Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • June 19, 2024

    Star Tribune’s $2.9M Video Privacy Protection Act Class Settlement Granted Final OK

    MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge in Minnesota granted final approval of a $2.9 million settlement to be paid by Star Tribune Media Co. LLC to end class claims alleging that it violated the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) when it shared its website subscribers’ video viewing history with Facebook.

  • June 18, 2024

    Claims Over Hotel’s Use Of Minors’ Photo On Instagram, Website Dismissed

    LOS ANGELES — Citing issues of preemption and shotgun pleadings, a California federal judge dismissed claims of copyright infringement, unfair competition and misappropriation, among others, that were brought against a hotel for its online use of an Instagram picture of two minors that purportedly exceeded any consent granted by the copyright holder.

  • June 17, 2024

    ABA Appeals Denial Of Motion To Intervene In FTC Antitrust Suit Against Amazon

    SEATTLE — The American Booksellers Association (ABA) filed a notice on June 14 in Washington federal court that it is appealing to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a judge’s denial of its motion to intervene in a lawsuit in which the Federal Trade Commission and a group of U.S. states accuse Amazon.com Inc. of monopolizing “the online retail economy.”

  • June 17, 2024

    Judge Affirms Jury Verdict, Award Against Creators Of Video Game Cheat

    SEATTLE — Affirming a jury’s finding that five defendants infringed copyrights in the popular Destiny 2 video game series by creating a cheat for it that they sold online, a Washington federal judge also entered a permanent injunction and a monetary judgment of $63,210 in favor of the video game developer, per the jury’s recommendation.

  • June 17, 2024

    Magistrate Judge Allows Amended Breach Of Contract Claim Against Payroll Company

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge granted a company’s motion to amend its breach of contract claim that was previously dismissed with prejudice against a software provider after finding the plaintiff pleaded a new theory in its suit claiming the provider breached the parties’ contract by ceasing to provide access to certain software after 20 years.

  • June 17, 2024

    StubHub, Ticket Purchasers Dismiss 28 Class Claims In Pandemic Cancellation Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — StubHub Inc. and the ticket purchasers who accuse StubHub in a consolidated class complaint in a federal court in California of changing its refund policies for events canceled or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic filed a stipulation to dismiss 28 of the 31 claims, leaving in place claims under California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL).

  • June 14, 2024

    9th Circuit Denies Apple’s Bid To Appeal Class Certification In IPhone Antitrust Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — A pair of Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judges denied a petition by Apple Inc. to pursue an interlocutory appeal of a district court’s certification of a class of users of iPhones and other devices in a suit alleging anticompetitive practices by the tech giant related to apps and in-app purchases (IAPs).

  • June 12, 2024

    5th Circuit Grants Airline Stay Of ‘Religious-Liberty Training’ Pending Appeal

    NEW ORLEANS — An order that Southwest Airlines Co. lawyers attend “religious-liberty training” as a sanction in a flight attendant’s case over her firing for online speech “likely exceeded the district court’s civil contempt authority,” a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled, granting Southwest’s motion for a stay pending appeal.

  • June 11, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Washington Post Subscribers’ ‘False Reference Pricing’ Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 10 dismissed two Washington Post subscribers’ putative class action claims that the newspaper’s publisher violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws by allegedly deceptively marketing its prices for subscriptions and denied the publisher’s motion to transfer to the District of Columbia.

  • June 11, 2024

    United States Denied Jury Trial In Antitrust Suit Over Google Ad Tech

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — After arguing that civil antitrust claims brought by the government are usually resolved of via a bench trial, Google LLC saw its motion to strike a jury trial request by the U.S. government and 17 states granted by a Virginia federal judge who also set a date for a bench trial in the lawsuit in which the tech giant is accused of monopolizing the online digital advertising market.

  • June 11, 2024

    X Takes Nondisclosure Order 1st Amendment Fight Over Trump Warrant To High Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Citing constitutional issues that it calls “critically important and recurring,” X Corp. (formerly Twitter Inc.) filed a petition for certiorari in which it asks the U.S. Supreme Court to offer guidance on when a nondisclosure order (NDO) served on an electronic communications service provider along with a warrant seeking private communications violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • June 10, 2024

    Librarian-Promulgated DMCA Rules Reviewable Under APA, Panel Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Librarian of Congress must face a legal challenge to a 2021 final rule that exempts repairers of medical equipment from allegations of circumventing technological protection measures (TPMs) for copyrighted works, with a divided District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 7 deeming sovereign immunity waived.

  • June 06, 2024

    Couple Defends ‘Child Exploitation’ Claims Against Roblox In Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Parents who bought their minor children in-game currency for use in Roblox Corp.’s online gaming platform filed briefs in California federal court opposing Roblox’s motions to dismiss or compel arbitration of their suit accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws, arguing that their claims that it designed its game to addict kids are not arbitrable.

