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Category Archives: Online Commerce

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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

California Supreme Court Denies Review of Ruling Allowing Restaurant Owner’s False Advertising Claims to Proceed Against Yelp

Posted in Online Commerce, Online Content

On November 12, 2014, the California Supreme Court denied review of the California Court of Appeals decision in Demetriades v. Yelp, Inc., 2014 WL 3661491 (Cal. App. July 24, 2014), which allowed a restaurant owner to proceed with false advertising and other claims against the consumer review site Yelp based upon Yelp’s marketing claims regarding… Continue Reading

Website Marketing Statements: The Achilles’Heel to CDA Protection?

Posted in Online Commerce, Online Content

It’s no secret that local directory/consumer review websites are popular among consumers looking for recommendations before dining out, hiring a contractor, or even picking a dentist or day spa. Yelp reported around 138 million monthly unique visitors in the second quarter of 2014, searching among over 61 million local reviews.  The bottom line is that… Continue Reading

Browsewrap Agreement Held Unenforceable Against Consumer Due to Insufficient Notice

Posted in Contracts, Online Commerce

Many commercial websites rely on “browsewrap” agreements to bind visitors to commercial terms. A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit suggests that a review of how those terms are presented may be in order to ensure enforceability. A browsewrap agreement is a set of terms which is accessible via a hyperlink located on the pages… Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Investor Alert Concerning Bitcoin Trading and Speculation

Posted in Digital Currency, Online Commerce, Regulatory, Technology

Bitcoin remains fixed on the front pages of the business and technology news for both the salacious and the positive. Much attention has been paid to the collapse of the former top bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, stemming from the purported theft of nearly $500 million in bitcoins.  The temporary suspension of trading in the securities… Continue Reading

Restore Online Confidence Act Outlaws Online “Data Pass” Transactions and Limits Negative Option Marketing

Posted in Online Commerce

The lame duck Congress that reconvened following the November elections wasn’t expected to do much, but some legislation got pushed out at the eleventh hour (or perhaps, the one-hundred-and-eleventh hour), including the "Restore Online Confidence Act," S. 3386 (111th Cong., 2d Sess. 2010), sponsored by Sen. John D. Rockefeller, IV. The Act was introduced following… Continue Reading

What If I Told You Somebody Was Scribbling on Your Web Site?

Posted in Online Commerce

Let’s say that anybody could write comments on your Web site that were visible to third parties and that you couldn’t prevent it. Those comments might include links to competitive Web sites or products, defamatory statements, or just unwelcome negative comments. And let’s say that your only recourse, if you felt the comments were inappropriate,… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Enforces Disclaimers in Consumer Online Clickwrap Terms of Service

Posted in Contracts, Online Commerce

In Doe v. SexSearch.com, Inc., the Sixth Circuit considered the appeal of a user of the SexSearch online dating service from dismissal of his breach of contract, fraud and other state law claims (based on Ohio law) against the service for its failure to screen out underage minors. Doe was arrested and charged with unlawful… Continue Reading

UCC, Not Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, Governs Formation of Contract by Exchange of E-Mails

Posted in Online Commerce

The Uniform Electronic Transactions Act was adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1999. Both the UETA and its companion federal enactment, the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, Pub.L. 109-229 (June 30, 2000) were adopted during a flurry of concern about the enforceability of electronic contracts that… Continue Reading

Between Commercial Parties, Online Agreement with “No Notice” Modification Clause Held Enforceable and Not Unconscionable

Posted in Online Commerce

Disputes over the enforceability of Web site modifications to an agreement, based on claims of unconscionability, typically involve a consumer opposing the enforcement efforts of commercial party. An example of such a case is Comb v. PayPal, 218 F.Supp. 2d 1165, 1174 (N.D.Cal. 2002), in which the district court refused to enforce a provision in… Continue Reading