SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a complaint filed Aug. 13 in California federal court, a group of plaintiffs involved in creating LGBTQ-themed content that was posted on YouTube LLC’s online video-sharing platform claim that YouTube and its parent company Google LLC engage in discriminatory viewpoint-based censorship of their content, bringing claims including civil rights violations and unfair competition (Divino Group LLC, et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 5:19-cv-04749, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In an Aug. 7 order, a California federal judge found that Twitch Interactive Inc. had shown good cause to conduct early discovery to identify anonymous defendants who posted objectionable content on its video-streaming platform by subpoenaing internet service providers (ISPs) and other companies to obtain information to identify the Doe defendants for the purpose of pursuing trademark infringement and other claims against them (Twitch Interactive Inc. v. John and Jane Does 1 through 100, No. 3:19-cv-03418, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132842).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a wide-ranging, 18-count complaint filed Aug. 7 in California federal court, an author and political activist says that Facebook Inc. violated his constitutional rights by blocking his account and sharing his private information with third parties, also alleging claims including conspiracy, computer fraud and breach of contract (Robert Zimmerman, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-04591, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A man suing an online business for discrimination under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act does not need to “enter into an agreement or transaction with the business” to pursue his claims, the California Supreme Court ruled Aug. 12, finding that encountering discriminatory terms connected to a service he intended to use was sufficient to establish standing to sue (Robert E. White v. Square Inc., No. S249248, Calif. Sup., 2019 Cal. LEXIS 5946).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A South Carolina attorney was temporarily enjoined from using his name online or elsewhere as a trademark related to his legal services on Aug. 9, when a South Carolina federal judge determined that his father, who has the same name and also practices law, was likely to succeed on trademark infringement and cybersquatting claims against his son (George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers v. George Sink II Law Firm LLC, et al., No. 2:19-cv-01206, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134819).
PASADENA, Calif. — A car buyer failed to show that a satellite radio provider’s access to his contact information from the dealership where he purchased the car via his driver’s license and a form he filled out that resulted in letters and calls about continuing the service beyond a free trial period fell within the scope of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) or constituted a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 8 (James E. Andrews, et al. v. Sirius XM Radio Inc., et al., No. 18-55169, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23670).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The daughter of a woman who was killed by a gun illegally obtained from an online firearms marketplace tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 29 petition for certiorari that the Wisconsin Supreme Court improperly found the website operator immune from negligence and wrongful death claims under the Communications Decency Act (CDA), arguing that the statute is meant to shield an interactive computer service provider from liability for another party’s online content, but not from liability for its own actions intended to facilitate illegal conduct (Yasmeen Daniel v. Armslist LLC, et al., No. 19-153, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 partly vacated a decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that Apple Inc. was not barred from pursuing its re-examination requests of two Virnet X Inc. patents, finding that Apple’s validity challenge is barred by estoppel (VirnetX Inc. v. Apple Inc., Nos. 2017-1591, -1592, -1593, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22912).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 6 found that although a California federal judge did not err in finding two patents not infringed, a patent owner was entitled to judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that one of the patents is not invalid (ATEN International Co. Ltd. v. Uniclass Technology Co., et al., No. 18-1606, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23432).
SAN FRANCISCO — In an Aug. 1 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction by an Arizona federal judge of allegations of copyright infringement was in error because it was foreseeable to defendants in the case that their actions would cause economic harm in the United States (Hydentra HLP Int. Ltd., et al. v. Sagan Ltd., et al., No. 17-16637, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 23041).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A plaintiff suing her former school district for constitutional violations and discrimination related to a school newspaper comment must provide discovery related to her electronic communications and cell phone, a South Dakota federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 1, granting the school district’s motion to compel but limiting the timeframe and establishing guidelines to protect private and privileged information (Addison Ludwig v. Elk Point-Jefferson School District 61-7, et al., No. 4:18-cv-04091, D. S.D., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128630).
NEW YORK — The family members of five terror attack victims cannot bring claims against Facebook Inc. under the Antiterrorism Act (ATA), a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority held July 31, because the Communications Decency Act (CDA) immunizes the social network from being treated as the speaker of content posted on its pages by members of terrorist groups (Stuart Force, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 18-397, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22698).
NEW YORK — Online news and entertainment publisher BuzzFeed Inc. argues in a June 21 appellant brief filed in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that its use of a copyrighted picture that did not include copyright management information (CMI) was not done willfully and, as such, did not constitute a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Gregory Mango v. BuzzFeed Inc., No. 19-0446, 2nd Cir.).
ROANOKE, Va. — Finding “little, if any, transformative value” in the use by defendants of a copyrighted photograph online, a federal judge in Virginia on July 19 deemed the doctrine of fair use “inapplicable” to the photographer’s allegation of infringement (Allesandro Cancian v. Hannabass and Rowe Ltd., et al., No. 18-283, W.D. Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121112).
MIAMI — Adopting a magistrate’s report and recommendation, a Florida federal judge on July 26 found that an online adult entertainment company failed to establish any likelihood of confusion between its “FyreTV” pornographic service and the “Fire TV” product offered by Amazon.com Inc., granting the internet retailer’s motion for summary judgment on the trademark infringement claims against it (Wreal, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-21385, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125890).
LOS ANGELES — Despite a jury verdict against it, online streaming service VidAngel Inc. tells a California federal court in a July 26 brief that a permanent injunction requested by the plaintiff movie studios in a copyright infringement lawsuit “is an unfair overreach” and a thinly veiled effort to eliminate a legal method of home-filtering of streamed content (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
CINCINNATI — Two Parma, Ohio, police officers who claimed that qualified immunity protected them from civil rights claims brought by a man who created a Facebook page mocking their department will have to face some of the claims against them, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 29, finding that the plaintiff sufficiently alleged facts showing that his page constituted protected speech and that the officers’ arrest of him was retaliatory and without probable cause (Anthony Novak v. Parma, et al., No. 18-3373, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22398).
LOS ANGELES — A class complaint accusing an online school of making false promises to students belongs in federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the defendants sufficiently showed that the amount in controversy is at least $5 million, a federal judge in California ruled July 18 (Teausha Moffett v. Recording Radio Film Connection, Inc., et al., No. 19-3319, C.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120247).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a July 29 petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), representing the U.S. government, says that a panel improperly found that a provision of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, when it could have avoided invalidating the statute in assessing whether a plaintiff properly alleged that Facebook Inc. sent texts in violation of the law (Noah Duguid v. Facebook Inc., No. 17-15320, 9th Cir.).
COVINGTON, Ky. — The Washington Post did not defame a Kentucky teenager who was the subject of a viral video of him wearing a MAGA hat confronting a Native American on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial because the statements the newspaper made in several stories and tweets about the incident contained only opinions from those who were there, a Kentucky federal judge held July 26 in dismissing the teen’s $250 million lawsuit (Nicholas Sandmann v. WP Company LLC, d/b/a The Washington Post, No. 2:19-cv-00019, E.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125275).