Section 230 Protects Grindr From Harrassed User’s Claims–Herrick v. Grindr

6 03 2017

This is a well-constructed and thoughtful Section 230 ruling. If this case keeps going in the same direction, it has the potential to become a major Section 230 precedent.

Herrick claims that ex-boyfriend JC used Grindr to launch a vicious five-month e-personation attack. JC allegedly created fake dating profiles in Herrick’s name, with his contact info, saying Herrick wanted sex; with the predictable result that allegedly hundreds of horny men responded to the profiles and sought out Herrick at his home and workplace. Craigslist has been used for similar attacks for a long time, and California created an “e-personation” crime to combat them. Herrick further claims he’s contacted Grindr over 50 times about this harassment campaign and never received a response other than a form acknowledgement email.

Herrick sued Grindr in state court and got an immediate TRO instructing Grindr to “immediately disable all impersonating profiles created under Plaintiff’s name or with identifying information relating to Plaintiff, Plaintiff’s photograph, address, phone number, email account or place of work.” Grindr removed the case to federal court. The court’s opinion is in response to Herrick’s request to extend the TRO. The court denies the request.

Section 230

If you are a Section 230 fan, I encourage you to read the opinion’s entire discussion about Section 230. It’s not that long, and I considered quoting the whole thing. It’s worth the read.

 

 

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Because the opinion is so savvy about Section 230, I’m awarding the rare and coveted Technology & Marketing Law Blog Judge-of-the-Day honors to Judge Valerie Caproni. Congratulations, your honor. Opinions like this remind us why the US judicial system is so respected by other countries. May it always be that way.

Case citation: Herrick v. Grindr, LLC, 2017 WL 744605 (SDNY Feb. 24, 2017). Complaint.

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/03/section-230-protects-grindr-from-harrassed-users-claims-herrick-v-grindr.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Encryption patent that roiled Newegg is dead on appeal

6 03 2017
Patent-holding company TQP Development made millions claiming that it owned a breakthrough in Web encryption, even though most encryption experts had never heard of the company until it started a massive campaign of lawsuits. Yesterday, the company’s litigation campaign was brought to an end when a panel of appeals judges refused (PDF) to give TQP a second chance to collect on a jury verdict against Newegg.

The TQP patent was invented by Michael Jones, whose company Telequip briefly sold a kind of encrypted modem. The company sold about 30 models before the modem business went bust. Famed patent enforcer Erich Spangenberg bought the TQP patent in 2008 and began filing lawsuits, saying that the Jones patent actually entitled him to royalties on a basic form of SSL Internet encryption. Spangenberg and Jones ultimately made more than $45 million from the patent.

Newegg finally took the TQP patent to a jury trial but lost in 2013 when a jury said Newegg should pay $2.3 million for infringement. But after a long delay, Newegg still won the lawsuit on post-trial motions. US District Judge Rodney Gilstrap agreed with Newegg’s lawyers that because the company’s encryption scheme didn’t change “key values” with each block of data, it couldn’t possibly fit into the description of the Jones patent.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/encryption-patent-that-roiled-newegg-is-dead-on-appeal/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke will appeal “Blurred Lines” copyright ruling

24 12 2016
The copyright dispute between “Blurred Lines” song creators Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke, and the family of Marvin Gaye, will continue on to a higher court.

Earlier this year, Gaye’s family said in court that Williams and Thicke stole critical elements from Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up” for their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” A jury agreed with Gaye’s family and awarded them $7.4 million, which was later reduced to $5.3 million. Now, Williams and Thicke are looking to appeal (PDF) that decision in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was unusual because in a pre-trial hearing, the judge ruled that the applicable 1909 copyright law only covered sheet music, not the song’s actual sound. The judge later reversed his decision, ordering Williams and Thicke’s lawyers to produce an audio recording of “Got To Give It Up” that only included a bass line and keyboard chords underneath some vocals from Gaye. This was the only version of “Got To Give It Up” that the jury was permitted to hear to compare with “Blurred Lines.”

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/12/pharrell-williams-robin-thicke-will-appeal-blurred-lines-copyright-ruling/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



German judges explain why Adblock Plus is legal

13 12 2016
Last month, Adblock Plus maker Eyeo GmbH won its sixth legal victory in German courts, with a panel of district court judges deciding that ad-blocking software is legal despite German newsmagazine Der Spiegel’s arguments to the contrary. Now, the reasoning of the Hamburg-based panel of judges has been made public.

According to an unofficial English-translated copy (PDF) of the judgment, Spiegel Online argued it was making a “unified offer” to online consumers. Essentially, that offer is: read the news content for free and view some ads. While Internet users have the freedom “not to access this unified offer,” neither they nor Adblock Plus have the right to “dismantle” it. Eyeo’s behavior thus amounted to unfair competition, and it could even wipe the offer out, Spiegel claimed.

 

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/12/german-judges-explain-why-adblock-plus-is-legal/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



EFF calls on HP to disable printer ink self-destruct sequence

31 10 2016
HP Inc. should apologize to customers and restore the ability of printers to use third-party ink cartridges, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a letter to the company’s CEO yesterday.

HP has been sabotaging OfficeJet printers with firmware that prevents use of non-HP ink cartridges and even HP cartridges that have been refilled, forcing customers to buy more expensive ink directly from HP. The self-destruct mechanism informs customers that their ink cartridges are “damaged” and must be replaced.

“The software update that prevented the use of third-party ink was reportedly distributed in March, but this anti-feature itself wasn’t activated until September,” EFF Special Advisor Cory Doctorow wrote in a letter to HP Inc. CEO Dion Weisler. “That means that HP knew, for at least six months, that some of its customers were buying your products because they believed they were compatible with any manufacturer’s ink, while you had already planted a countdown timer in their property that would take this feature away. Your customers will have replaced their existing printers, or made purchasing recommendations to friends who trusted them on this basis. They are now left with a less useful printer—and possibly a stockpile of useless third-party ink cartridges.”

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/09/hp-should-apologize-and-stop-sabotaging-non-hp-ink-cartridges-eff-says/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.