Crawling Websites for Data

Crawling websites for data has burdened the growth of ecommerce as website owners witnessing their data scraped.  The legal questions have lingered.  Many questions stand out.  The prevalence of crawling and scraping has become too of the norm for those using web content for business, research, or marketing purposes. The common theme is that website…

Consumer Privacy versus Data Economy Ecosystem

We all hear about privacy needing protection and we also read about the events that have led to infringements of privacy on the occurrence of data breaches.  Essentially, privacy is desired by all and many believe that it is an aspect of life that is common understanding and it is worth respect and consideration. The courts have…

Internet Mugshot Publishing Curtailed

Internet mugshot published online haunts a person for years with embarrassment.  For many, as well, the mugshots do not bear a meaningful purpose for others throughout the Internet to know.  What remains is the ill circumstance of having future employment out of reach or present employment terminated, for the inadvertent past event. The harm lingers…

Cyber Security Claims

Cyber security claims are seldom tempered with an entities acknowledgement of its insecurity of electronically stored information (ESI) and its handling of consumer personal identifying information (PII).  Their efforts and planning executed, though they may be diligent, cannot anticipate cyber incidents and breach incidents nor should their efforts to prevent them be overstated.  All attention…

Internet Advertising Under FTC Eyes

Internet advertising has become intricate and keen.  Internet advertising may involve multiple participants.  The purpose is essentially to sway readers to purchase products by making representations that at times appear too good to be true.  That is what the Federal Trade Commission and the State of Connecticut determined prior to suing  LeanSpa.  The claims embraced…

FTC Advertising Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission under its Act, particularly Section 5, is seeking advertisers to be clearer about how they convey their ads.  Advertising disclosures required by the Federal Trade Commission are addressing numerous issues about enhancing disclosures of sources of the statements and claims made in an advertisement.  As creativity increases so will the efforts for the…

Internet Speech Immunity

Internet speech immunity exceptions are sought frequently by individuals and businesses who are affected by someone else’s comments about them via an online site.  Online sites are today’s marketplace of ideas to enhance the “competition of the market.”[1]  And so, the claim usually asserted is a defamation claim directed to the website from where the…

Website Crawling and Data Scraping Thoughts

Website crawling and data scraping have burdened the growth of e-commerce as website owners are witnessing their data scraped.  The legal questions have lingered.  Many questions stand out.  The prevalence of crawling and scraping has become too of the norm for those using web content for business, research, or marketing purposes. The common theme is…

Advertising Disclosures

Advertising disclosures required by the Federal Trade Commission are addressing numerous issues with regard enhancing disclosures of sources of the statements being made in an advertisement.  As creativity increases so will the efforts for the FTC to find aspects, not to their liking.  As the FTC pursues companies using native advertisers or influencer programs, restrictions will…

Defamation Online Issues

Defamation online in reviews posted by readers and comments stated in social media platforms throughout the United States and across its borders, raise legal questions. The aspects of posts in general also raise the issues of responsibility an individual has in controlling the content of one’s Facebook page or blog.  The Communication Decency Act, Section…

Trademark Nominative Fair Use and Confusion

Trademark use and the element of fair use in business snags many businesses trying to market their service or product, while seemingly using a competitor’s trademark. Liability may not be avoided by relying on the fair use defense.  Words and their message are usually held to a standard regarding the possibility of consumer confusion.  There…

Trademark Misrepresentation in Advertising

Trademark misrepresentation rather than respecting the appearance of a marks brand through advertising runs the risk of using creative naming.  Courts will look at advertising’s subjective effect on consumers.  The query for concern is to determine if the advertising seeks for the consumer to make the association with an existing unrelated brand of a product. …

Consumer Data Security Claims Monitored

Consumer data security claims by many businesses seek to settle the fears and doubts of many consumers engaging in electronic payments.  Those representations should be tempered with an accurate description of its practices to keep consumer information and transaction data secure.  Several agencies have been tasked with a different scope of authority.  Data security has…

Right of Publicity

Publicity of one’s identity without permission frequently happens to sports figures, actors, and to possibly world record holders, including Hacky Sack world, records holders.  The latter persona is the type actually who filed a district court action in Illinois claiming invasion of privacy and false advertising.  As argued, a commercial ran showing that an individual…

Privacy Issue of FCC over ISPs

Privacy is a late to-come-by issue of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as Internet Service Providers (ISP) were reclassified.  As part of the push for net neutrality, ISPs were soon to be treated as common carriers by the FCC.  This has left the door open for broadband providers to access customer information that is proprietary…

Trademark Internet Use Collides Regionally in Florida

A trademark used in a particular region of the country may not be absolutely alone with the existence of the Internet.  Marketing a business on the Internet has a ubiquitous presence to the service seeking potential customer.  Whether your business is in the southeast, such as Florida, and there is the existence of a wider…

