August 17, 2017 -

Federal District Court Ruling Against LinkedIn Has Major Implications for Web Scrapers

In a scraping case that strikingly endorses an open, accessible Internet as a “social norm,” a California federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking LinkedIn from preventing (or using technical countermeasures to prevent) a California startup from scraping publicly … Continue reading


May 25, 2017 -

Free Doesn’t Mean No Strings Attached: Open Source Licenses Are Real Contracts

A ruling by a California federal court has confirmed that open source licenses for free public software can be legally enforced as contracts and that modification or distribution of open source code in a manner that violates the license terms … Continue reading


July 22, 2016 -

Facebook v. Power Ventures Ruling Is a Yellow Light for Scrapers

Accessing and using a website in violation of the terms of use will not trigger civil or criminal liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).  However, if you continue to do so after the website owner explicitly … Continue reading


July 13, 2016 -

Privacy Shield is Live! Self-Certifications to Begin August 1

On July 12, after negotiating certain modifications with the U.S., the European Commission approved the new Privacy Shield framework, which will replace the Safe Harbor framework invalidated by the European Court of Justice in 2015.   The elimination of Safe Harbor … Continue reading


May 25, 2016 -

Tag, You’re It! Facebook’s Sobering Lesson in Biometric Privacy

Facebook’s photo tagging suggestions feature (which prompts users to tag by name persons who appear in uploaded photos) may violate the little known Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 14/1 et seq, otherwise known as BIPA. On … Continue reading


May 4, 2016 -

New Federal Trade Secrets Law Could Be Powerful IP Weapon

Get ready for a major expansion of the federal laws protecting intellectual property.  In April 2016 Congress overwhelmingly approved the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) and sent it to President Obama for his signature.  The President has signaled his … Continue reading


January 7, 2016 -

FTC Releases New Guidelines for Native Advertising

On December 22, 2015 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued two guidance documents setting out disclosure and formatting requirements for native advertising (generally, advertising that in content, style and/or format is designed to resemble surrounding content on publisher Internet properties … Continue reading


October 26, 2015 -

Google Books Case Transforms the Fair Use Standard

In Authors Guild v. Google, Inc., No. 13-4829-cv (2nd Cir.  Oct. 16, 2015), a groundbreaking case involving the Google Books project, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has “transformed” and extended the doctrine of copyright fair use for … Continue reading


September 17, 2015 -

Dancing Baby Takes Down Universal?

Before sending a take-down notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”), consider whether the use of copyrighted material that you’re complaining about could be a fair use, or else face damages.  That’s the message from the U.S. Court of … Continue reading


June 29, 2015 -

FTC Provides New Guidance on Social Media Marketing and Native Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently taken steps to clarify online marketers’ disclosure obligations in social media marketing and native advertising.  On June 1, 2015 the FTC updated its Frequently Asked Questions to its updated Guides Concerning the Use … Continue reading