A student-run resource for reliable reports on the latest law and technology news

By Ellora Israni – Edited by Filippo Raso

IMDb is challenging the constitutionality of Assembly Bill 1687 (“AB 1687”), a California law requiring IMDb to remove ages from its website upon request from paid subscribers, claiming that the law violates the First Amendment’s free speech protections.



Facebook Blocks British Insurance Company from Basing Premiums on Posts and Likes

By Javier Careaga– Edited by Mila Owen

Admiral Insurance has created an initiative called firstcarquote, which analyzes Facebook activity of first-time car owners. The firstcarquote algorithm determines risk based on personality traits and habits that are linked to safe driving. Firstcarquote was recalled two hours before its official launch and then was launched with reduced functionality after Facebook denied authorization, stating that the initiative breaches Facebook’s platform policy.



Airbnb challenges New York law regulating short-term rentals

By Daisy Joo – Edited by Nehaa Chaudhari

Airbnb filed a complaint in the Federal District Court of the Southern District of New York seeking to “enjoin and declare unlawful the enforcement against Airbnb” of the recent law that prohibits  the advertising of short-term rentals on Airbnb and other similar websites.  Airbnb argued that the new law violated its rights to free speech and due process, and that it was inconsistent with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online intermediaries that host or republish speech from a range of liabilities.



Medtronic v. Bosch post-Cuozzo: PTAB continues to have the final say on inter partes review

By Nehaa Chaudhari – Edited by Grace Truong

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“the Federal Circuit”) reaffirmed its earlier order, dismissing Medtronic’s appeal against a decision of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The PTAB had dismissed Medtronic’s petition for inter partes review of Bosch’s patents, since Medtronic had failed to disclose all real parties in interest, as required by 35 U.S.C. §312(a)(2).




California DMV Discuss Rules on Autonomous Vehicles

DOJ Release Guidelines on CFAA Prosecutions

Illinois Supreme Court Rule in Favor of State Provisions Requiring Disclosure of Online Identities of Sex Offenders

Research Shows Concerns for Crucial Infrastructure Information Leaks


YouTubeBy Sheri Pan – Edited by Henry Thomas

Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., Nos. 13-16106, 13-16107 (9th Cir. Mar. 17, 2016), slip opinion hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (“EFF”)

The Ninth Circuit issued an amended opinion in Lenz v. Universal Music that broadened the scope of the holding requiring copyright holders to consider fair use before sending takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).  The dispute arose when Universal Music sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube directing YouTube to remove a video taken by Stephanie Lenz featuring her toddler dancing to a song by the artist Prince.  Lenz, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, subsequently sued Universal for sending an improper takedown notice.  JD Supra and Techdirt provide commentary.


Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Georgia CapitalBy Felicia (Feiran) Chen – Edited by Colette Ghazarian

House Bill 5 – A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the O.C.G.A.

During the Georgia General Assembly 2015-2016 Regular Session, Representatives Geisinger, Kidd, McCall, Rice, and Bentley have proposed a bill to be entitled an act to amend Article 3 of Chapter 11 of Title 16 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.),which regulates invasions of privacy, including wiretapping, eavesdropping, and surveillance. On February 12, 2015, the bill entered the House’s second reading. This house bill is an amendment to provide a definition of invasions of privacy and clarify its current law on drones.

The bill defines the term “image” and clarifies the situations under which it would be lawful to capture an image using an unmanned aircraft (16-11-95.1), and the situations under which it prohibits the capturing of certain images by unmanned aircraft (16-11-95.2). For those who are found guilty for violating 16-11-95.3(a)(1), their violation will result in either a misdemeanor or a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature. The amendment then provides for defenses to prosecution. The amendment restricts the use of such images in legal proceedings (16-11-95.4), and provides for civil actions against those who commit violations under the proposed bill (16-11-95.5). Furthermore, the amendment provides for rulemaking authority for the Department of Public Safety for law enforcement use of such unmanned aircraft.


Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Comments Off READ FULL POST

infringementBy Yaping Zhang – Edited by Danielle Kehl

On March 14, 2016, Judge Selya, writing for a unanimous bench on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, affirmed the District Court of Massachusetts’ decision dismissing the complaint filed by three victims of child sex trafficking against online forum Backpage.com. Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Souter serves as a judge by designation.

The First Circuit Court opinion can be found here, and the District Court of Massachusetts’ opinion can be found here.

The three anonymous plaintiffs, victims of child sex trafficking, alleged that they were molested and repeatedly raped after being advertised as sexual wares on Backpage.com. They sued Backpage.com, a website that hosts online classified adds, alleging that it had violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (“TVPRA”), 18 U.S.C. §1595, which applies to anyone that “knowingly benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which that person knew or should have known has engaged in an act in violation of this chapter.” The defendant invoked Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (“CDA”), which shields online service providers from liability for material posted by users of the site, and allows website operators to engage in blocking and screening of third-party content free from liability for such good-faith efforts. 47 U.S.C. §230. In addition, the CDA includes an immunity clause that exempts enforcement of a federal criminal statute, which plaintiffs argued applicable in a civil case such as this one.


Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Google FranceBy Kayla Haran – Edited by Ariane Moss

The French data-protection regulator, Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has fined Google 100,000 euros (about $112,000) for not conforming on a global scale with a May 2014 European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling over the right to be forgotten.

The ECJ ruling held that search engines are responsible for enforcing the right to be forgotten in the following manner:

the operator of a search engine is obliged to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of a person’s name links to web pages, published by third parties and containing information relating to that person, also in a case where that name or information is not erased beforehand or simultaneously from those web pages, and even, as the case may be, when its publication in itself on those pages is lawful.

Google complied with this ruling by scrubbing the requested search results across its European domains, such as google.fr and google.de, but did not do so across google.com or other, non-European domains. Google defended this choice (as previously reported in JOLT Digest) as one that would prevent a chilling effect on the free flow of information. In implementing the order, Google vets individual requests by weighing that person’s privacy rights against the public interest in keeping that information linked to that person’s name.


Posted On Apr - 4 - 2016 Comments Off READ FULL POST

Hertz rent-a-carBy Sheri Pan – Edited by Henry Thomas

Howard v. Hertz Corp., No. 13-00645 (D. Haw. Jan. 25, 2016), Slip Opinion hosted by Wolters Kluwer.

The District Court for the District of Hawaii granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant, Hertz, in a negligent supervision, retention, and training lawsuit brought by a customer, Maurice Howard.  Howard initiated the case after Hertz employees wrote disparaging comments about him on Facebook.

The Technology & Marketing Law Blog and National Law Review provide commentary.


Posted On Mar - 29 - 2016 Comments Off READ FULL POST
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