal court.

  • March 11, 2024

    Copyright Office Calls Human Authorship ‘Basic Prerequisite’ In AI Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An artificial intelligence developer has not established any reason why the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should “upend . . . well-established principles” that “nonhuman authors are not entitled to copyright protection,” the U.S. Copyright Office argues in an appellee brief, asking the court to find that a trial court properly upheld the office’s refusal to issue a copyright for a work of art to an AI machine.

  • March 11, 2024

    Colorado Jury Awards Woman $3.76 Million For SWAT Raid Based On IPhone App

    DENVER — Two Denver Police Department (DPD) officers were found liable for violating an elderly woman’s civil rights in the search of her home by a SWAT team pursuant to a warrant that was based solely on location “pings” from Apple’s “Find My” smartphone app, with a Colorado jury awarding the plaintiff $3.76 million in punitive damages and economic and noneconomic losses or injuries.

  • March 07, 2024

    Individual Parties Denied Argument Time In High Court Social Media Coercion Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A group of five individual respondents that sued various U.S. governmental parties over free speech concerns related to the purported coercion of social media platform operators will not have the opportunity to present their positions separately from lead respondents Missouri and Louisiana at upcoming March 18 oral arguments, as the U.S. Supreme Court on March 7 denied without comment their motion to filed an untimely motion for extended and divided oral argument.

  • March 07, 2024

    X Corp. Wins Dismissal Of Most, But Not All, Copyright Claims By Music Industry

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee dismissed allegations that X Corp., formerly known as Twitter, directly and vicariously infringes copyrighted musical works and partly dismissed allegations of contributory infringement but said a subset of the latter claim will go forward, in view of plausible evidence that the social media giant does not go far enough to police infringement on its platform in certain situations.

  • March 06, 2024

    Judge Strikes Dismissal Of Putative Class Suit Against Alleged Gambling App

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge struck a plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of his putative class suit against a “sweepstakes” app for allegedly enticing the plaintiff into illegal sports gambling in violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and directed the plaintiff to file further briefing establishing whether the plaintiff received any settlement or consideration for dismissal and if dismissal will prejudice the interests of potential class members.

  • March 05, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Copyright-Based Claims Against OpenAI, Won’t Enjoin Its Defense

    SAN FRANCISCO — Plaintiffs pursuing class claims in California against OpenAI Inc. and related companies stemming from alleged copyright violations have not demonstrated that the court overseeing their cases can enjoin the companies from defending themselves from similar litigation in New York federal court, a federal judge said in denying a motion to enjoin after dismissing the bulk of the case in an earlier ruling.

  • March 05, 2024

    Consumers Tell 9th Circuit UCL Claims Against Chipmaker Were Wrongly Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — Consumers filed an appellant brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that their putative class claims against a modem chipmaker for violation of antitrust laws and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) should not have been dismissed on summary judgment and alternatively urging the court to certify a question to the California Supreme Court on their state law claims.

  • March 04, 2024

    Montana Attorney General To 9th Circuit: TikTok Ban Complies With 1st Amendment

    SAN FRANCISCO — Appealing a trial court’s ruling that preliminarily enjoined the enactment of a Montana law banning use of the TikTok social media platform within the state, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen defends the statute in his March 1 opening brief to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, describing it as a consumer protection law that does not run afoul of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • March 04, 2024

    Consumer Accuses Apple Of ‘Rigging’ Devices To Monopolize Cloud Storage

    SAN FRANCISCO — A consumer on March 1 filed a putative class action complaint against Apple Inc. in California federal court, accusing it of monopolizing access to its iCloud data storage service by configuring Apple mobile devices to require users to sign up for iCloud to store certain digital files, allegedly in violation of federal and state antitrust laws and California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • February 29, 2024

    Canadian Lab Opposes Israeli Firm’s Discovery Efforts In WhatsApp Spyware Row

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A nonparty Canadian lab that focuses on “digital espionage” filed a motion in California federal court on Feb. 28, seeking to specially appear in the computer fraud lawsuit between WhatsApp Inc. and NSO Group Technologies Limited for the purpose of opposing NSO’s motion to serve it with a letter rogatory to obtain “sweeping discovery” that it contends is “almost exclusively unrelated to the claims and defenses” in the case.

  • February 29, 2024

    Plaintiff Dismisses Suit Claiming ‘Sweepstakes’ App Caused Gambling Losses

    LOS ANGELES — A putative class plaintiff on Feb. 28 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in California federal court of his claims against an app company for violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly enticing him into illegal sports gambling two months after a judge granted a motion to compel arbitration of his all his claims.

