Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • March 24, 2017

    Marketing Firm Alleges Computer Fraud, Defamation In Hacking, Spam Incidents

    SPOKANE, Wash. — In a March 21 complaint in Washington federal court, an internet marketing firm charged a well-known hacker with computer fraud, trade secret misappropriation and defamation after its network was accessed without authorization, resulting in emails and articles that have tarnished its reputation and irreparably harmed its business (River City Media LLC, et al. v. Kromtech Alliance Corp., et al., No. 2:17-cv-00105, E.D. Wash.).

  • March 24, 2017

    New Expert Report In Spying Software Suit Struck, Deemed To Be Too Late

    ERIE, Pa. — A second expert report filed by the lead plaintiffs in a proposed class action over spying software when they filed their reply brief in support of their renewed motion for class certification was filed too late, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled March 22, striking the new report (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron’s, Inc., et al., No. 11-101, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41030).

  • March 23, 2017

    Partial Summary Judgment Granted In Apple IPhone Antitrust Class Action

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on March 22 granted in part a motion for summary judgment by Apple Inc., finding that the plaintiffs in a putative antitrust class action failed to establish the primary alleged aftermarket for iPhone voice and data services related to claimed service exclusivity through AT&T Mobility, but the judge deemed a narrower aftermarket related to iPhones not unlocked for service provider exclusivity sufficiently alleged (Zack Ward, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 4:12-cv-05404, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 23, 2017

    3rd Circuit Affirms Contempt Judgment For Refusal To Decrypt Devices

    PHILADELPHIA — A child pornography suspect was correctly found to be in contempt when he refused to comply with a court order requiring him to provide law enforcement with access to external hard drives, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 20, finding that the defendant’s rights under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were not violated (United States of America v. Apple Mac Pro Computer, et al., No. 15-3537, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4874).

  • March 22, 2017

    TV Networks Prevail Before 9th Circuit In Copyright Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — A service that captures copyrighted works broadcast over the air for online retransmission to paying subscribers without the consent of a copyright holder is not eligible for the compulsory license for “cable systems” provided for in Section 111 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §§ 101 et seq., the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 21 (Fox Television Stations Inc., et al. v. Aereokiller LLC, No. 15-56420, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4999).

  • March 21, 2017

    High Court Hears Arguments On Jurisdiction Of Dismissed Defective Xbox Class Action

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 21 heard arguments from Microsoft Corp. and a class of owners of allegedly defective Xbox gaming systems as to whether an appeals court has jurisdiction to consider a class certification appeal after the plaintiffs have voluntarily dismissed their claims with prejudice (Microsoft Corp. v. Seth Baker, et al., No. 15-457, U.S. Sup.).

  • March 20, 2017

    Social Media Aggregator Asks High Court To Review Facebook Computer Fraud Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a March 9 petition for certiorari, a social media aggregator asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judgment that it says incorrectly found a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in the accessing of Facebook Inc. users’ accounts despite having obtained their consent to do so (Power Ventures Inc., et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 16-1105, U.S. Sup.).

  • March 20, 2017

    4th Circuit Finds Gambling In Virtual Casino Was Not A Monetary Loss

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a complaint filed by a player of a video game, finding that her claims for recovery of money spent in a virtual casino did not constitute money lost under Maryland's loss-recovery statute (Mia Mason v. Machine Zone Inc., No. 15-2469, 4th Cir.,  2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4766).

  • March 20, 2017

    Judge: State Officials Immune From SCA Liability For Seized Electronic Records

    MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin federal judge on March 16 found several state officials not liable for violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) in the seizure of an organization’s electronic records as part of an investigation, finding the relevant warrants to have been issued in compliance with the statute and deeming the officials entitled to immunity under the act (The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Inc. v. Francis Schmitz, et al., No. 3:16-cv-00539, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36796).

  • March 16, 2017

    California Federal Judge Denies Cross-Motions On Copyright First-Sale Defense

    SAN FRANCISCO — Competing motions for summary judgment on whether licensing agreements asserted in a third amended complaint (TAC) establish that disputed software is subject to the first-sale defense to allegations of copyright infringement were denied March 14 by a California federal judge (Microsoft Corp. v. A&S Electronics Inc., No. 15-3570, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36477).

