Other Internet Law Issues

Consumer Review Fairness Act Signed Into Law

President Barack Obama recently signed the Consumer Review Fairness Act into law. The newly passed law, signed on December 14, 2016, has three main functions. First, it voids provisions in form contracts that limit a person’s right to publish genuine negative reviews online. Second, it voids clauses threatening penalties or fines against the...

Reporting Harmful Non-Defamatory Google Reviews

It is generally difficult to convince a website to remove defamatory third-party content without a court order. If person A goes to a website and says person B’s statements about him or her are false, how does that website know whether person A is telling the truth? And, even so, how...

Subpoenas, Court Orders and the ‘Cable Privacy Act’: Identifying Anonymous Online Posters

We have written about subpoenaing internet service providers (ISPs) for identifying information relating to internet protocol (IP) addresses used by their subscribers.  In that post, we mentioned that securing identifying information from cable operator ISPs generally requires obtaining a court order authorizing disclosure of the subscriber information. To briefly illustrate,...

Online Copyright Infringement and the DMCA Subpoena

Ordinarily, serving a subpoena to identify an anonymous internet poster requires first filing a lawsuit. In fact, we have published several posts about using subpoenas to identify unknown authors of internet defamation and have explained that the first step in the process is filing a complaint against the unknown poster. There...

How to Stop (and Remove) Online Impersonations on Social Media, Other Websites

Professionals and companies are being harmed online and on social media in a number of ways. One increasingly common form of online harassment is impersonation of the person (or company) that the harasser is intending to harm through the creation of fake public personas on social media platforms or websites. Major...

False, Negative Online Reviews Challenge Health Care Professionals and Health Care Providers

Online reviews affect nearly every industry, and health care is certainly one of them. What differentiates health care, in this context, is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA. Under HIPAA, a federal privacy law, health care professionals and providers are not allowed to disclose certain...

Defamation and Bad Faith Registration, Use of Domain Names Under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

Most internet defamation occurs on third-party websites, often through false reviews.  However, some people are so intent on disparaging other professionals or companies that they will go as far as creating their own websites, registering carefully selected domain names and publishing content through them that is calculated to cause harm to those...

Defamation and Bad Faith Registration, Use of Domain Names Under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP)

Most internet defamation occurs on third-party websites, often through false reviews.  However, some people are so intent on disparaging other professionals or companies that they will go as far as creating their own websites, registering carefully selected domain names and publishing content through them that is calculated to cause harm to those...

Employers Must Avoid ‘Retaliation’ If Suing Employees for Defamation

Employers are vulnerable to being the targets of negative online and social media postings. And sometimes these statements can give rise to defamation claims. However, an employer considering suing a current or former employee for internet defamation must be careful if the (ex-)employee recently engaged in protected activity. Under Section 7...

Internet Defamation and Anti-SLAPP Laws: A Look Back at the Washington Supreme Court’s 2015 Ruling Invalidating the State’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

In late May 2015, the Washington Supreme Court became the first state to find an anti-SLAPP statute unconstitutional, striking down the rule codified as RCW 4.24.525. At the time (and likely still today), free speech advocates expressed their disappointment in the ruling, believing that the state of Washington would leave...