Category Archives: Free Speech, Intellectual Property, & the Internet

New York Appellate Court Endorses the Dendrite Test for Subpoenas to Identify Anonymous Speakers

In a decision issued today, New York’s Appellate Division for the First Department reversed a decision of the state supreme court that had ordered Google and GoDaddy to identify BehindMLM, the author of a blog about multilevel marketing schemes, and quashed subpoenas to Google (the host of the blog) and GoDaddy (the registrar of the […]

Prepared Food Photos Faces Financial Repercussions from Copyright Trolling

Prepared Food Photos is coming to terms with the financial consequences of its relentless pursuit of massive damages for alleged infringement in its copyright in individual stock photographs. Two years ago, it sent its standard demand letter to a Clyde’s Chicken King, a family-owned fast food joint in Port Barre and Opelousas Louisiana, objecting to […]

Does WalMart Think Its Customers Would Confuse It With the Devil?

It’s been years since I have had to litigate the issue of whether the inclusion of a trademark in the domain name for a web site about the trademark holder has Lanham Act ramifications. I rather thought that issue was settled by such cases as Lamparello and Bosley. The final nail in the coffin was […]

Open Letter to CopyCat Legal about a Prepared Food Photos Infringement Claim

An Alabama lawyer recently sought my help responding to your February 9, 2024 demand letter to Foggy Bottom Farms, complaining about alleged infringement of Prepared Food Photos’ copyright in a photo of vegetable. Over the past several years, I have seen many demand letters from your client based on that photo (for example, your client’s […]

Is Prepared Food Photos Running a Scam, Not Just a Scheme to Extract Excessive Rents?

Last spring, I posted two articles about a new force among the corps of copyright trolls – a law firm calling itself CopyCat Legal, representing a copyright holder that we had challenged before, now calling itself Prepared Food Photos, Inc. (“PFP”).  When I last wrote about these two, I called their monetary claims outlandish. But […]

Protecting Blogger Anonymity in New York

In the twenty-three years since the New Jersey Appellate Division issued its seminal decision in Dendrite International v. Doe, appellate courts in most adjoining and nearby  states — Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland — have adopted at least most of the major features of the Dendrite standard.  But New York has been the outlier — no […]

GSB Gold Standard Corporation’s Attack on a Blogger Who Calls It Out for a Ponzi Scheme

by Paul Alan Levy Today we have filed our first brief  in a case in the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division that may present an opportunity to secure an appellate ruling in that state on the Dendrite standard, the consensus approach to deciding whether an individual or company contending that speech about it […]

Net neutrality is back

Welcome back, net neutrality. This week, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced a proposal to restore FCC policies for the internet and oversight of internet service providers. Generally, net neutrality is a response to internet service providers treating internet users and traffic differently. The FCC has been here before. Most recently, the agency adopted open internet […]

Higbee Threatens Copyright Enforcement of Stale Claims (and Other Turns for the Worse)

Over the past few years, since I started to pay attention to copyright infringement demand letters  sent by the law firm of Mathew Higbee, and after we filed a few declaratory judgment actions on behalf of discussion forums whose users had posted images or inline links to images, I thought I had perceived an improvement […]

Court enjoins California’s data-collection law

A federal judge has granted a request to block the California Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (CAADCA), a law that requires special data safeguards for underage users online. In a ruling, issued yesterday, the judge granted a preliminary injunction for tech industry group NetChoice, saying the law likely violates the First Amendment.The Verge has the story, […]