Susan Ross (US)

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Videos on social media

On November 27, 2023, a federal trial court in California ruled on a motion to dismiss a complaint involving a website that included videos and social media features.  The court found for the defendant and dismissed the class action complaint, which alleged that the site violated the federal Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA).  The dismissal … Continue reading

Social media ad leads to punitive damages

On September 28, 2023, a federal trial court in Texas ruled that an advertisement on a restaurant’s social media accounts helped support an award of punitive damages against the restaurant.  G&G Closed Circuit Events, LLC v. No Te Levantes Honey, LLC, Civ. No. 4:22-cv-00986-P, 2023 WL 6311521 (N.D. Tex. Sept. 28, 2023). Facts The case … Continue reading

Social media, copyright, and fair use

On August 16, 2023, a federal trial court in Texas ruled on a copyright matter involving a factual video that went viral on social media.  At the motion to dismiss stage, the issue the court faced was whether the affirmative defense of fair use applied to a defendant who used the video to promote his … Continue reading

Electric cooperative, internet service, and social media

On July 14, 2023, a federal trial court in Oklahoma ruled on an electric cooperative’s motions to dismiss  various breach of contract, trade secret, deceptive trade practices, and tortious interference claims brought by its former business collaborator, an internet service provider.  The court allowed most of the challenged claims to proceed after reviewing the alleged … Continue reading

Misappropriation of confidential information

On February 8, 2023, a federal trial court in New Jersey ruled that login credentials were a trade secret and also addressed the concept of “misappropriation of confidential information,” in a case where one party was accused of locking the other party out of its own social media pages.  CLI Interactive, LLC v. Diamond Phil’s, … Continue reading

Photo backgrounds and copyright infringement

Many companies post photos on social media in order to promote their businesses.  A recent federal court ruling demonstrates how simple it is to become subject to a copyright infringement lawsuit because of the background of the photo.  (Petersen v. Diesel Power Gear LLC, No. 1:21-cv-08827 (SDA) (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 21, 2022) (2022 WL 17832314).) Background … Continue reading

Photos and Social Media

We have previously written on how expensive it can be to copy photos found on social media and use them for commercial purposes, as a result of copyright infringement claims.  On October 3, 2022, the Ninth Circuit explored a few more copyright issues, specifically:  who can bring the lawsuit, who controls social media pages, and … Continue reading

IOSCO, finfluencers, and social media

In December 2021, our post Federal Reserve and social media, highlighted sections of the Federal Reserve Financial Stability Report which demonstrated the Fed’s focus on the role of social media and retail investors in equity market volatility.  In March 2022, the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) followed suit, and also turned … Continue reading

Social media and cryptocurrency fraud

Creators of fraudulent crypto assets beware.  A recent court decision supported investors, creators and marketers of legitimate crypto assets, and the integrity of the crypto asset market as a whole. While the creator of BitConnect remains at large and is facing his own indictment for his role in the scheme that allegedly defrauded investors of … Continue reading

Nikola Corporation agrees to pay $125 million to settle SEC investor fraud case

In December 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that Nikola Corporation (“Nikola”) agreed to pay $125 million to settle charges that the company allegedly defrauded investors and misled them about its products, technical advancements, and commercial prospects. Nikola did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings.   Earlier that same year, the SEC filed … Continue reading

Federal Reserve and social media

In November of 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) issued its Federal Reserve Financial Stability Report, a biannual report focused on potential risks to the financial system.  In this issue, the Fed highlighted the role of social media and retail investors in equity market volatility.… Continue reading

Positively negative: Lack of social media helps defeat default judgment motion

On November 2, 2021, a federal trial court in New York issued an opinion that combined breakfast restaurants, social media, trademarks, and COVID.  The judge ultimately ruled against the registered trademark owner’s request for a default judgment, in part based upon the defendant’s lack of social media advertising.  BYC, Inc. v. Broken Yolk, civ. no. … Continue reading

Social Media and Jurisdiction under FRCP 4(k)(2

On August 27, 2021, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an international trademark dispute where U.S. jurisdiction hinged on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2).  Reversing the trial court, the Ninth Circuit ruled that personal jurisdiction existed over an Australian skin care product company, based in part on that company’s actions on … Continue reading

Is social media regulation on the way?

So far, 2021 has seen some social media businesses implementing content takedowns, rolling internal reforms and banning high-profile individuals and applications from using their services.  It has caused some tech commentators to question recently whether this could be a defining moment in determining how social media businesses moderate content published on their platforms. Some are … Continue reading

Social media and Satan: pitfalls of losing control of brand social media accounts

Be careful whom you entrust with administrator access to your brand’s social media accounts. If an administrator does use your brand’s social media accounts beyond their permitted use, you should formally revoke their authority to access the accounts to allow potential legal action based on their unauthorized use after the revocation.… Continue reading

Social media – trademarks, accounts, and names

On March 4, 2021, a federal trial court in New York issued a preliminary injunction that halted a bridal gown designer and social media influencer from using her social media accounts without her former employer’s permission. JLM Couture, Inc. v. Gutman, No. 20 CV 10575-LTS-SLC (S.D.N.Y. March 4, 2021) (2021 WL 827749).… Continue reading

Social media and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Given all the recent headlines about data theft as well as a resurgence of interest in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a December 18, 2020 ruling from a federal trial court in Colorado may be of interest to our readers. MCS Safety Solutions, LLC v. Trivent Safety Consulting, LLC, No. 19-cv-00938-MEH (D. Colo. … Continue reading

Social media, photographs, and fair use

We have previously written about the lawsuits that can result from unauthorized uses of photographs, but on November 2, 2020, a federal trial court in New York issued a ruling regarding use of a photo from a social media site that was “fair use” under the copyright laws. (Boesen, v. United Sports Publications, Ltd., 20-CV-1552 … Continue reading
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