Lauren Gelman's blog

Third Circuit Adopts Two-Step Test in Nominative Fair Use Cases

Defendant LendingTree, Inc. (“LendingTree”) operates a web-based real estate referral service whereby consumers can input their location and receive information about real estate brokers in their community. LendingTree’s referral network consists of more than 2,500 real estate offices operated by approximately 650 broker member companies, about 40 percent of which operate a Century 21, Coldwell Banker or ERA franchise. In January 2003, counsel for these three companies (the plaintiffs) sent a letter to LendingTree demanding that it stop using their trademarks on its website. Read more about Third Circuit Adopts Two-Step Test in Nominative Fair Use Cases

Georgia Voting Photo Id Requirement Found to be an Undue Burden and a Poll Tax

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted a preliminary injunction to prevent Georgia election officials from enforcing a new law requiring in-person voters to present a government issued photo id or passport (“Photo ID requirement”). The Georgia legislature had passed the Photo ID requirement in 2005 as an amendment to a law which had previously allowed eight other forms of identification such as birth certificate, social security card, a copy of a current utility bill, or a payroll check. Read more about Georgia Voting Photo Id Requirement Found to be an Undue Burden and a Poll Tax

Tenth Circuit relies on website disclaimer to dispel inference that it operated in forum

In an unpublished opinion on personal jurisdiction, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected plaintiff Angela Tomlinson’s claim that defendant H&R Block, at least in part through its website, had maintained the necessary “continuous and systematic contact” with the state of Oklahoma to confer personal jurisdiction under the state’s long arm statute. Tomlinson filed a class action lawsuit against H&R block for failing to protect personal information according to the company’s published privacy policy. Read more about Tenth Circuit relies on website disclaimer to dispel inference that it operated in forum

Ninth Circuit affirms ruling allowing “box-wrap” licensing to restrict consumers’ ability to refill print cartridges

ACRA sued Lexmark alleging violations of California Business and Professions Code §17500 (unlawful to disseminate untrue or misleading statements) and §17200 (prohibiting unfair business practices). Section 17500 allows causes of action without proof of actual deception and requires only proof that consumers are likely to be misled. A false advertising violation of §17500 gives rise to a §17200 unfair business practices violation. Read more about Ninth Circuit affirms ruling allowing “box-wrap” licensing to restrict consumers’ ability to refill print cartridges

(Small) Win on Patriot Act.

The House just unanimously passed a 'Motion to Instruct' conferees to attach 4 year sunsets to sections 206, 215 and the Lone Wolf Provision of the Intelligence Reform bill. No member spoke against the motion. Sunsets estimated at 4-10 years.

It really hurts to call this a win... but beating back the FBI and our power hungry executive is no small task so many congratulations to all the people who worked so hard for this! Read more about (Small) Win on Patriot Act.

More Evidence why the Patriot Act should not be renewed

The Washington Post reported this weekend that the FBI now issues more than 30,000 National Security Letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms.

The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans. Read more about More Evidence why the Patriot Act should not be renewed

China Censors Another Pro-Democracy Blogger

This is just awful. Reporters without borders reports that pro-democracy writer Wang Yi’s blog was closed down by the Chinese Government just days after it was nominated for the “freedom of expression” category in The Best of the Blogs. The company that hosts the Tianya website closed the blog down on the orders of the Internet surveillance bureau in Hai Nan province (southwest of Guangzhou). Read more about China Censors Another Pro-Democracy Blogger

Just Say No to Direct Democracy in California

I'm pretty tired of the referendum process. We do not have a direct democracy, but you wouldn't know that living in California where every November you're asked to make serious policy decisions with very little information or expertise available. The founders chose a representative democracy for good reasons. There are a lot of feel good measures on the ballot this year that seem so logical that it makes me nervous. If these measures are so great, why can't the legislature pass them? Read more about Just Say No to Direct Democracy in California

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