Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • June 22, 2017

    High Court Denies MP3Tunes Founder’s Jurisdictional Challenge In Copyright Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its June 19 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari by the founder of now-defunct online music-sharing service MP3Tunes LLC, who argued that neither he nor his former company had sufficient contacts with New York to establish personal jurisdiction over him in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by a group of record labels (Michael Robertson v. EMI Christian Music Group, et al., No. 16-1227, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3969).

  • June 22, 2017

    Copyright Defendant Zillow Partly Prevails Following Adverse $8.2 Million Verdict

    SEATTLE — Jurors who in February deemed Zillow Inc. an infringer of 28,125 copyrighted images did not hear sufficient evidence from which to conclude that Zillow failed to take “simple measures” to remove the works from its “Zillow Digs” mobile app, a Washington federal judge ruled June 20 (VHT Inc. v. Zillow Group Inc., No. 15-1096, W.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95010).

  • June 21, 2017

    Debit Card Firm To 11th Circuit: Crime Protection Policy Covered Chit Fraud Loss

    ATLANTA — Arguing that an $11 million debit card fraud scheme utilized its computer system, a card management firm argues in a June 13 brief to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a trial court erred in finding that its crime protection insurer was not obligated to provide coverage for the resulting loss under a computer fraud provision (Hi Technology Corp., et al. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 17-11712, 11th Cir.).

  • June 19, 2017

    Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Dancing Baby Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a May amicus brief from the U.S. government urging that certiorari be denied in a longstanding copyright dispute over a viral video, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 indicated that it will not hear the case (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 19, 2017

    Supreme Court Deems North Carolina Sex Offender Social Media Ban Unconstitutional

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — While acknowledging the importance of enacting laws to protect children from sexual predators online, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 19 issued majority and concurring opinions finding that a North Carolina sex offender registry law violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it “impermissibly restricts lawful speech” and is not sufficiently tailored (Lester Gerard Packingham v. State of North Carolina, No. 15-1194, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3871).

  • June 14, 2017

    Judge Deems Winn-Dixie’s Website Not Accessible To The Blind Under The ADA

    MIAMI — Ruling in favor of a legally blind man, a Florida federal judge on June 13 found that a supermarket chain’s website was not accessible to visually impaired patrons and ordered the chain to undertake remediation measures to bring its site in compliance with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Juan Carlos Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., No. 1:16-cv-23020, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90204).

  • June 14, 2017

    DOJ Defends Seizing Of Foreign Megaupload Assets To Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a June 7 brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) opposes a petition for certiorari by former executives of the now-defunct file-sharing service Megaupload, arguing that a trial court properly deemed them fugitives and ordered seizure of their foreign-held assets in accordance with the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (CAFRA) (Finn Batato, et al. v. United States of America, No. 16-1206, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 14, 2017

    Federal Circuit Finds Amazon Not Liable For Third Party’s Infringing Goods

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Washington federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations that Amazon.com Inc. infringes the intellectual property of others through its online marketplace and “Fulfillment by Amazon” service, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 16-1290, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8932).

  • June 13, 2017

    Copyright Claim Over Reposted Skyline Photo Dismissed Against Government Official

    INDIANAPOLIS — A photographer failed to establish any individual liability against the director of a government agency related to the unauthorized posting of a copyrighted photograph, an Indiana federal judge ruled June 12, granting dismissal of infringement and unfair competition claims against the official (Richard N. Bell v. David N. Powell, et al., No. 1:16-cv-02491, S.D. Ind., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89587).

  • June 12, 2017

    Voluntary Dismissal Of Xbox Class Action Barred Appellate Review, High Court Rules

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The voluntary dismissal with prejudice of class claims against Microsoft Corp. over allegedly defective Xbox 360 gaming consoles deprived an appeals court of jurisdiction under 28 U.S. Code Section 1291, a U.S. Supreme Court majority ruled June 12, reversing a ruling of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Microsoft Corp. v. Seth Baker, et al., No. 15-457, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3721).