  • February 29, 2024

    Justices Suggest Remand, Express Confusion In Crypto Sweepstakes Arbitration Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In Feb. 28 oral arguments, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court repeatedly returned to questions about why a dispute about contractual arbitration and delegation provisions between a cryptocurrency exchange and sweepstakes entrants ended up before them, with the option of remand seeming to gain momentum over the course of the session.

  • February 20, 2024

    Israeli Firm Seeks Discovery From Canadian Research Lab In Spyware Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif.— With competing motions to compel pending in its computer fraud dispute with WhatsApp Inc., Israeli surveillance technology company NSO Group Technologies Limited asked a California federal court to issue a letter rogatory requesting a Canadian court to compel discovery from a Toronto-based research laboratory that aided WhatsApp in the present suit.

  • February 28, 2024

    JMOL Debated, $700 Million Settlement Mulled In Google Play Store Antitrust MDL

    SAN FRANCISCO — Citing a California federal court’s observation that a jury verdict in its favor was based on “an abundance of evidence,” Epic Games Inc. opposes a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) by Google Inc. after a jury found it liable for monopolization and tying in an antitrust multidistrict litigation over app distribution and in-app purchases (IAPs) related to Google’s Play Store.

  • February 27, 2024

    Debtors Of Cryptocurrency Company Seek Recovery Of $22.5M Improper Premium Payment

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The wind-down debtors of a cryptocurrency company have sued directors and officers liability insurers in a New Jersey court seeking to recover no less than $22.5 million in premiums plus interest and costs, accusing the insurers of a “cash grab” and alleging that the premium funds were part of transactions that unfairly or improperly depleted the debtors’ assets or improperly diluted the claims against those assets.

  • February 27, 2024

    Constitutionality Of Florida, Texas Social Media Laws Argued In High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a long session of back-to-back U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments Feb. 26 in disputes over whether Florida and Texas laws that prohibit viewpoint discrimination by large social networks violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the justices explored issues such as what constitutes a common carrier, the Communications Decency Act (CDA), public accommodations and expressive speech, with their questions frequently returning to whether the records in both cases, which pertain to preliminary injunctions, were sufficiently developed and whether the cases should be remanded for discovery and further development.

  • February 27, 2024

    Call Of Duty Players Say Activision’s Esports Monopoly Caused $120M In Damages

    LOS ANGELES — Two professional players of the video game “Call of Duty” (CoD) and one affiliated business entity allege in a complaint filed in California federal court that developer Activision Blizzard Inc. has violated the federal Sherman Act, California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by monopolizing all CoD-related esports and excluding existing teams, allegedly causing the plaintiffs more than $120 million in damages.

  • February 23, 2024

    Group To 9th Circuit: Social Media 1st Amendment Ruling Is ‘Nearly Dispositive’

    PASADENA, Calif. — More than 21 months since the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a nonprofit organization’s appeal of the dismissal of its free speech suppression claims against Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.), the appellant on Feb. 22 filed notice of a Louisiana federal court’s recent finding that it was likely to succeed on almost identical claims in a parallel suit claiming that the social media operator colluded with the federal government in violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

  • February 22, 2024

    Epic Calls Apple’s $73 Million Costs, Fees Tab In Antitrust Dispute An Overreach

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Responding to Apple Inc.’s motion that it be required to indemnify more than $73 million in court costs and other fees related to their 3-1/2-year monopolization row, Epic Games Inc. tells a California federal court that most of the amounts sought are unrecoverable under controlling precedent, California law and the very agreement under which the defendant seeks indemnification.

  • February 21, 2024

    4th Circuit Finds ISP Willful In File-Sharing Suit, Reverses $1 Billion Judgment

    RICHMOND, Va. — Although a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed a jury’s finding that internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications Inc. was liable for contributory infringement related to its subscribers’ unauthorized online sharing of copyrighted musical works, the panel on Feb. 20 concluded that the plaintiff record labels did not establish the necessary direct financial benefit to establish vicarious infringement, leading it to vacate that part of a trial court’s judgment and accompanying $1 billion award to the plaintiffs, remanding for a new trial on damages.

  • February 20, 2024

    Google Says UCL, Other Claims In AI Training Lawsuit Fail

    SAN FRANCISCO — Vague allegations and hypothetical damages involving the scraping of websites and other sources for data used in the training of artificial intelligence cannot form the basis of California unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims because the potential usage was adequately disclosed and individuals lack a privacy interest in information they themselves publicly disclosed, Google LLC tells a federal judge in California in seeking dismissal.