  • June 04, 2024

    Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Animal Rights Activist’s UCL Suit Against Google

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appellate panel on June 3 affirmed a state court’s dismissal of an animal rights organization’s lawsuit against Google LLC, finding Google immune from the organization’s claims that Google violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breached a user contract by enticing the nonprofit into joining Google’s YouTube video platform while hosting videos depicting animal abuse.

  • June 04, 2024

    No Cybersecurity Coverage Owed For Phishing Scam Losses, California Panel Affirms

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California appeals panel on June 3 affirmed a lower court’s ruling that an insurer owes no coverage for an insured’s losses arising from a phishing scam, determining that the insured failed to assert a “direct financial loss” to trigger coverage under the cybersecurity insurance policy.

  • June 04, 2024

    Trump, Author Tell 9th Circuit High Court Ruling Boosts Government Coercion Claims

    PASADENA, Calif. — In a June 3 filing, in which he was joined by a group of other Twitter users also alleging censorship of their accounts in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, former President Donald J. Trump informed the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that he joined in a notice of supplemental authority by a co-appellant who asserts that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of the National Rifle Association (NRA) supports the present appellants’ contention that governmental coercion improperly led to the suspension of their social media accounts.

  • June 04, 2024

    Judge Won’t Compel Class Member To Arbitrate New Gambling Claims

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on June 3 denied a motion by gambling game makers to compel arbitration of claims brought against them by a consumer who was a member of a class that previously settled claims relating to one of the games at issue, finding that the consumer made clear her intent to opt out of an arbitration agreement, but the judge dismissed her illegal gambling claim as precluded by the previous settlement.

  • May 30, 2024

    COMMENTARY: Generative AI, Cybersecurity And Cybercrime For Lawyers: Myths, Risks And Benefits

    By Dr. Ilia Kolochenko and Michael P. Heiskell

  • May 31, 2024

    Adult Entertainers Denied Motion To Drop Their Claims Against Meta, OnlyFans

    SAN FRANCISCO — Citing the “time and effort” expended in a putative class action alleging tortious interference and unfair competition by Meta Platforms Inc. in blacklisting social media posts by most adult entertainment (AE) providers in favor of the OnlyFans AE platform, a California federal judge denied a motion by the three lead AE performer plaintiffs to dismiss their suit due to an inability to achieve class certification under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).

  • May 30, 2024

    Judge Certifies Privacy, Publicity Rights Class Action Against Data Aggregator

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on May 29 granted a group of plaintiffs’ motion to certify a class action against a personal information data-aggregator website on behalf of two statewide classes accusing the company of violating plaintiffs’ rights of publicity and against misappropriation of name and likeness and denied the parties’ competing motions to exclude each other’s experts.

  • May 28, 2024

    ISP Tells 4th Circuit Labels’ Misconduct Merits Relief, Discovery In Copyright Row

    RICHMOND, Va. — An internet service provider (ISP), which was found liable for its subscribers’ infringing behavior in downloading copyrighted songs, entreaties the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that it was wrongly deprived of the opportunity to conduct additional discovery and seek relief from the infringement judgment after it was discovered that the plaintiff record labels engaged in discovery misconduct by withholding and misrepresenting evidence from their investigation firm that was used against the ISP at trial.

  • May 23, 2024

    High Court: Courts Decide Which Competing Contracts, Arbitration Clauses Govern

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a situation where parties have agreed to competing contracts or arbitration clauses regarding how to resolve claims in a dispute, it is a court’s job to decide which contract governs, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 23 in a suit between a cryptocurrency exchange and a group of its users.

  • May 22, 2024

    Bankruptcy Judge OKs Crypto Company’s $2B Settlement With New York AG

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal bankruptcy judge in New York approved a settlement between bankrupt cryptocurrency platforms and the New York Attorney General’s Office (NYAG) that will resolve claims that the platforms defrauded investors out of billions of dollars; the settlement creates a victim’s fund that will receive up to $2 billion of the platforms’ remaining assets.

  • May 20, 2024

    High Court Won’t Consider Copyright Discovery Rule In Online Photo Use Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hearst Newspapers LLC’s plea that the U.S. Supreme Court settle the application of the atextual discovery rule to the Copyright Act fell on deaf ears, as the high court in its May 20 order list denied the media company’s petition for certiorari in a dispute over its use of a photographer’s copyrighted photographs on the websites of several of its publications.

  • May 16, 2024

    Record Companies Beat Motion To Dismiss; Copyright Claims Over Digitization Proceed

    SAN FRANCISCO — Entities at the helm of the “Great 78 Project” — an initiative dedicated to converting 78 rpm records into digital format and then making the recordings available online for free — were denied dismissal of copyright infringement allegations leveled against them by various recording companies by a federal judge in California on May 15.