  • June 9, 2017

    Journalist Files Defamation Suit Over Blogger’s ‘White Power’ Tweet

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a complaint filed June 1 in District of Columbia federal court, one internet journalist sued another for defamation over a Twitter posting that she says falsely insinuated that she is a white supremacist (Cassandra Fairbanks v. Emma Roller, No. 1:17-cv-01052, D. D.C.).

  • June 9, 2017

    Magistrate: Failure To Preserve Browser Histories Negligent, Not Sanctionable

    WILMINGTON, N.C. — Although the defendant in a libel suit was negligent in failing to preserve the internet browser histories of its employees for discovery purposes, a North Carolina federal magistrate judge on June 7 found no evidence of intentional conduct that would merit the sanction of adverse jury instructions sought by the plaintiff (Frederic N. Eshelman v. Puma Biotechnology Inc., No. 7:16-cv-00018, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87282).

  • June 9, 2017

    YouTube User Says High Court Review Of DMCA Fair Use Is Needed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a May 19 supplemental brief in the U.S. Supreme Court, filed in response to an amicus curiae brief filed by the U.S. government, a woman whose video was removed from YouTube for purported copyright violation, argues that her petition for certiorari should be granted to ensure that the safe harbor parameters of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), such as fair use, “are properly construed” (Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., et al., No. 16-217, U.S. Sup.).

  • June 6, 2017

    Jury Awards Database Firm Over $3.7M In Trade Secrets Theft Verdict

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal court jury on May 11 awarded an institutional research database firm a more than $3.7 million verdict on claims that an investment firm computer software sales and services provider illegally obtained the database firm’s confidential and trade secrets information through use of client login credentials and used the information to compete with the financial data uploading business (eVestment Alliance LLC v. Compass iTech LLC, No. 14-81241, S.D. Fla.).

  • June 6, 2017

    Click Fraud Class Complaint Over Google AdWords Program Dismissed

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A small business owner that alleged fraud and misrepresentation by Google Inc. due to click fraud associated with its AdWords program saw his putative class complaint dismissed June 2 by a California federal judge who found a lack of facts to support the plaintiff’s unfair competition and false advertising claims (Gurminder Singh v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85196).

  • June 2, 2017

    Twitter Tells 9th Circuit Terror Victims’ Families’ Suit Was Properly Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — In a May 31 brief, Twitter Inc. asks the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm dismissal of a lawsuit brought against it by family members of two terror victims under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), citing the plaintiffs’ failure to establish liability for a terrorist’s actions, as well as the safe harbor provision of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) (Tamara Fields, et al. v. Twitter Inc., No. 16-17165, 9th Cir.).

  • June 2, 2017

    VirnetX Appeals To Federal Circuit, Disputes Prior Art Ruling By Board

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that prior art qualified as a “printed publication” within the meaning of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 102(b), came under fire in a recent brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2017-1131, -1132, -1186, -1274, -1275, -1276, -1291, Fed. Cir.).

  • June 2, 2017

    2nd Circuit Affirms Conviction, Life Sentence Of Silk Road Creator

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 31 affirmed a seven-count criminal conviction against Ross William Ulbricht, the founder of online criminal marketplace Silk Road, and upheld a trial court’s imposition of a life sentence, finding that it was not unreasonable given the magnitude of criminal conduct (United States of America v. Ross William Ulbricht, No. 15-1815, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9517).

  • June 1, 2017

    ‘Used’ Digital Music Seller Tells 2nd Circuit It Makes No Infringing Copies

    NEW YORK — In a May 19 reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a digital music reseller insists that it does not make infringing copies of “used” music files that it purchases from users of its service, asking the court to vacate a copyright infringement liability judgment against it (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. ReDigi Inc., et al., No. 16-2321, 2nd Cir.).

  • May 26, 2017

    EEOC Sues Over Firing Of Transgender Man For Website Posting

    SAN FRANCISCO — Stating that a transgender man was terminated in retaliation for his posting on an employer-rating website that criticized the employer’s purported discriminatory practices the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 24 filed a complaint on the employee’s behalf in California federal court, alleging violation of federal anti-discrimination statutes (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. IXL Learning Inc., No. 3:17-cv-029979, N.D. Calif.).