Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • February 14, 2024

    GitHub, Microsoft, Coders To Confer Over Discovery In AI Copyright Licensing Row

    OAKLAND, Calif. — In a dispute over licensing and attribution of computer code in open-source artificial intelligence (AI) collaborations, a California federal judge scolded defendants GitHub Inc. and Microsoft Corp. and five John Doe plaintiffs for not complying with the proper procedures for submitting discovery letters, leading him to deny the relief sought by the parties and to once again order them to meet and confer over their remaining discovery disputes.

  • February 13, 2024

    RIAA, MPA, Other Amici Back DOJ In DMCA 1st Amendment Fight

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five trade associations teamed up on an amicus curiae brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in a dispute over the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), telling the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court was right to enforce the statute’s anti-circumvention provision because technological protection measures (TPMs) serve an important role in protecting copyrights and free speech.

  • February 13, 2024

    Amazon Accused Of Unfairly Imposing New Ad-Free Streaming Costs In Class Suit

    SEATTLE — A California resident filed a putative class action in Washington federal court accusing Inc. of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by abruptly inserting ads into its Amazon Prime video streaming services unless subscribers pay a higher monthly fee.

  • February 12, 2024

    Studio To 2nd Circuit: Discovery Rule Applies In Posted Photo Infringement Suit

    NEW YORK — In an appellant reply brief, a photography studio tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it sued over the online posting of its copyrighted pictures within three years of learning of the purported infringing use, making its complaint timely under the “discovery rule.”

  • February 09, 2024

    Amici Tell High Court Feds Coerced Social Media To Censor, Violate 1st Amendment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Atlantic Legal Foundation (ALF) filed one of several amicus curiae briefs on Feb. 8 supporting the respondents who sued to halt federal government parties from coercing social media platforms to censor their users’ speech, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to find that this censorship of disfavored speech, much of it related to COVID-19 and related issues, violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • February 09, 2024

    FTC, States Oppose Amazon’s Motion To Dismiss Sherman Act Monopolization Claims

    SEATTLE — In a brief opposing a motion by Inc. to dismiss claims that it monopolizes online retailing markets, the Federal Trade Commission and a group of 17 states that joined it in a complaint tell a Washington federal court that they “seek to end Amazon’s monopoly maintenance scheme, restore the competition Amazon has quashed, and prevent a recurrence of Amazon’s illegal behavior.”

  • February 08, 2024

    Judge Rules In Apple’s Favor In Challenge Brought By Heartbeat App Developer

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge entered final judgment in favor of Apple Inc. after entering a sealed order granting Apple’s motion for summary judgment on claims that it violated federal antitrust law and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by allegedly violating its patents for heart rate tracking technology tailored for the Apple Watch to monopolize the market.

  • February 07, 2024

    In Supplemental Briefs, Crypto Firm, Clients Debate Arbitration Clause’s Validity

    SAN FRANCISCO — In the wake of rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a cryptocurrency exchange and three of its clients who sued over funds lost in hacking and phishing schemes on Feb. 6 filed supplemental remand briefs in California federal court in which they dispute whether the Ninth Circuit’s finding that a 2021 user agreement (UA) was enforceable and not unconscionable applies to a 2022 UA.

  • February 07, 2024

    Online News Site Suffers Blow; Panel Says Use Of Copyrighted Photo Not Fair

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Independent Journal Review (IJR) must face allegations that it infringed a copyrighted photograph of musician Ted Nugent without a defense of copyright invalidity in place, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 6.

  • February 06, 2024

    Union Argues It’s Not Liable For Flight Attendant’s Online Speech Firing

    NEW ORLEANS — A Southwest Airlines Co. flight attendant’s firing in connection with her social media messages, including some about abortion, was not influenced by the union of which she was a nonmember objector, the union argues in a reply brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in three consolidated appeals filed after the trial court awarded the flight attendant damages and ordered her reinstatement.

  • February 06, 2024

    Justice Kagan Denies Firm’s Petition To Enjoin Apple’s ‘Censorship Of Software’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A software company that pursued monopolization claims against Apple Inc. after its coronavirus tracing app was rejected from distribution at Apple’s App Store saw its bid for injunctive relief from the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment on Feb. 5 by Justice Elena Kagan.

  • February 06, 2024

    IPhone Owners’ Experts Deemed Reliable; Antitrust Class Against Apple Certified

    SAN FRANCISCO — Almost two years after a group of iPhone owners’ first attempt at class certification was denied, a California federal judge found that they had cured deficiencies in their experts’ testimony, leading her to conclude that the plaintiffs had now satisfied the predominance requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), making class certification appropriate in an antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc.

