Legal Implications of Syncing Copyrighted Music with Other Content
With the rise of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, the demand for online content has increased exponentially. Given this new reality, online content creators must take steps to ensure that their online creations don’t land them in legal hot water. One of the most prevalent cross-industry issues is music licensing. Music is everywhere in online content and often plays an integral part in the overall experience. From video game players streaming music as they show off their skills on the largest video platforms to fitness instructors using popular music to pump up their workout classes, individuals and companies must ensure that they don’t run afoul of the copyright laws when they incorporate music into their online content.
NAD Issues First Decision under Fast-Track SWIFT Program
Earlier this month, NAD issued its first decision under its Fast-Track SWIFT program, its expedited review track for single well-defined advertising issues. In its first substantive Fast-Track SWIFT decision, NAD dealt with a dispute between energy bar manufacturers Kind and Clif and reviewed the claim "A Better Performing Bar–Clif Bar For Sustained Energy," which appeared as the top AdWords result for internet keyword searches for "Kind Bars" and "energy bars."
Ninth Circuit Blocks Class Plaintiffs’ Efforts to End Run Jury Trial
On June 17, 2020, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published opinion affirming the dismissal of a consumer class action seeking $32,000,000 against Venable client Premier Nutrition Corporation. The Court held that federal equitable principles must apply to class actions pending in federal court, even where state law rules the underlying causes of action.
Certiorari Granted: Supreme Court Will Decide the Fate of FTC’s Disgorgement Authority
Two weeks ago, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Liu v. SEC where it limited the SEC's disgorgement authority to net profits returned to investors. Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two FTC cases to decide whether Section 13(b) of the FTC Act providing for "injunctive relief" includes the authority to obtain "equitable monetary relief" in the form of disgorgement.
Answering the Call: Supreme Court to Determine the Definition of an ATDS Under the TCPA
The Supreme Court granted certiorari in Facebook, Inc. v. Duguid where it will resolve a circuit split and decide the issue of whether an "automated telephone dialing system" under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act encompasses any device that can "store" and "automatically dial" telephone numbers, even if the device does not "us[e] a random or sequential number generator."
Delicate Surgery: Supreme Court Upholds the TCPA but Strikes Down the Government Debt Exception as Unconstitutional in Barr v. AAPC
On Monday July 6, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Barr v. American Association of Political Consultants, Inc., in which a majority of the Court struck down and severed the 2015 Government Debt Exception to the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) but held that the balance of the TCPA was constitutional.