Mealey's Cyber Tech & E-Commerce

  • May 23, 2024

    High Court: Courts Decide Which Competing Contracts, Arbitration Clauses Govern

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a situation where parties have agreed to competing contracts or arbitration clauses regarding how to resolve claims in a dispute, it is a court’s job to decide which contract governs, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled May 23 in a suit between a cryptocurrency exchange and a group of its users.

  • May 22, 2024

    Bankruptcy Judge OKs Crypto Company’s $2B Settlement With New York AG

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal bankruptcy judge in New York approved a settlement between bankrupt cryptocurrency platforms and the New York Attorney General’s Office (NYAG) that will resolve claims that the platforms defrauded investors out of billions of dollars; the settlement creates a victim’s fund that will receive up to $2 billion of the platforms’ remaining assets.

  • May 20, 2024

    High Court Won’t Consider Copyright Discovery Rule In Online Photo Use Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hearst Newspapers LLC’s plea that the U.S. Supreme Court settle the application of the atextual discovery rule to the Copyright Act fell on deaf ears, as the high court in its May 20 order list denied the media company’s petition for certiorari in a dispute over its use of a photographer’s copyrighted photographs on the websites of several of its publications.

  • May 16, 2024

    Record Companies Beat Motion To Dismiss; Copyright Claims Over Digitization Proceed

    SAN FRANCISCO — Entities at the helm of the “Great 78 Project” — an initiative dedicated to converting 78 rpm records into digital format and then making the recordings available online for free — were denied dismissal of copyright infringement allegations leveled against them by various recording companies by a federal judge in California on May 15.

  • May 16, 2024

    D.C. Circuit Merges TikTok’s, Creators’ 1st Amendment Suits Over Nationwide Ban

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — One day after a group of TikTok creators filed a petition for review of the newly passed federal law that promises to ban the popular social network absent a corporate ownership change, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 consolidated the suit with a similar suit filed a week earlier by TikTok Inc., which also challenges the statute’s validity under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • May 15, 2024

    Federal Judge Narrowly Vacates Securities Claims Dismissal After Reconsideration

    PHOENIX — A federal judge in Arizona on May 14 vacated portions of a previous order dismissing a putative securities class complaint brought by retirement funds alleging that an online home-selling company made false statements about its artificial-intelligence-powered pricing algorithm, finding that the retirement funds adequately showed that an allegedly misleading statement about the algorithm relates to the funds’ alleged losses.

  • May 15, 2024

    Chamber Of Commerce Backs 9th Circuit Rehearing In Meta Advertising Fraud Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — In affirming the certification of a damages class in a suit alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment by Meta Platforms Inc. related to its online advertising services, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel majority weakened the requirements for class certification in fraud cases, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says in an amicus curiae brief supporting Meta’s bid for rehearing on this “issue of exceptional importance.”

  • May 14, 2024

    11th Circuit Vacates Class Settlement, Attorney Fees In GoDaddy TCPA Suit

    ATLANTA — A trial court abused its discretion when it approved a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement between a class and GoDaddy.com LLC providing cash or vouchers as it failed to consider amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2), overlooked evidence that the agreement was reached through collusion, failed to properly inform absent class members and miscalculated attorney fees, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 13.

  • May 14, 2024

    Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Bitcoin Theft Suit, 5th Circuit Affirms

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 affirmed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in its lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that insureds conspired to steal bitcoin through a malware attack, finding that the underlying action alleges only intentional acts that are not covered.

  • May 14, 2024

    ACLU, NetChoice, Tribes File Briefs Opposing Montana TikTok Ban

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nonprofit civil liberties organizations, an online business trade association and a Native American tribe are among those that filed nine amicus curiae briefs in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opposing a presently enjoined Montana law that would ban the TikTok social network within the state, raising arguments of federal jurisdiction, free speech rights and tribal sovereignty.

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Orders Discovery In Bid To Enforce $1.5M Award Against Bankrupt German CEO

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge refused to dismiss a video game streaming platform’s petition to confirm a JAMS award worth nearly $1.5 million against two German entities and their shareholder, the former CEO of the original award-debtor, and ordered further jurisdictional discovery to determine whether the court can exercise jurisdiction over the German defendants.

  • May 14, 2024

    Kiwi Farms Operator Can’t Persuade High Court To Hear Copyright Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 said it won’t weigh in on a reversal by the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a Utah federal judge’s decision that dismissed copyright infringement claims leveled against the owner and operator of the Kiwi Farms website.

  • May 13, 2024

    Supreme Court Rejects Petition Over Apple’s ‘Censorship Of Software’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — After twice denying an application for a writ of injunction by the creator of a coronavirus tracking app, which Apple Inc. declined to carry in its App Store, the U.S. Supreme Court on May 13 denied the creator’s petition for certiorari in which it raised seven questions related to Apple Inc.’s purported anticompetitive behavior.