  • February 06, 2024

    Parties Debate Injunction Record, Await Ruling In OpenAI Trademark Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — OpenAI Inc. submitted what it portrays as an administrative motion to supplement the record but really is a local-rule-breaking attempt at filing a surreply in support of its motion for a preliminary injunction and fails to show the type of confusion the relief it seeks would warrant, defendants in a suit over a trademark and domain name argue in an opposition brief filed in California federal court.

  • February 05, 2024

    Judge: Apple’s Suit Against Alleged Hackers Belongs In California, Not Israel

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge denied two Israeli technology companies’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by Apple Inc. based on a forum non conveniens defense, finding that Apple’s claims that the defendants violated federal and California law by allegedly developing malware to hack into Apple’s servers and consumer products may be heard in California.

  • February 05, 2024

    States To High Court: Affirm Injunction Of Government’s Social Media Coercion

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Noting the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ finding that the federal government has engaged in “a coordinated campaign” of coercing social media platforms to censor disfavored speech, Missouri, Louisiana and other parties (Missouri parties, collectively) urge the U.S. Supreme Court in their Feb. 2 respondent brief to uphold an injunction preventing the government from continuing such violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution “that jeopardized a fundamental aspect of American life.”

  • February 05, 2024

    Online Marketplace Operator Not Liable For Users’ Murder, 10th Circuit Finds

    DENVER — The operator of the Letgo online marketplace platform is not liable for the murder of a Colorado couple at the hands of a purported seller they met through the website, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, affirming a trial court’s finding that Letgo did not act negligently or cause the couple’s murder.

  • February 02, 2024

    Judgment Issued Against ‘Bitcoin Beautee’ After Settling SEC’s Ponzi Scheme Claims

    BALTIMORE — Days after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against a Maryland woman and an Australian man accusing them of orchestrating a cryptocurrency scheme that defrauded investors out of billions of dollars, a federal judge in Maryland issued a judgment against the woman, noting that she consented to the judgment and waived her right to appeal.

  • February 01, 2024

    Hearst, Photographer Argue In High Court Briefs Over Copyright Discovery Rule

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a reply brief supporting its petition for certiorari, Hearst Newspapers LLC asserts that the U.S. Supreme Court “has never applied a discovery rule to the Copyright Act” and has twice left the question open, representing that the present copyright dispute over the online use of photographs, presents “a simple and clean record” for the court to resolve the “flawed” reasons that circuits have applied the atextual rule.

  • February 01, 2024

    EBay Agrees To $59M Settlement For CSA Violation In Pill Press Machine Sales

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Jan. 31 that eBay Inc. will pay $59 million to settle allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by selling thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines through its website.

  • January 31, 2024

    SEC Says In Complaint Crypto Ponzi Scheme Swindled Investors Out Of $1.7B

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland woman and an Australian man ran a cryptocurrency-based Ponzi scheme that bilked investors around the world out of $1.7 billion, the Securities and Exchange Commission says in a complaint filed in a Maryland federal court.

  • January 31, 2024

    California Panel Says Homeowner’s Online Posts Against Contractor Are Not Protected

    LOS ANGELES — A homeowner’s online posts criticizing repair work performed by a general contractor are not protected by litigation privilege because the posts had no substantial relationship to any litigation, a California panel found in affirming the trial court’s decision to deny the homeowner’s motion to strike the contractor’s complaint for libel.

  • January 30, 2024

    Amici Tell Justices Coinbase Cannot Enforce Arbitration Provision

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A trio of scholars, a voluntary bar association and a consumer advocacy organization filed amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 29 supporting a group of sweepstakes entrants who contend that unlawful lottery and unfair competition class claims against Coinbase Inc. are not barred by an arbitration provision because a subsequent forum selection clause within the sweepstakes’ rules established that they did not consent to the superseded arbitration provision.

  • January 29, 2024

    Solicitor General Seeks High Court Argument Time In Social Media 1st Amendment Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Amid a flurry of 20 amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the attorneys general of Florida and Texas and those states’ social media anti-censorship laws, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the United States, seeking to participate as amicus in upcoming Feb. 26 oral arguments to address the application of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • January 29, 2024

    No Laughing Matter: Dudesy AI Sued Over George Carlin Comedy Video

    LOS ANGELES — Individuals using an artificial intelligence created and publicly posted a “click-bait” video of deceased comedian George Carlin without authorization for the use of his likeness or any license to use copyrighted material, the comedian’s representatives allege in a lawsuit filed in California federal court.

  • January 23, 2024

    WhatsApp, NSO Defend Discovery Requests In Spyware Dispute

    OAKLAND, Calif. — WhatsApp Inc. asks a California federal court to order defendant NSO Group Technologies Limited to submit documents related to all the different types of spyware that the Israeli company used to spy on its users in a reply brief supporting its motion to compel discovery responses, while the defendant maintains that it is entitled to information about the company that aided the plaintiff in its investigation related to the claimed surveillance of WhatsApp users.