Articles Posted in Internet Law

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Plaintiff filed suit under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), 18 U.S.C. 2710, alleging that the CNN App, without a user's knowledge, both tracks the user's views of news articles and videos and also collects a record of this viewing activity. CNN sends the collected record of viewing activity to Bango, a third party company. Bango is able to compile personal information, including the user's name, location, phone number, email address, and payment information, and it can attribute this information to a single user across different devices and platforms. The district court dismissed the amended complaint. The court held that a plaintiff, such as the one in this case, satisfied the concreteness requirement of Article III standing where the plaintiff alleges a violation of the VPPA for wrongful disclosure. The court agreed with the district court that plaintiff is not a "subscriber" as defined by the VPPA such that CNN may be held liable. The court noted that it need not address whether CNN provided plaintiff's "personally identifiable information" to a third party. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Perry v. Cable News Network, Inc." on Justia Law

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The parties filed cross-complaints after Christopher Carmicle was terminated from Brown Jordan. After the district court entered judgment for Brown Jordan, Carmicle appealed. Carmicle raised issues regarding the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, the Stored Communications Act (SCA), 18 U.S.C. 2701, wrongful discharge, and breach of an employment agreement. The court concluded that Carmicle’s CFAA arguments fail because Brown Jordan suffered “loss” as defined in the CFAA; Carmicle waived his unopened-versus-opened-email argument under the SCA because he did not fairly present it to the district court, and Brown Jordan showed Carmicle exceeded his authorization in accessing the emails of other Brown Jordan employees; and the district court did not err in granting summary judgment on Carmicle’s wrongful discharge claim or in concluding that Carmicle was terminated for cause as defined by the Employment Agreement. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Brown Jordan International, Inc. v. Carmicle" on Justia Law

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Defendant appealed the district court's grant of an injunction requiring defendant to transfer to defendant four domain names he had registered in his own name and grant of plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on defendant's counterclaims. The court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain defendant's appeal under 28 U.S.C. 1291, because there are still pending claims brought against defendant under sections 43(a) and (c) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1125(a) and (c), and state law. The court concluded, however, that it has jurisdiction to review the district court's injunction under 28 U.S.C. 1292(a)(1). The court held that the re-registration of bydesignfurniture.com constituted a registration under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. 1125, and that plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of its ACPA claim. Accordingly, the court concluded that the issuance of the preliminary injunction did not constitute an abuse of discretion and affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "JYSK Bed'N Linen v. Dutta-Roy" on Justia Law

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After Dr. Paul B. Tartell and Dr. Lee M. Mandel split their practices, Dr. Mandel registered six domain names with variations of Dr. Tartell’s name. Dr. Tartell then filed a complaint against Dr. Mandel, his incorporated practice, and another corporation owned by Dr. Mandel for cybersquatting, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. The court concluded that the district court clearly erred by ruling that Dr. Tartell's name had acquired secondary meaning in the minds of consumers. Although Dr. Tartell produced some evidence relevant to the Conagra, Inc. v. Singleton factors, he failed to produce any substantial evidence of what his name denotes to the consumer; Dr. Tartell’s evidence about the use of his name in academic settings and evidence about his reputation among other medical professionals are not probative of whether his name had acquired secondary meaning; Dr. Tartell produced no substantial evidence to demonstrate the degree of actual recognition by the public; and Dr. Tartell’s remaining evidence says nothing about the perceptions of consumers. Accordingly, the court reversed and rendered judgment in favor of Dr. Mandel and his corporations. View "Tartell v. South Florida Sinus and Allergy Ctr." on Justia Law

Posted in: Internet Law, Trademark

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Defendant was sentenced to three years probation for threatening to shoot President Obama on defendant's Facebook page. Afterwards, defendant spoke to a reporter for his college newspaper, saying that his ordeal was "pretty funny," that he could not be imprisoned in his "own house," and that a lot of good had come out of his case, including his rock band because a "lot of people showed up [to one of his shows] to see the kid who threatened to kill the [P]resident." The district court, upon learning of these comments, modified the conditions of probation to include 45 days in a halfway house and one year of home confinement with electronic monitoring. Defendant appealed. The court concluded that defendant's appeal was moot to the extent that it challenged the district court's modification of the conditions of probation to include a 45-day term in a halfway house; the appeal was not moot with respect to the district court's modification of the conditions of probation to include an additional eight months in home confinement with electronic monitoring; where 18 U.S.C. 3563(c) permits modification when a defendant's post-sentencing conduct shows that the original conditions were not sufficient to accomplish the purposes of probation, the home confinement modification did not violate defendant's rights under the Double Jeopardy Clause; the home confinement modification did not violate the Due Process Clause where, assuming there was any error, it did not seriously affect the fairness of the proceedings; and the home confinement modification did not violate the First Amendment where defendant's post-sentencing comments were relevant to the conditions of probation because they indicated that defendant did not grasp the seriousness of his conduct and did not think much of the probationary sentence he had received, and defendant was not punished for any abstract beliefs. Accordingly, the court dismissed in part and affirmed in part. View "United States v. Serrapio, Jr." on Justia Law