Torn a New One by Judge for Charging for Removals

A few years ago we told you about some lawsuits against and other websites which post the mug shots of those charged with crimes. While the particular lawsuit that we covered, Kaplan and Lashway v. Mugshots, et al, was settled, others were not, and now a Federal judge has ruled that the plaintiffs in a case out of Illinois and Florida against and have made a strong enough case for it to move forward, despite the defendants’ motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted (known to legal folks as a Rule 12(b)(6) motion).

Selling MP3s is a Good Idea, Right? “No!” says the Court

You can sell used CDs and used DVDs, and even, if you’re really old school, used records and tapes. So why not sell used MP3s that you don’t want any more. It may seem an obvious issue that an MP3 file can be copied again and again, but one company, ReDigi Inc., takes a different view of the issue, pointing out that the legal doctrine of “first use” allows purchasers of copyrighted material (such as songs on a CD) to resell them. Capital Records disagreed with ReDigi, and last October the two companies faced off in front of District Court Judge Richard Sullivan, in joint motions to dismiss the inevitable lawsuit that had been brought by Capitol Records. Last week Judge Sullivan ruled on the case, and chalked up one for the big guys.

Netflix Class Action Lawsuit over Privacy Settled – You May be a ‘Winner’

A settlement over the class action lawsuit against Netflix for privacy issues, which included retaining personally identifiable data with respect to customer video renting and viewing habits, has been reached, and if you are a current or former Netflix subscriber, you may have received an email notice of the class action settlement. The email, sent from “Online DVD Class Action Administrator” has a subject of “Video Privacy Lawsuit – Current and Former Netflix Subscribers”, and goes on to tell you what your rights are with respect to the settlement, which settlement includes Netflix ‘decoupling’ your video rental and viewing data from your personal information. It also advises you that you have to opt out of the settlement in order to retain any rights you may have to sue Netflix directly over the privacy violation.

Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple Over “In App Purchases” to Move Forward

A Federal court in San Jose has rejected Apple’s request for a dismissal of the class action lawsuit against Apple initiated by an angry parent whose child was able to purchase $200 worth of in-app purchases through a free app. Garen Meguerian, the lead plaintiff in the case, says that his daughter was able to purchase the $200 worth of “zombie toxin” and “gems” without his knowledge or permission.

Federal Court Judge in Password Lawsuit Ruling: You Can Be Ordered to Decrypt Your Hard Drive

A Federal court ruling this week by Judge Robert Blackburn, of Peyton, Colorado, says that you can be ordered by the court to provide the password to decrypt encrypted data, or face contempt of court, and that being forced to reveal your passphrase does not violate the Fifth Amendment (the 5th Amendent includes, among other things, the right against self-incrimination). In the ruling, Judge Blackburn ordered Ramona Fricosu, whose laptop hard drive is encrypted with PGP, and who is charged with taking part in a mortgage scam, including charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering, to decrypt her hard drive or face, among other sanctions, contempt of court.

Who Owns Your Social Media Account? Man Sued by Former Employer Over Ownership of His Personal Twitter Account

When is your Twitter account (or Facebook or other social media account) not your Twitter account? At what point does your work-related use of your social media account convert that account to your employer’s intellectual or other property? Noah Kravitz is being sued by his former employer, PhoneDog, over what is now, in theory, Kravitz’s personal Twitter account. An account which he says he converted to his own use with PhoneDog’s blessings, only to have them turn around and bite him in the back. Kravitz used Twitter while he worked for Phone Dog – using the Twitter handle @PhoneDog-Noah – and when he stopped working for PhoneDog he changed his Twitter ID to @noahkravitz – but it was the same account, with the same followers – 17,000 followers – and PhoneDog now claims that Kravitz’s Twitter account is actually their intellectual property, and that a Twitter account by any other name is still theirs. But there is way more to this story.

Facebook Sued Over Featuring Users in Advertisements

You knew that Facebook uses you in their advertising, right? Those sidebar advertisements (so called “sponsored stories”) where you often see your friends featured – “So and so likes this advertiser” – they do that with your likeness too. We have often ranted about it – now someone is doing something about it: In the case of Fraley v. Facebook plaintiff Fraley and others are suing Facebook in a class action suit, and the Federal court has approved Fraley versus Facebook moving forward. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh agreed that there was a chance that the plaintiffs could win their case based on claims that Facebook has committed fraud, and violated California law with unauthorized use of their image and name, in using Facebook friends’ images and names in advertising displayed in the Facebook sidebar.

FCC and Justice Department Slam Proposed AT and T Takeover of T-Mobile

In a lovely “we told you so” moment, we can report that two key Federal agencies – both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) – are opposing the planned merger of AT and T and T-Mobile. We predicted Federal opposition to the merge when AT and T first announced their plans to takeover T-Mobile, and the Feds are opposing the merging for much the same reasons that we said that they would.

Facebook Sued for Tracking Users’ Browsing History Even When Not Logged In

Facebook is being sued over its using its ability to track Facebook users’ Internet browsing history even while they are logged out of Facebook. The Facebook lawsuit, filed in Federal court in Mississippi on October 12th against Facebook, Brooke Rutledge claims that, among other things Facebook is in direct violation of U.S. Wiretapping laws. But perhaps more to the point, it is in violation of treating its users with common decency, following them with Facebook super cookies and the like. The complaint also seeks to turn the lawsuit into a class action, so others can join the law suit.

Huffington Post Lawsuit Explained: HuffPo Sued by Its Own Bloggers for Deceptive Business Practices

The Huffington Post (which variously also goes by HuffPost, Huff Post, HuffPo, or Huff Po), is being sued in a class action law suit by its own bloggers. The lawsuit, which names Ariana Huffington and Kenneth Lerer, the two co-founders of the Huffington Post, as defendants, alleges deceptive business practices and unjust enrichment. AOL, which recently acquired the Huffington Post for $315 million (which is what triggered the lawsuit) is also a named defendant.