01Aug

Privacy Coalition Urges FTC To Block Facebook's Behavioral-Advertising Plan

A coalition of privacy advocates wants regulators to block Facebook from broadening its online behavioral advertising program. The TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue argues that Facebook’s new initiative marks a departure from its prior statements eschewing broad online behavioral advertising. “We urge you to act immediately to notify the company that it […]

01Aug

Consumers Urge Court To Approve Google $8.5 Million 'Referrer Header' Settlement

A group of consumers is asking a federal judge to grant final approval to a settlement requiring Google to pay $8.5 million to nonprofits in order to resolve allegations that the company wrongly “leaked” information about search users. The consumers say in court papers filed on Friday that the deal […]

01Aug

FilmOn Fined $90,000 For Contempt

A federal judge in Manhattan held FilmOn in contempt and fined it $90,000 for continuing to stream television shows after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo’s similar streaming service infringed broadcasters’ copyright. “For nearly two weeks, FilmOn was aware that its operations, based on the Supreme Court’s determination, infringed plaintiffs’ […]

01Aug

News Organizations Push To Access Records In Gmail Privacy Battle

The New York Times Company, Atlantic Media, Forbes and a host of other news organizations are still fighting to unseal records in a lawsuit centering on whether Gmail ads infringe users’ privacy, even though the underlying dispute has been resolved. “The fact that a settlement has been reached should not […]

25Jul

Broadcasters Seek To Hold FilmOn In Contempt Over New Streaming Service

Several days after the Supreme Court ruled that Aereo infringed copyright by streaming television shows on the Internet, the rival company FilmOn announced that it had developed a new type of streaming service that would avoid legal pitfalls. FilmOn vowed to roll out its new so-called “teleporter” service to 18 […]

25Jul

Copyright Office Won't Process FilmOn's Cable-License Application

FilmOn’s effort to obtain a compulsory license to transmit television programs on the Web has run into the same roadblock as a similar effort by Aereo — the Copyright Office is refusing to process FilmOn’s application. “We understand FilmOn to be an Internet-based service that retransmits broadcast television programming. In […]

25Jul

Parent Can Proceed With Lawsuit Against Google For In-App Purchases

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Google of allowing young children to rack up credit card charges by making in-app purchases. U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Whyte in San Jose, Calif. ruled this week that New York resident Ilana Imber-Gluck could proceed with allegations that Google’s […]

25Jul

FilmOn Likely In Contempt, Judge Says

A federal judge in Manhattan said on Tuesday that she’s likely to hold streaming video company FilmOn X in contempt of court for continuing to operate after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Aereo’s streaming service infringed copyright. “I’m inclined to grant the contempt motion,” U.S. District Court Judge Naomi […]

19Jul

Streaming Video Company FilmOn X Seeks Cable License

Online video startup FilmOn X is now arguing that it’s entitled to a compulsory license to broadcast television shows. FilmOn X, backed by billionaire Alki David, says in court papers that the recent Supreme Court ruling against rival company Aereo supports the view that the streaming video startups are “cable […]

19Jul

Hate Advertising? Hell, Yeah!

STRATA, the self-proclaimed “leader in media buying and selling software,” sent out a release noting that about a third of consumers say online video ads are more irritating than TV ads. This “online survey of 675 adults that watch online videos or TV programming online” (no disclosure on the response […]

19Jul

Copyright Office Sides Against Aereo, Refuses To Process License Application

Aereo’s bid to be considered a cable system met with a chilly reaction from the U.S. Copyright Office, which says it won’t process the company’s application for a compulsory license to broadcast television shows. “In the view of the Copyright Office, internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope […]

17Jul

Senate Votes To Allow Cell-Phone Unlocking

The Senate unanimously voted on Tuesday to allow consumers to unlock their cell phones so they can use the devices with a variety of carriers. The “Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act” (S. 517) makes clear that tinkering with digital rights management software in order to unlock a phone […]

