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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...

Serving Subpoenas to Unmask the Identities of Website Owners, Domain Registrants

When unidentified individuals defame businesses or professionals online, the harmed parties can potentially serve subpoenas on relevant entities for documents containing identifying information about the authors of the online defamation. The way this process often plays out is as follows (noting this is extremely generalized): Party A publishes false and...

How to Remove Search Results Linking to False and Defamatory Content

When people want to learn about a product, service, company or professional, they often go straight to the internet. And, unsurprisingly, a large percentage of people are going directly to search engines. According to PwC’s 2015 Total Retail Survey, of the more than 19,000 people the company surveyed worldwide, 56...

Devanney to Lead “How to Remove Defamation, Negative Reviews, and Other Damaging Content from the Internet” Webinar

Colleen Devanney, who heads up Vorys’ internet defamation practice, is leading an upcoming online webinar presentation on defamation removal on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 3:00 ET. The webinar—entitled “How to Remove Defamation, Negative Reviews, and Other Damaging Content from the Internet”–will run approximately 75 minutes. A full course description...

Order Requiring Non-Party Yelp to Remove Defamatory Reviews Affirmed by California Appellate Court

A California appellate court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision to require Yelp to remove three defamatory reviews. The First Appellate District did, however, remand the case to the trial court to narrow the terms of the removal order, which ordered Yelp to also remove potential future reviews. The court...

Order Requiring Non-Party Yelp to Remove Defamatory Reviews Affirmed by California Appellate Court

A California appellate court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision to require Yelp to remove three defamatory reviews. The First Appellate District did, however, remand the case to the trial court to narrow the terms of the removal order, which ordered Yelp to also remove potential future reviews. The court...

Removing Defamatory Statements From the Internet Using a Court Order

Most businesses and professionals defamed on the internet simply want the false content removed. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to obtain removal, one of which is through a court order. Websites and other entities do not want to be tasked with having to weigh the facts of any...

Utilizing IP Addresses to Subpoena Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

The majority of online defamation is posted anonymously or pseudonymously. Thus, many cases require issuing subpoenas—including to internet service providers (ISPs)—to identify the unknown posters. This process often involves obtaining internet protocol (IP) addresses from an entity, in response to an initial subpoena; determining the ISPs that own the respective IP addresses...

Best Practices, Worst Practices for Responding to Internet Defamation

There are a number of ways in which one can respond to internet defamation. There are also a number of ways not to respond. Below is an overview of some different response options that affected parties should and should not consider. How not to respond to online defamation We have...

Removal Often the Best Solution for Online Defamation

For businesses forced to deal with internet defamation, in our experience, removal of the harmful content is generally the best solution. Solutions are fact-dependent.  However, the longer false content remains online and potential customers or clients, among others, can view it, the more damage it is likely to cause to...