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Paul Levy
Cyberlitigator on free speech issues at Public Citizen
Recent Activity
by Paul Alan Levy This spring I reported on a decision of the Virginia Supreme Court that overturned a contempt citation against Yelp for honoring its users First Amendment right to post pseudonymous criticisms of a Virginia merchant called Hadeed... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Techdirt carries a discussion of a recent decision dismissing a class action complaint filed against Yelp on behalf of Yelp users contending that, because their reviews provide content that allows Yelp to profit through the sale... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The New York Times carries a story about the punishing pace that Amazon staff have to endure as the company squeezes every ounce of productivity out of them. Work-life balance? What's that? Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Several years ago, the notorious Hollywood mouthpiece Martin Singer sent a demand letter to the San Diego Reader, in reaction to its having inquired about a pending law suit, threatening to sue it in the event... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a Ninth Circuit decision, Multi Time Machine v., that undid a great deal of progress made in that court undoing the adverse effects of that Court's decision... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy I blogged last week about a troubling trademark-law decision from the Ninth Circuit; this week Amazon filed a petition for rehearing en banc. Spurred by the concerns I articulated last week, we are preparing an amicus... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In its decision issued last week about the application of trademark law to the operation of online search engines, Multi Time Machine v. Amazon the Ninth Circuit has taken a dangerous step backwards. The case might,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Not much, it appears. Following up on the recent spate of stories about a grand jury subpoena that the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York had issued to Reason Magazine, demanding... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a decision issued today, the Washington Court of Appeals has embraced the broad consensus among state and federal courts holding that plaintiffs who want courts to force service providers to provide identifying information about anonymous... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Now that a federal court gag order against it has been lifted, Reason Magazine has now published its own comments, and a number of other bloggers have been writing as well, about Reason’s experience with a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a decision issued yesterday in Hadley v. Subscriber Doe a/k/a Fuboy, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed lower court rulings that an anonymous commenter who responded to a local newspaper article by calling a local politician... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In an amicus brief filed this afternoon, Public Citizen and Twitter have urged the California Court of Appeal for the First District to join with the Court of Appeal for the Sixth District in ruling that plaintiffs seeking to identify... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Judge Tena Campbell of the United States District Court has issued an interesting decision holding that a California woman sued in diversity by a Utah company may file a special motion to strike the plaintiff’s defamation... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The Los Angeles Times carries an op-ed about a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the City of Inglewood, California, against a local resident who has taken portions of the city’s own recordings of public meetings to highlight conduct by the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a ruling issued this morning in Davis v. Cox, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously struck down that state's anti-SLAPP statute because of a provision, not contained in most other state anti-SLAPP statutes, under which once... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Bomberger is of course entitled to his views about the NAACP and his claims about its positions on abortion, but what the trial court found (25 F. Supp.3d at 873-874) was the following: The NAACP has no formal or official position or policy regarding abortion because such a position may create problems within its diverse membership and constituency, who embrace a wide range of views on the controversial issue of abortion. Nothing in the Fourth Circuit's opinion appears to overturn that finding which was, of course, irrelevant under trademark law.
The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has issued an important decision at the intersection of First Amendment and trademark law, marking the second time in two days that free speech has triumphed over expansive intellectual property claims. On... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In an opinion issued this morning, an almost unanimous en banc Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overturned the panel opinion in Garcia v. Google, which last year granted a mandatory injunction requiring Google to remove the video... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at CL&P Blog
This morning we have a broad hint that the Ninth Circuit's en banc opinion in Garcia v. Google is to be expected today, and that the ruling will reverse Judge Kozinski's opinion for the panel. What the ground of that... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Rebecca Tushnet’s blog calls attention to a bizarre cybersquatting complaint that was recently filed in the Northern District of California by ThermoLife, an Arizona company that touts its dietary supplements as providing “the purest, most powerful and innovative products” using... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In a brief filed in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, we have asked the Court to enforce the Supreme Court’s rule forbidding temporary injunctions to protect the reputation of a business against allegedly defamatory criticisms. The facts of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy Over the past couple of decades, federal courts have a uniform answer to the question whether state anti-SLAPP statutes applied when state law claims were pursued in federal court. Anti-SLAPP statutes give the defendants in cases... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The recent announcement of an FTC settlement with a company called AmeriFreight that was paying customers to write reviews, then trolling for new customers by pointing to its favorable online ratings, brings to mind the controversy a few years ago... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy I have blogged several times (for example here and here) about the efforts of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning to compel Yelp to comply with a Virginia subpoena to identify seven consumers who posted critical reviews on Yelp.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2015 at CL&P Blog
by Paul Alan Levy In a two-page per curiam ruling, the Fifth Circuit has affirmed the decision of Judge Sam Cummings of the Northern District of Texas to dismiss, on the face of the complaint, Lanham Act claims brought by... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at CL&P Blog