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New Media and Technology Law Blog

Category Archives: Internet

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Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act: More Lessons to Be Learned

Posted in Internet, Online Content

Courts continue to struggle with the application of CDA immunity to shield service provider defendants from liability in extreme cases. In this case, the Washington Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, affirmed the lower court’s decision to allow a suit to proceed against classified service Backpage.com surrounding the sexual assault of several minors by adult customers… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Net Neutrality Rules, Reclassifies Broadband Access under Title II

Posted in Internet, Regulatory

After nearly 4 million public comments, and months of vigorous public, industry, and Congressional debate, the FCC, by a 3-2 vote, approved revised net neutrality rules to “protect the Open Internet.”  As expected by the Chairman’s statements in the lead-up to the vote, the FCC’s Open Internet Order reclassifies broadband internet access as a “telecommunications… Continue Reading

QVC Sues Shopping App for Web Scraping That Allegedly Triggered Site Outage

Posted in Contracts, Internet, Online Commerce

Operators of public-facing websites are typically concerned about the unauthorized, technology-based extraction of large volumes of information from their sites, often by competitors or others in related businesses.  The practice, usually referred to as screen scraping, web harvesting, crawling or spidering, has been the subject of many questions and a fair amount of litigation over… Continue Reading

Staving Off Scrapers of User-Generated Content with Electronic Copyright Transfers… A Legal (But, Perhaps Not a Practical) Solution

Posted in Copyright, Internet, Licensing, Online Content

It’s a problem that has vexed website owners since the days of the dot-com boom – how to make certain user-generated content available to users or subscribers, but also prevent competitors and other unauthorized parties from scraping, linking to or otherwise accessing that content for their own commercial purposes. The law on scraping and linking… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit to Construe Scope of CDA Section 230 Immunity on Appeal of Unusual Jones v. Dirty World Decision

Posted in Internet, Online Content

How can a website operator lose the broad immunity for liability associated with user-generated content conferred by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA)?  Section 230 has been consistently interpreted by most courts to protect website operators against claims arising out of third-party content, despite some less than honorable conduct by operators.  See, for… Continue Reading

Infringing Copyright? Think Twice Before Removing the Copyright Notice–It Could be Deemed “Copyright Management Information” Under the DMCA

Posted in Copyright, Internet

A simple copyright notice (e.g., “© [Year of First Publication] [Owner]”) on a website can imply an assertion of ownership in individual elements of the website and constitute “copyright management information” under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a Texas district court held.  A Texas investment company learned this lesson the hard way when it… Continue Reading

SEC Has Conditional “Like” for Social Media Disclosures by Securities Issuers—A Reason to Reevaluate Electronic Communications Policies and Practices

Posted in Internet, Technology

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission gave disclosures made through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter a conditional “thumbs up” in a Report of Investigation it released on April 2, 2013.  Issuers of securities, the SEC stated, can use social media to disseminate material, nonpublic information without having to make any other disclosures… Continue Reading

No “Internet Exceptionalism” For the Second Circuit in Attorney Advertising Ethics Ruling

Posted in First Amendment, Internet

"Internet exceptionalism" is the notion that the Internet is a special and unique communications medium to which special rules should apply. In the legal field, that notion is manifested in legal rules that have been crafted by judges, legislatures and regulators for application in situations involving Internet communications. In some cases the creation of an… Continue Reading

ICANN Release Draft Guidebook for New Top Level Domain Applications

Posted in Internet

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that is responsible for the allocation of Internet domain names and IP addresses, is about to launch a new program that will  permit organizations to create and operate generic top-level domains (“gTLD”s) (e.g., .com, .net, etc.).  Last week, ICANN released a draft version of… Continue Reading

Parker v. Search Engines, Part II: Challenge to Search Engine Caching Dismissed on Most (But Not All) Grounds

Posted in Internet

  The practice of search engine crawling and caching of Web site content has infrequently been litigated. (The Perfect 10 case is a significant exception.) This may be because most Web site operators want their content to be indexed and available on search engines. Those Web site operators that do not want their content copied… Continue Reading