Morrison & Foerster LLP

As consumers increasingly communicate and interact through social media platforms, courts have had to grapple with how to apply existing laws to new ways of communicating, as well as disseminating and using content. Sometimes, however, traditional legal standards apply to these new platforms in a straightforward manner. At least, that is what the court found in Dancel v. Groupon, Inc., a putative class action against Groupon, Inc., alleging that Groupon’s use of images originally…
New York is now one of the 43 states where “revenge porn,” the posting of explicit photographs or videos to the Internet without the subject’s consent, is punishable by law. See how far the states have come – find out how many had criminalized revenge porn as of 2014, when Socially Aware first covered the issue. YouTube announced that it will not allow channels that promote anti-vaccination videos to run advertisements because such videos…
One of the next big items in Europe will be the expansion of “ePrivacy,” (which, among other things, regulates the use of cookies on websites). While the ePrivacy reform is still being worked on by EU lawmakers, one of the items the ePrivacy Regulation is expected to update is the use of “cookie walls.” Recently, the Austrian and UK data protection authorities (DPAs) issued enforcement actions involving the use of cookie walls, albeit with different…
On March 11, 2019, the SEC announced settlements with 79 investment advisers who self-reported violations of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) in connection with the Division of Enforcement’s Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative (the “Share Class Initiative”). The advisers, collectively, agreed to return more than $125 million in fees and prejudgment interest to clients. Form ADV requires investment advisers to make full and fair disclosure to their clients and prospective clients concerning…
The cost for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has been steadily rising, and companies subject to the law should take heed. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced a record-setting $5.7 million settlement with the mobile app company Musical.ly for a myriad of COPPA violations, exceeding even the December 2018 $4.95 million COPPA settlement by the New York Attorney General. Notably, two Commissioners issued a statement accompanying the settlement, arguing that…
In the words of Willie Wonka: “Wait a minute — strike that, reverse it!” As loyal readers will recall, in our last issue, we tried to stay current in referring to the CFPB by what Mick Mulvaney declared would be its new name: the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. Well, what a difference a director makes. Shortly after Kathy Kraninger was confirmed by the Senate as the second Director of the agency, she scrapped the…
In 2019, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) is expected to clarify one of the key open issues in EU copyright law: the extent to which online platforms such as YouTube can be liable for copyright infringement caused by user-generated content—content uploaded on to the Internet by users such as music, videos, literature, photos, or the streaming of live events such as concerts. The CJEU decisions are eagerly awaited by both media and copyright owners…
In what is being described as “the first settlement to deem such sales illegally deceptive,” New York Attorney General Letitia James has entered into a settlement with a company that had been selling fake followers, likes and views on several social media platforms. Read how much revenue the sales were generating for the defendant companies. Twitter is requiring parties interested in posting ads related to the European Parliament elections to verify their identities and
The California Department of Business Oversight (“DBO”) has issued an Invitation for Comments relating to the scope of the “agent of a payee” exemption under the Money Transmission Act, Cal. Fin. Code § 2000 et seq. Comments are due on April 9. According to the DBO, it is seeking comments because it intends to develop regulations to “clarify the applicability” of the exemption. Read our client alert.…
On February 6, 2019, amidst strong opposition from representatives of consumer groups and some members of Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a proposed rule to revise its controversial November 2017 small-dollar loan rule (2017 Rule). The proposed rule would effectively rescind the 2017 Rule’s requirement that lenders determine a borrower’s ability to repay prior to extending small-dollar and certain other types of covered loans. Read our client alert.…