Music Access Going Offline

Music Access in time past was always a concern for the nostalgic music enthusiast, especially the desire to hold on to music treasures from one’s growing up years. There was the concerned about scratching and breaking and not being able to find another issue.  The digital innovation has liberated the music industry allowing for creative…

Broadcasting Competition of Distribution Agreements

Broadcasting competition of distribution agreements has been in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) cross-hairs.  While under less than unusual circumstances a provider can enter into a contract to distribute its product exclusively or non-exclusively, the same cannot be said regarding agreements of communications content provider.  The concerns is with content that could draw an overwhelming…

Trademark Infringement and Sibling Rivalries

Trademark infringements may be common in the business world, but they are as well not unheard of among family members in business who are competing in the same products.  The Southern District Court in Ohio heard a case between siblings which touched on pivotal points regarding trademarks. The court wrestled with the issue of ‘use’…

Child Privacy and the Apps They Play

Child privacy while playing with apps is something to consider.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been concerned.  The aspect of how information, that is children’s personal information, is shared with advertisers and the related networks brings to mind the requirements of the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). In 2013, the FTC amended the…

Free Speech in Trademarks

Free speech in trademarks has been a long existing principle only to be recently circumscribed.  Ideas in naming something personal, such as exercising an expression for a trademark, could otherwise be prohibited if it were not for the constitutional principle of free speech. Imagine starting a company and devising a slogan to register as a…

Digital Economy Fighting Copyright Piracy

Digital economy partnerships drawing close to fight copyright piracy have struck a chord that could have a significant impact to prevent Internet digital media piracy.  The piracy of digital media is an international cottage industry costing billions.  From content creators, ISPs, advertising agencies, network systems, and search engines, to data managers, and e-payment platforms, have…

Advertising Guidelines from FTC

Advertising guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission underscore the deceptive features of ‘native’ advertising.  Prior to Christmas the FTC released its “Enforcement Policy Statement on Deceptively Formatted Advertisements.”  The attention was towards the use of native advertising which is ‘dressed’ or ‘tailored’ to appear as if it is an actual editorial.  The FTC notes the…

Online Music Video Publishing

Online music video publishing give many singers and performers an avenue for promoting their work.  The birth of a new music star is dreamed every time someone seeks publishing with intermediary providers such as YouTube.  The principals of content publication still holds true even with the utilization of third-party audience aggregators like YouTube.  The terms…

Crowdfunding and New Conditions

Crowdfunding, an Internet based means of raising capital is getting a lot of attention.  The attention it has garnered is not only from businesses resorting to it but from the SEC as well.  Crowdfunding is instrumental for startups and small business, but it has originally been a vehicle for fund raising for worthy and charitable…

Internet Product Listing Infringing on Trademark

Internet product listing was argued to be infringing on the trademark of a watch manufacturer.  The watch manufacturer argued that it did not sell its watches to Amazon for resale nor did it authorize resale through the online retailer. The plaintiff in this case, Multi Time Machine (MTM), argued that the online retailer, Amazon was…

IP address and You

An IP address and you are central to how the Internet functions.  The IP address reveals information about you, your trends, location, and a whole lot more.  By use of an email, say sending an email, the recipient can learn your location.  Through the IP address your internet service provider can be learned as well.…

Cross Device Tracking

The Federal Trade Commission has noted that cross device tracking which is a consequence of the Internet of Things (IoT) falls essentially within its auspices.  Considering the concerns with transparency and the required notices to consumers, cross device tracking is just not getting attention for purposes of enhancing consumer protection.  The advertising industry representatives as…

Fate of the Internet

Life has changed with the Internet but it will change even more as the fate of the Internet is in court hands once again. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will determine how Internet providers will change how we use the internet, what content will be permitted, and how we access and…

Developing Apps

Developing Apps Developing apps could be thrilling and troubling.  Of course, it is the thrilling aspect or expectation that drives the creative ideas.  But what is not thought of is the necessary planning that is crucial for it to be successful.  Simple creation is not enough.  Long before that, just the thought of an idea…

eCommerce and the FTC

eCommerce and the FTC For businesses seeking to engage commercially in the realm of cyber space ‘eCommerce’, their eCommerce efforts will be under the eyes of the FTC – Federal Trade Commission. While it was established in the early 1900s, the FTC has been focused on protecting consumers and enforcing their rights. There has been…

Marketability of Hashtags

As hashtags are increasingly filed for registry as trademarks, courts are balancing the nominative use of hashtags and the descriptive use of the marketability of hashtags.  So far over 50 hashtags have been granted federally registered trademark status. The difficulty is that the descriptive use may be heightened by the courts amid the value of…

Review Websites Being Questioned

Review websites being questioned for claiming to be a “passive conduit” of comments about service providers.  The matter of consumer trust in reviews provided by these sites run the risk of being manipulated by subscriber agreements. What stands in the fulcrum is the ability for these sites to bolster the transparency of their policies in…