17Jul

Publishers' Group Largely Backs FCC's Neutrality Proposal

The Online Publishers Association is supporting a controversial proposal to allow Internet service providers to enter into “commercially reasonable” deals with content companies for fast delivery. But the OPA adds that the FCC should offer a more precise definition of commercially reasonable than the one put forward in the initial […]

15Jul

Google Settles Gmail Privacy Dispute With Teen User

Google has agreed to resolve a privacy dispute centered on Gmail ads with the last remaining plaintiff — a teenager identified in court documents as “J.K.” — according to court records. The “stipulation of dismissal,” filed on Monday with U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif, doesn’t […]

15Jul

Aereo Maps Out New Legal Strategy: It's A Cabler

Shifting gears, online video service Aereo says it now plans to argue that it’s a “cable system” and is entitled to stream television shows over the Internet, providing it pays fees to broadcasters. The company contends in new court papers that the Supreme Court’s recent decision that Aereo infringed copyright […]

15Jul

Court Urged To Reject Facebook's Defense Of 'Sponsored Stories' Settlement

A coalition of parents is asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to reject Facebook’s “unpersuasive” attempts to defend a $20 million settlement of a lawsuit about the sponsored stories program. The parents say the settlement — approved last year by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Seeborg — will enable […]

15Jul

Carrier IQ Privacy Dispute Goes To Mediation

A long-running fight about whether software developer Carrier IQ and a group of phone manufacturers violated consumers’ privacy could be heading toward a settlement. U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in the Northern District of California recently signed an order directing the consumers and companies to take their 3-year-old dispute […]

15Jul

ESPN: Sleeping With The Enemy

In light of the record audiences for World Cup games (previously called “contests” until Germany’s dismemberment of Brazil) the folks who run ESPN should be pretty proud of themselves. The somewhat muted broadcasts with chippy announcers were all business, without the deluge of commercial breaks that accompany other tournaments and […]

15Jul

FTC Sues Amazon, Says Parents Entitled To Refunds For Kids' In-App Purchases

Amazon unfairly allowed young children to rack up charges on their parents’ credit cards by making in-app purchases, the Federal Trade Commission alleges in a lawsuit filed on Thursday. “Parents and other Amazon account holders have suffered significant monetary injury, with thousands of consumers complaining about unauthorized in-app charges by […]

09Jul

Fantasy Sports Site DraftKings.com Revises Ad Boasts, BBB Says

DraftKings.com has agreed to permanently stop touting itself as the “industry leader” and No. 1 destination for fantasy sports, the Better Business Bureau’s National Advertising Division said on Wednesday. The BBB says it began investigating DraftKings’ ads in response to a challenge by rival FanDuel. DraftKings told investigators that it […]

08Jul

Wyndham Asks Appeals Court To Hear Challenge To FTC

A federal appellate court should decide whether the Federal Trade Commission can proceed with charges that Wyndham Hotels failed to take reasonable measures to protect consumers’ data. “If ever a case warranted … appellate review, this is it.” Wyndham says in a petition filed late last week with the 3rd […]

07Jul

Google Opposes Authors Guild's Attempt To Revive Book-Digitization Fight

The authors who are suing Google for digitizing their books haven’t been harmed by the company’s initiative, Google argues in new court papers. “Like a paper index, bibliography, or card catalog — but far more helpfully — Google Books enables users to find books of interest but does not substitute […]

03Jul

Federal Court Sides With Taco Bell Over Text Messaging

Siding with Taco Bell, a federal appellate court decided this week that the company isn’t responsible for text messages that a mobile-marketing agency allegedly sent SMS ads to consumers. The ruling, issued on Wednesday by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, upholds a trial judge’s order […]

02Jul

Path Wants Appeals Court To Scuttle Mobile-Spam Lawsuit

The mobile social network Path wants to immediately appeal a recent decision allowing consumers to proceed with a lawsuit accusing it of sending unsolicited text-message ads. The company said in recent court papers that “prompt appellate guidance” is needed in order to determine whether it potentially violated the Telephone Consumer […]