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ECJ ruling on fairness of disproportionately high default interest rate in consumer loan agreements

In the joined cases of Banco Santander SA v. Demba and another (Case C-96/16) and Cortes v. Banco de Sabadell SA (Case C-94/17), the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered the application of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive (Directive) in two joined cases concerning the rate of default interest in consumer loan agreements, which were … Continue Reading

Munich Court of Appeal prohibits Facebook from deleting a post that does not fall under the German Hate Speech Act

On 24 August 2018, the Munich Court of Appeal (“Court”) issued a preliminary injunction against Facebook that prohibits Facebook from deleting a certain user’s post (docket no. 18 W 1294/18, available in German here). Facts of the case The claimant is a Facebook user who had taken part in a discussion on the Facebook page of … Continue Reading

Federal Appeals courts decline to exclude cell phone location information collected without warrants pre-Carpenter, but Carpenter’s future impact still unclear

In his dissent in Carpenter v. United States, 138 S. Ct. 2206 (2018), Justice Kennedy observed that “the Cyber Age has vast potential both to expand and restrict individual freedoms in dimensions not contemplated in earlier times.” Justice Kennedy worried that the ruling, which held that a warrant is generally required for police to access … Continue Reading

Get your Update on IT & Data Protection Law in our Newsletter (Summer 2018 Edition)

The Summer 2018 Edition of the quarterly IT & Data Protection Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released. We provide updates on Facebook fan pages, cookie consent, influencer marketing, liability of platform providers, framing and more. The newsletter also includes multiple recommended reads on the GDPR. We hope you enjoy reading it.… Continue Reading

CJEU decides on re-posting of protected content

On 7 August 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) has released another judgment (surprisingly its first copyright judgment of 2018) on the interpretation of the right of communication to the public (case no. C-161/17 – “Judgment”). The CJEU held that the unauthorised re-posting of copyright protected works may constitute an act of … Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Berlin decides on the obligation to provide technical protection against framing

In a judgment of 18 June 2018, case 24 U 146/17, the Berlin Court of Appeals (Kammergericht Berlin – Court of Appeals) held that collecting societies shall grant the right of use of their picture inventory as thumbnails even if these pictures can be ‘framed’ by third parties and the prospective licensee does not commit … Continue Reading

German court rules that online retailers must specify the delivery date even for ‘coming soon’ B2C pre-release orders

In a judgment of 17 May 2018, case no. 6 U 3815/17 (“Judgment”), the Court of Appeal Munich (Oberlandesgericht München – “Court of Appeal”) held that online retailers are required to indicate a precise delivery time on their website where consumers purchase products. A ‘coming soon’ notice is insufficient, even where the relevant product has not yet been released. … Continue Reading

Digital token ruled a security under the Howey Test, for now

With the plaintiffs’ bar setting its sights on initial coin offerings, a body of precedent will soon develop analyzing digital tokens under U.S. securities laws. Last week, United States Magistrate Judge Andrea M. Simonton began developing that body of law in Rensel v. Centra Tech, Inc., No. 17-CV-24500, 2018 BL 227097 (S.D. Fla. June 25, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court strikes physical presence requirement for sales tax, with big ramifications for the Internet economy

Reversing a 1992 precedent in Quill v. North Dakota, on June 21, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., holding that physical presence in a state is not necessary to require a remote seller to collect sales tax.  In many respects this decision sets the stage for states … Continue Reading

How big is the risk to operate Facebook fan pages in Germany?

On 5 June 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its long-awaited Facebook fan page judgement (Case C-210/16), holding that the operator of a fan page on Facebook is jointly responsible with Facebook for processing the data of visitors to the page. Only a day later, the Conference of German … Continue Reading

Asserting the defense of lack of personal jurisdiction in privacy class actions

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), there has been a plethora of litigation in privacy class actions over whether federal courts can exercise subject-matter jurisdiction over the asserted statutory or common law claims. However, in addition to considering whether a court has subject-matter … Continue Reading

Unregistered patent transactions will cost you

The findings from a recent UK Patents Court judgment have clarified the extent of litigation sanctions imposed when there is a failure to record a patent transaction at the Patent Office. The UK patents system may deprive a successful plaintiff of its entitlement to recover its full legal costs in these circumstances. This case will also affect … Continue Reading

Supreme Court drops hints about upcoming privacy decision in Carpenter

As previously reported, the Supreme Court on November 29 heard arguments in Carpenter v. United States, an important privacy case about the Fourth Amendment’s application to 127 days’ worth of a criminal suspect’s cell-site location information. While the Court has yet to decide the case, its decisions last week in Byrd v. United States and … Continue Reading

D.C. federal court rules that web scraping does not violate the CFAA and may be protected by the First Amendment

On March 30, 2018, a D.C. federal district court denied a motion to dismiss an ACLU case filed against the government to challenge the constitutionality of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which makes it a federal crime to access a computer in a manner that “exceeds authorized access.” Sandvig v. Sessions, No. 1:16-cv-01368, … Continue Reading

New Jersey Appellate Division allows some video surveillance claims to proceed, even though plaintiffs cannot identify themselves in the recovered recording

In a published decision, a unanimous panel of the Appellate Division rejected “the notion that plaintiffs – in alleging an invasion of privacy in an office building’s bathroom – could only claim the presence of a hidden recording device by demonstrating their images were actually captured.” Jaime Friedman et al. v. Teodoro Martinez et al., case … Continue Reading

Get your update on IT and data protection law in our newsletter

The Winter 2018 edition of the quarterly IT & Data Protection Newsletter by Reed Smith Germany has just been released. We cover new case law on marketing consent, cookie consent, the liability of platform providers, employee data protection, sales of address data and the right to be forgotten. The newsletter also includes multiple recommended reads … Continue Reading

German court issues important judgment on consent and transparency in Facebook case

The Regional Court of Berlin held in a judgment of 16 January 2018 (docket no. 16 O 341/15, German language version of the judgment available here) that Facebook’s default privacy settings and parts of their terms and conditions were invalid. This judgment provides important guidance on consent and transparency. Background The Federation of German Consumer … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit calls common carrier exception “activity-based”

On February 26, 2018, an en banc federal appeals court held that the common carrier exception in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act that preempts FTC jurisdiction is “activity-based” rather than “status-based” and therefore applies only to the extent an entity engages in common-carrier services. See FTC v. AT&T Mobility LLC, No. 15-16585, D.C. No. … Continue Reading

Are OTT services telecommunications services? German court asks European Court of Justice for preliminary ruling | Gmail Case

According to a press release dated 26 February 2018, the Administrative Court of Appeal Munster (Oberverwaltungsgericht Münster) asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling on the question whether Over-the-Top (OTT) services shall be caught by the European regulatory framework on telecommunications services. Background By way of administrative orders, the German Federal Network … Continue Reading

District judge in the SDNY: Embedding links to third-party web content is copyright infringement

Copyright holders have an exclusive right to display images and other works. For the last 10 years, news organizations and other website operators have relied on the Ninth Circuit’s opinion in Perfect 10, Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc., which established a bright-line server test for determining whether a website displayed a copy of an image, and … Continue Reading
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