Clickthrough Agreement Upheld–Whitt v. Prosper

20 07 2015

I’m way behind in blogging clickthrough agreement cases, but I’m prioritizing this opinion because of its simplicity. Whitt, who is deaf, sought a loan via a “peer-to-peer lending service” called Prosper. To confirm his identity, Whitt needed to make a phone call. He tried to use a Video Relay Service, but Prosper allegedly refused a call made that way. Whitt claims the refusal violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and related state laws.

To apply for the loan, Whitt allegedly had to agree to Prosper’s Borrower Registration Agreement, which required applicants to click a box adjacent to the bolded text “Clicking the box below constitutes your acceptance ofthe borrower registration agreement.”

 

The court’s cites include Fteja v. Facebook, Zaltz v. JDate, Nicosia v. Amazon, Starke v. Gilt and others.

Case citation: Whitt v. Prosper Funding LLC, 2015 WL 4254062 (S.D.N.Y. July 14, 2015)

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CFAA and SCA Do Not Prohibit Creation Of A Fake Facebook Page

10 07 2015

The defendants in a case pending in Chicago federal court were accused of contravening Facebook’s terms of use by accessing its computers in order to create a phony page and then using it to ridicule someone. In Bittman v. Fox, Case No. 14 C 8191 (N.D.Ill., June 1, 2015) (Holderman, J.), the court held that those allegations do not state a cause of action under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, or the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2707.

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Judge overturns conviction of former Goldman Sachs programmer

10 07 2015

The New York State Supreme Court has overturned the second conviction of Sergey Aleynikov, a former programmer accused of stealing high-frequency trading source code after leaving Goldman Sachs in 2009.

The Russian-American programmer, who was featured in the book Flash Boys, was previously convicted in federal court in 2010 on one count of stealing trade secrets and one count of transporting stolen property.

He was released from prison when the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overturned the conviction in 2012.

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The “Browsewrap”/”Clickwrap” Distinction Is Falling Apart

29 06 2015

It is somewhat surprising that, in 2015, courts are still hashing out online consumer contract formation issues. After all, the seminal case, Specht v. Netscape, was decided over a dozen years ago. Yet, a few recent cases show that companies often don’t get the contracting process right. In all or most of these cases, the companies are trying to push the disputes into arbitration (on an individual, rather than a class-wide basis). So the result of a flawed contract formation often means that a company has to litigate a claim in court rather than a more convenient and less expensive forum.

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Court Rejects Bizarre Attempt To Scrub Consumer Review–Goren v. Ripoff Report

29 06 2015
I previously blogged about this matter (see also Venkat’s update). A Massachusetts attorney, Goren, was unhappy about a user review of his law firm posted to Ripoff Report, which is well-known for not removing user posts. The plaintiffs sued the user for defamation in state court; the user no-showed. The plaintiffs got a default judgment and convinced the judge to assign the author’s copyright as part of the relief. The plaintiffs then turned around and sued Ripoff Report for copyright infringement for continuing to publish the review. Although this particular method of getting a review’s copyright via a default judgment was novel, copyright-based workarounds to Section 230 are well-known and usually problematic. This week, the court rejected the lawsuit.

 

Case citation: Small Justice v. Xcentric Ventures, 1:13-cv-11701-DJC (D. Mass. March 27, 2015)

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