  • May 10, 2024

    9th Circuit Says Plaintiffs In Loot Box Gambling Suit Failed To Allege Injury

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 9 found that two video game players who brought California unfair competition law (UCL) claims against a Finnish developer for illegal gambling based on in-game “loot box” sales lacked standing due to failure to allege a cognizable injury.

  • May 10, 2024

    Data Scraper Prevails In Spat With X Corp., Judge Finds Copyright Preemption

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal in full, with leave to amend, was granted May 9 in a breach of contract and unfair competition action by X Corp., with a federal judge in California declaring that “the extent to which public data may be freely copied from social media platforms, even under the banner of scraping, should generally be governed by the Copyright Act,” and not by “conflicting, ubiquitous” terms of use.

  • May 09, 2024

    Ad Customers Accuse Reddit Of ‘Click-Through Fraud’ In Class Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO — A tech company on May 8 filed a putative class action in California federal court against Reddit Inc., operator of a popular social media platform, accusing it of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract by allegedly charging fraudulent fees per click on digital advertisements to it and other companies while allowing fraudulent clicks on its platform.

  • May 09, 2024

    6th Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Trademark Case On Jurisdiction Grounds

    CINCINNATI — Findings by a Tennessee federal judge that his court lacks jurisdiction over an Arizona-based trademark infringement defendant were reversed May 8 by a divided Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which said “longstanding precedent establishes that a company’s choice to welcome customers from and regularly sell products into a state subjects the company to that state’s jurisdiction.”

  • May 09, 2024

    Doe Victims Tell 9th Circuit Twitter Isn’t Immune From Sex-Trafficking Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO — On their second appeal before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, two John Does who were featured in child sexual abuse material (CSAM) that was posted and distributed on Twitter contend in an opening appellant brief that their sex-trafficking, child pornography and negligence claims were wrongly dismissed as barred by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) because their claims were based on Twitter Inc.’s own actions and not on treating the social network operator as the publisher or speaker of the CSAM, which was posted by third parties.

  • May 08, 2024

    Judgment Entered Dismissing UCL Suit Against OnlyFans For Automatic Renewals

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on May 7 entered judgment dismissing a putative class action against two entities that own and operate the adult entertainment website OnlyFans after granting a motion to dismiss claims that the company violated California’s unfair competition law (UCL) by failing to notify subscribers that they would be automatically charged monthly for subscriptions to various OnlyFans models.

  • May 08, 2024

    Discretionary Denial Of Apple Petitions Warranted, Patent Owner Asserts

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Infringement litigation in Texas federal court over several fraud detection patents is too far along to institute inter partes review (IPR), the patent owner told the Patent Trial and Appeal Board on May 7, urging a discretionary denial of the challenges to its technology by Apple Inc.

  • May 08, 2024

    TikTok Sues Over ‘Obviously Unconstitutional’ Law Banning Its Platform In U.S.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Making good on recent public statements that it would challenge a newly enacted federal law targeting the operation of its popular social media platform in the United States, TikTok Inc. on May 7 filed a petition for review in which it asks the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to deem the new law unconstitutional and to enjoin it from being enforced.

  • May 03, 2024

    On Remand, Judge Dismisses Putative Class Action Against Google For Banner Ads

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — On remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a federal judge in California dismissed with prejudice putative class claims brought against Google LLC by two website owners for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws in relation to Google’s former practice on its Android search app of superimposing its logo and a “Related Pages” banner on the plaintiffs’ websites, which featured links to competitors’ websites.

  • May 03, 2024

    Judge Denies Letter Rogatory To Name ‘Civil Society’ Members Targeted By Spyware

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A spyware maker’s attempt to demonstrate that its surveillance software targeted terrorists and criminals, rather than members of “civil society,” can be made without obtaining discovery from a research lab, a California federal judge ruled May 2, denying the defendant’s motion to issue a letter rogatory on the nonparty Canadian entity while seeking to defend itself from computer fraud claims brought by WhatsApp Inc.

  • May 03, 2024

    Production, Brief Ordered In Nonparty Discovery Disputes In Apple Antitrust Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — In response to recently filed briefs concerning discovery plaintiffs seek from two nonparties in their iPhone app monopolization class action against Apple Inc., a California federal magistrate judge issued an order partly granting their motion to compel certain records from app developer Rocket Money, while addressing the company’s concerns about discovery burdens and protecting the confidentiality of its records.

  • May 03, 2024

    City Manager, Critic Ordered To Brief 6th Circuit On Social Media State Action Test

    CINCINNATI — The parties in a dispute over when a public official’s social media use constitutes state action were ordered by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to submit briefs discussing how the U.S. Supreme Court’s recently issued state action test in the remanded suit affects the appeals court's previous ruling or the standard it should use in the future.