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. …

Website Safe Harbor Copyright Notice Designation

Website safe harbor takedown requirements by the Copyright Office is soon to undergo changes.  According to the Copyright Office, it is the responsibility of a website owner or online service entity to make it easy for a copyright holder to contact the website regarding the possibility of content infringement.  The agent designation requirement[1] process form,…

Trade Secrets Extraordinary Provisions

Trade secrets are going to be dealt differently now that the President has signed into law the new Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA).  Through the bipartisan efforts of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Sen. Choons, D-Del., DTSA is meeting the desired measure that has long been sought by businesses to address the delicate nature of…

Copyright Protection Standard for Clothing

Copyright protection standard for clothing articulated as conceptual separability will now be entertained by the U.S. Supreme Court amid the background of disparate circuit court views.  Copyright protection applies to the features pertaining to design, of say, articles, and pictures.  The garment sector items fall into the dichotomy of use or utility, as the design…

Social Media Self-Modification

Self-Modification by social media platforms has struggled to ensure that the Internet is acceptable to all cultures, religions, political persuasion, and to all values of countries.  This exercise in Internet Governance is tall and detailed and comes under criticism for being too heavy handed towards exercising censorship.  Though easy to say, it becomes difficult to…

Cybersquatting by Website Designer

Cybersquatting by a website designer is seldom a thought of concern by potential clients who are in the midst of working or are considering the work of a website designer for their start up a business.  Terms are rarely dickered with to ensure the handling of the domain selection and eventful registration.  When an unauthorized…

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…

Music Appropriation Issue

The issue of music appropriation of culture e in music is controversially discussed raising concerns for the use of culture as backdrops.  The argument goes that as an artist unveils the video of music scenes appear of a particular culture and people of that particular region.  The criticism is with the prop effects of the…

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’…

Copyright Challenge – Ideas and Expression

Copyright for many individuals appears to be anything they write, express, or present on paper.  By putting content on a book one assumes it’s copyrightable, whether it is text, photos, or drawings.  For a yoga studio in California this was the mindset.  That which they organized together in the form of photos displaying poses was…

Digital Copyright Disputes and First Sale Defense

Digital copyright disputes throw around terms such as “sale”, “license”, “first sale”, and “right ownership.”  The distinction of these terms began in 1908 by the Supreme Court determining that a “sale” serves as a defense as opposed to a “license” under a copyright claim.[1]  In a cited case, Bobbs-Merrill, the defendant purchased copies of a…

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…

Anti-Slapp in Florida

Anti-Slapp in Florida was put to the test in Roca Labs, Inc. v. Consumer Opinion Corp.(Pissed Consumer). In its original lawsuit, Roca Labs argued that the defendant’s consumer review website was fostering defamation, effectively causing tortuous interference, committing unfair competition.  The defense argued immunity under Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act, formally known as…

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…

Internet Freedom of Speech at Risk

Internet freedom of speech is not given the attention it merits while the EU ponders on its EU Data Protection Regulation.  Many rightfully fear that censorship is looming near and is nearer than one imagines.  While the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has lingered since the 1990s, many countries have followed the EU aspiration of…

Trade Secrets Act Update

Trade secret law and practice is about to change if Congress pursues the “Defend” Trade Secrets Act with the current provisions.  Not only will the practice change, rights as well as competition, may be affected for the worse.  The attention that this legislative activity is getting regarding trade secrets is scant to say the most.  …

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.…

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…

Copyright Basis

Copyright basis draws the question of whether copyright law is based on government granting a monopoly, if you will, vis-à-vis against any other potential entrepreneur.  Many see it that way and tend to deny copyrights having a proprietary property right for the creator of the work.  Historically the value of crafting an idea composed was…

Copyright and Derivative Work

In the realm of intellectual property, copyright and derivative work gets attention when the issue of collaborative rights arises. Copyright and derivative work controversies happen when the joint contributing plans do not materialize as intended between, for example software developers, researchers, writers, or production designers. The scenario is similar to one dealt with by the…

Personal Identifiable Information under VPPA

Digital media law and the digital media industry wrestles with how courts define personal identifiable information under the Video Privacy Protection Act.  This definition is important to companies that stream deliver videos to customers. How broadly the court define the scope of liability will remain a concern with personal identifiable information under the VPPA. In…

Website Defamation Immunity

Website operators, either as defendants or plaintiffs have resorted to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) to determine website defamation immunity and defamation liability.  Under the Section 230, blogs or forums, for instance, benefit from website immunity from tort liability if the information was from a third-party.  That third-party could be a subscriber,…

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…

Electronic Self-Publishing Considerations

Electronic self-publishing considerations are overlooked by many who venture on to electronic self-publishing.  The efforts to do so could be for self-publication or out of an egalitarian purpose of making materials easily available. The issues for self-publishing for those seeking to venture are immaterial to the purpose  Initial costs of publishing can be limited which is…

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…

Copyright Protection of Photos of Architectural Structures

Photographers commonly take photos of buildings and landscapes and of views that encompass structures and then sell them under license and it times do not account for the copyright protection of photos of architectural structures.  Under the Copyright Act, a private place though open to the public for touring is still not considered a public…

Copyright Preemption

Issues with copyright preemption from state court to federal court become germane under the Copyright Act.  A recent decision in federal court dealt with the issue where what was being claimed was about ideas expressed in a tangible form in a software program, i.e., Spear Marketing, Inc. v. Bancorp South Bank. The Fifth Circuit determined…

Copyright Filings and the Library of Congress

Copyright law – Intellectual property law There is a unique requirement with copyright filings and the Library of Congress. Seldom does one wonder how the Library of Congress is the world’s largest library with over 140 million materials that include maps, films, sounding recordings, software programs, photographs, and books. The Registry processes nearly half of…

Trademark Free Riding

Many brands in a strong competitive industry have the challenge of trademark free riding posed by not necessarily their own competitors.  Company brands struggle against other entities that are not necessarily in their industry, benefiting by their use of a similar if not identical mark from the reputation they have tried to build. This “free-riding”…

Software Development

Software development and implementation is critical to the growth of a company’s innovation program. The source code is software development is a valuable trade secret and is transferable easily through varied mediums.  This is a challenging concern for trade secret – software owners. Challenging issues for intellectual property owners and the pursuit of prosecuting trade…

Copyright Differing from Digital Content

Intellectual Property Law – Copyright Law UK Court’s recent ruling prohibits copying, transferring, backing up, and combining of device usage of lawfully owned digital content. While this may impinge on right holders, it is still permissible to share books, tapes, and CD. Throughout the EU, UK does not stand alone dealing with the dilemma of…

Internet of Things and Google

Internet of things and Google is the theme underlining Google establishing an internet of things (Iot) central system called Brillo. Google Brillo is designed to run on and connect multiple low-power devices, connecting anything from a washing machine to a rubbish bin and linking in with existing Google technologies. The move is an expansion of the company’s…