  • March 16, 2017

    Record Labels Says Split Exists On If DMCA Immunity Applies For Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is a split between federal and state courts on whether the safe harbor protections from copyright infringement liability that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), 17 U.S. Code Section 512(c), provides for internet service providers also apply to sound recordings from before 1972, record labels argue in their March 7 reply brief with the U.S. Supreme Court (Capitol Records LLC, et al. v. Vimeo LLC, et al., No. 16-771, U.S. Sup.).

  • March 15, 2017

    Omaha Steaks Requests Declarations Over Website ADA Compliance Guidelines

    OMAHA, Neb. — In a declaratory judgment complaint filed Feb. 28, Inc. (Omaha Steaks) asked a Nebraska federal court for three declarations to clarify guidelines and requirements for ensuring that its website complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101, et seq., in providing access for visually impaired persons ( Inc. v. Access Now Inc., et al., No. 8:17-cv-00060, D. Neb.).

  • March 15, 2017

    Buzzfeed Seeks Dismissal Of Defamation Suit Over Russian Hacking Article

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — In a March 14 motion in Florida federal court, New York media firm Buzzfeed Inc. seeks dismissal of a defamation lawsuit over its January online publication of an article over purported Russian attempts to hack the Democratic National Committee (DNC), asserting a lack of jurisdiction because the dispute “has nothing to do with Florida” (Aleksej Gubarev, et al. v. Buzzfeed Inc., et al., No. 0:17-cv-60426, S.D. Fla.).

  • March 15, 2017

    Accused File-Sharer Calls Declaratory Judgment Counterclaim Useful

    CINCINNATI — Even though a copyright holder dismissed its infringement claim against him, a man accused of downloading adult movies tells the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a March 10 reply brief that his declaratory judgment counterclaim should proceed because a continued threat of liability exists (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).

  • March 15, 2017

    Federal Circuit: Review Of Computer Security Patent Was Error

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that a computer security patent is obvious never should have been reached because the board erroneously determined that the invention at issue qualifies as a covered business method (CBM), a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 21 (Secure Axcess LLC v. PNC Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-1353, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2902).

  • March 15, 2017

    Federal Circuit Upholds Ineligibility Ruling Of Data-Processing Patent

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A California federal judge properly dismissed allegations that Sprint Nextel Corp., Apple Inc., Twitter Inc. and others infringed two patents directed to data processing on grounds that the patents in suit are invalid under the Patent Act, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Feb. 17 (Evolutionary Intelligence LLC v. Sprint Nextel Corp., et al., Nos. 2016-1188, -1190, -1191, -1192, -1194, -1195, -1197, -1198, -1199, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2784).

  • March 15, 2017 Had No Duty To Warn User Of Attacker’s Violent Tendencies, Judge Says

    LAS VEGAS — LLC did not have a duty to warn a user of its dating website about another user who violently attacked her, a Nevada federal judge ruled March 10, dismissing the plaintiff’s negligence claim for failure to allege the existence of a special relationship with the site operator that created such a duty (Mary Kay Beckman v. LLC, No. 2:13-cv-00097, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35562).

  • March 14, 2017

    Job Review Site Doesn’t Have To Reveal Anonymous Poster, California Panel Rules

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A company asserting that an ex-employee revealed confidential information in anonymous postings on an employer review website failed to establish the proprietary nature of the information, a California appeals panel ruled March 10, vacating a trial court’s ordering the site to identify the employee (Glassdoor Inc. v. Superior Court of Santa Clara County and Machine Zone Inc., No. H042824, Calif. App. 6th Dist., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 213).

  • March 13, 2017

    Fraudulent Wire Transfer Emails Did Not Trigger Coverage, 9th Circuit Rules

    PASADENA, Calif. — Affirming a trial court’s judgment, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 9 found no coverage under a crime insurance policy for funds lost by an accounting firm’s wire transfers pursuant to fraudulently sent emails, concluding that provisions for forgery, computer fraud and funds transfer fraud did not apply (Taylor & Lieberman v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 15-56102, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4205).

  • March 13, 2017

    Judge Preliminarily OKs $22.5 Million Settlement Of Google AdWords Class Action

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — Preliminary approval of a $22.5 million settlement of a class action over Google Inc.’s AdWords program under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL) was granted March 9, with a California federal judge approving a proposed settlement class and settlement fund and setting dates for class notification and a fairness hearing (In Re Google AdWords Litigation, No. 5:08-cv-03369, N.D. Calif.).