If you’re a revenge porn victim, consider this free, helpful legal guide

14 02 2017
Without My Consent, a San Francisco-based advocacy organization that aims to help victims of revenge porn, has released a slew of new resources this week in an attempt to make seeking justice easier for victims.

The new materials, dubbed “Something Can Be Done! Guide,” provides a step-by-step guide for victims. It provides concrete measures that they can take, including evidence preservation, copyright registration, restraining orders, and takedown requests to Internet companies—many of which don’t require the often-costly services of a lawyer. (Without My Consent’s efforts are reminiscent of Nolo, a decades-old do-it-yourself legal publisher.)

guide is here: http://withoutmyconsent.org/resources

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/02/if-youre-a-revenge-porn-victim-consider-this-free-helpful-legal-guide/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Melania Loses Defamation Lawsuit on Jurisdiction Grounds–Trump v. Tarpley

7 02 2017

As we know, our president frequently threatens defamation lawsuits, only occasionally delivers on those threats (remember the guarantee to sue the women who accused him of sexual assault?), sometimes brings SLAPPs when he does actually sue for defamation (remember when he sued a book author because “it will cost him a lot of money”?), and is more likely to be a defamation defendant than plaintiff–though he is defamation-resistant because, according to one judge, no one actually believes what he says.

His wife Melania, in contrast, keeps a lower profile, both in the public eye and in court, so it caught my attention when Melania brought a defamation lawsuit. She sued a blogger, Webster Griffin Tarpley, for defamation. He blogged several rumors about Melania but later retracted the post (presumably under legal threats). He got sued anyway. Separately, Mail Media Inc. (MMI), which allegedly runs the MailOnline website, published an article reporting on similar rumors. They too retracted the post and got sued anyway.

Case citation: Trump v. Tarpley, Case No. 424492V (Md. Cir. Ct. Feb. 1, 2017). The complaint.

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2017/02/melania-loses-defamation-lawsuit-on-jurisdiction-grounds-trump-v-tarpley.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Ninth Circuit Criticizes Attempts to Plead Around Section 230–Kimzey v. Yelp

7 02 2017

[Note: Venkat represented Yelp in this case but was not involved in the preparation of this post.]

For all of the drama associated with Section 230 jurisprudence this year–including in the Ninth Circuit–it’s easy to forget that Section 230 still works well in simple cases when a plaintiff tries to hold a website liable for third party content. So it’s refreshing to get a straightforward Section 230 case that reaches the expected result. And it’s especially gratifying to see a court recognize–and reject–efforts to plead around Section 230.

The Opinion

Kimzey is a locksmith operating as Redmond Locksmith a/k/a Redmond Mobile Locksmith. “Sarah K” left a negative Yelp review of the business. Kimzey sued Yelp pro se. The district court easily tossed the lawsuit. The Ninth Circuit affirms.

Case citation: Kimzey v. Yelp!, Nos. 14-35487 & 14-35494 (9th Cir. Sept. 12, 2016)

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2016/09/ninth-circuit-criticizes-attempts-to-plead-around-secton-230-kimzey-v-yelp.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Avvo’s Attorney Profile Pages Don’t Violate Publicity Rights–Vrdolyak v. Avvo

7 02 2017

Publicity right laws often prohibit the use of third parties’ names (or other aspects of their personalities) “for commercial purposes.” So what’s a “commercial purpose”? Fuck if I know. We might make the term coextensive with the Constitutional law definition of “commercial speech,” but that provides precisely zero help because there are multiple inconsistent definitions of that term too. Because no one really knows the commerciality borders for publicity rights (or any other) laws, defendants sometimes struggle to get quick courtroom wins in publicity rights cases, even when they publish obviously editorial content.

Against this backdrop, Avvo scored a nifty early victory in a case challenging its attorney profiles. Avvo creates the profiles without consent from the profiled attorneys, and then displays advertising on the profiles and uses them to upsell Avvo memberships.

Case citation: Vrdolyak v. Avvo, Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02833 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 12, 2016). The initial complaint (Bernstein v. Avvo).

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The content in this post was found at http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2016/09/avvos-attorney-profile-pages-dont-violate-publicity-rights-vrdolyak-v-avvo.htm and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Yelp fighting court order requiring it to remove negative review

7 02 2017
California’s top court is agreeing to hear a case in which a lower court has ordered Yelp to remove a bad review. The California Supreme Court did not say when it would hear the case that tests the Communications Decency Act, which San Francisco-based Yelp maintains protects it from having to remove content on its site posted by third parties.

The case concerns a June decision by a state appeals court that requires Yelp to remove a defamatory review about a law firm written by an unhappy client. A lower court issued a default judgement for over $500,000 against the reviewer, Ava Bird, for a review that the law firm claimed was defamatory. Bird was sued for defamation, but was a no-show in court.

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The content in this post was found at https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/09/yelp-fighting-court-order-requiring-it-to-remove-negative-review/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.