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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...

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...

How Not to Deal With Negative Online Reviews: Addressing Online Criticism in Light of Pending Federal Legislation on Non-Disparagement Clauses

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the House of Representatives passed H.R.5111, better known as the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016. The Consumer Review Fairness Act is a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting consumers who criticize businesses online. More specifically, the legislation is aimed at prohibiting businesses from inserting language in...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Nev. Jury Awards Internet Defamation Plaintiffs $38.3 Million in Damages for Anonymous Websites

Three-and-a-half years after filing a lawsuit over false allegations comparing him to Bernie Madoff, a federal jury recently awarded a California real estate professional and his company more than $38 million. On February 17, Bradley Cohen—founder and CEO of a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm, Cohen Asset Management, Inc....

Employers Must Be Careful Using Non-Disparagement Clauses to Discourage Employees’ Negative Online and Social Media Posts

In recent years, there has been backlash against non-disparagement clauses pertaining to online reviews. In particular, those attempting to restrict honest—albeit negative—feedback about companies.  In fact, California passed a law in August 2014 prohibiting anti-negative review policies. Meanwhile the Federal Trade Commission filed its first ever lawsuit over similar non-disparagement clauses...

Devanney to Lead Upcoming Webinar on Strategies for Removing Defamation From the Internet

On Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, Colleen Devanney will lead a webinar, entitled “How to Remove Defamation, Negative Reviews, and Other Damaging Content from the Internet.”  Devanney, who is leading Vorys’ internet defamation practice — will present from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. ET in the webinar hosted by the Clear Law Institute. The webinar...