Brief of Amici Curiae Internet Law Professors in the Garcia v. Google Case

Brief of Amici Curiae Internet Law Professors in the Garcia v. Google Case

Erik Goldman


Venkat Balasubramani



The Garcia v. Google case raises complex issues about copyright law, privacy law and liability for user-generated content. A dozen Internet Law professors submitted this amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit for the en banc rehearing of Garcia v. Google. It addresses how overly broad applications of copyright law can undermine Congress’ intent in providing 47 USC 230’s statutory immunity.

Latest Edition of the Socially Aware Newsletter


Latest Edition of the Socially Aware Newsletter

The December issue of Morrison Foerster’s Social Aware Newsletter is now available. Of the major law firms, none handle social media-related issues as well as Morrison Foerster. They not only have the deepest bench of practitioners who regularly deal with social media concerns, but also also maintain a great blog and put out a monthly newsletter on social media topics.

In this issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award-winning guide to the law and business of social media, we look at several topics surrounding the proverbial online thumbs up, including the emerging legal status of Facebook likes and similar social media constructs; Facebook’s recent prohibition of the popular business practice of offering discounts, exclusive content and other incentives in exchange for liking a company’s Facebook page; and Facebook’s crackdown on the practice of buying phony likes. We realize though that likes aren’t everything, so we also explore the legal framework for moving personal data to the cloud; we examine clickwraps vs. browsewraps in relation to the implementation and enforcement of online terms of use; we discuss the new California privacy law revisions impacting website and mobile app operators directing their services to minors; we take a look at the new infringement exceptions in the United Kingdom; and we highlight a recent decision in the UK granting a website-blocking order against certain ISPs in a case involving counterfeit goods.

All this—plus an infographic about—what else?—Facebook likes.

FL Bill to Protect Employee Social Media Privacy


FL Bill to Protect Employee Social Media Privacy

Following the growing trend across the country, Florida state senator Jeff Clemons has introduced legislation to safeguard the social media privacy of employees.  Here is the text of SB 126.

An act relating to social media privacy; creating s. 448.077, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting an employer from requesting or requiring access to a social media account of an employee or prospective employee under certain circumstances; prohibiting an employer from taking retaliatory personnel action for an employee’s refusal to allow access to his or her social media account; prohibiting an employer from failing or refusing to hire a prospective employee as a result of the prospective employee’s refusal to allow access to his or her social media account; authorizing civil action for a violation; requiring that the civil action be brought within a specified timeframe providing a penalty for a violation; providing for recovery of attorney fees and court costs; specifying that an employer is not prohibited from seeking access to social media accounts used primarily for the employer’s business purposes; providing an effective date.

Social Media Attorney Job Announcement with USAA


Social Media Attorney Job Announcement with USAA.


  • Applies detailed knowledge regarding relevant business, industry, and area of legal specialty.
  • Handles a variety of moderately complex to complex legal assignments and projects.
  • Conducts legal research and provides legal services. May assist more senior attorneys in highly complex legal services.
  • Provides practical problem-solving on moderately complex to complex legal issues for various internal clients.
  • Handles moderately complex to complex negotiations, drafting, and document creation.

Minimum Requirements

  • JD from an accredited law school.
  • 3 or more years legal experience.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Tools and applicable software.
  • Exceptional oral and written communications skills.
  • In good standing with State Bar Association.
  • Experience working with regulated financial institutions.


  • 3 to 5 years experience advising on any of the following: Social Media Law, Advertisitng Law, and or Privacy/Data/Security Law.
  • Technical or related degree.
  • Experience working as an attorney with regulated financial institutions preferred.
  • Experience supporting a call center.

The above description reflects the details considered necessary to describe the principal functions of the job and should not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be performed in the job.

Share our pride. Join our mission.

As a Fortune 200 financial services organization, USAA is on a mission – to facilitate the financial security of our members, the men and women of the U.S. military and their families worldwide by providing a full range of financial services and products. Headquartered on a showcase campus in San Antonio, TX, USAA attributes its long-standing success to its most valuable resource, our 26,000 employees. They are the heart and soul of our member-service culture.

Recently Ranked #17 in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014 and marking our fifth straight year in the list’s Top 50, we are proud to receive consistently outstanding awards and ratings for member service, employee well-being and financial strength. Everything that happens at USAA is based on our core values: Service, Loyalty, Honesty, and Integrity. These are the foundations of how we do business with our members, as well as how we treat each other.

At USAA our employees enjoy one of the best benefits packages in the business, including business casual dress environment, comprehensive medical, dental and vision plans, along with wellness and wealth building programs. Additionally, our career path planning and continuing education will assist you with your professional goals.

USAA also offers a variety of on-site services and conveniences to help you manage your work and personal life, including seven cafeterias, two company stores and three fitness centers.

Relocation assistance is available for this position.

Qualified applicants must successfully complete a pre-employment background and drug screen.

USAA is an EEO/AA Employer – all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Monitoring the Social Media Accounts of Students


Monitoring the Social Media Accounts of Students

The article below discusses the efforts by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to alert students and parents about social media monitoring by local schools in Huntsville, Alabama.  According to an attorney with SPLC, “[o]ur goal is to share information.” As discussed previously, Huntsville city schools has been monitoring the social media accounts of certain students under the school system’s SAFe program. Southern Poverty Law Center meeting tonight with Huntsville students disciplined through social media monitoring program

Lawyer Suspended for Facebook Message


Lawyer Suspended for Facebook Message

The Kansas Supreme Court has suspended an attorney 6 months for a Facebook message that was deemed the equivalent of “emotional blackmail.” The attorney in question represented a father who was opposing the adoption of his biological daughter by the adoptive parents. In an effort to prevent the adoption from being finalized, the attorney attempted to coax the 18-year-old biological mother of the child into revoking her consent of the adoption. His efforts included sending the young mother the following message via Facebook:

‘I wish to offer you some reasons why you should stand up and fight for your daughter. As you know, I am the attorney for [the biological father]. We held your deposition in my office. I wanted to give you the chance to make things right. This may be your last opportunity to be a mom for [the baby]. As I told you after your deposition in my office, it is not too late. You still have a wonderful opportunity to have a real relationship with your daughter if you so choose. I have attached a document for you to consider signing and bringing to court or to my office. It is a revocation of your consent to adopt. If you sign this document there is a very good chance that you will be able to call [the baby] your own and [the baby] will call you her mom. I can’t begin to explain how beautiful and wonderful parenthood is. I have a little girl myself and she is my world just like you are your dad’s world. [The baby] deserves to know her parents. She deserves to know that you love her and care for her as well. Do not let this opportunity pass you by because you will live with this decision the rest of your life and [the baby] will know someday what happened. [The adoptive parents] do not legally have to ever let you see her again after court (although they are probably trying to convince you otherwise with the idea of an ‘open adoption’). The reason why you don’t know about the trial was because they don’t want you there because that doesn’t help [the adoptive parents] case. This is your time to get rid of the guilt and standup and do what is right and what [the baby] deserves. She deserves to have her parents love and care for her. She deserves to know her grandparents and extended family. If she’s adopted, she won’t have that chance. [The biological father] wants to be her dad and to love her. She deserves that. I urge you to print, sign, and notarize this document and bring it to my office before court. Trial is June 27, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. at the Johnson County Courthouse, Division 15. I hope to see you and your father there.’

In examining the attorney’s actions, the court held:

[r]espondent’s conduct “amounted to emotional blackmail” of an unrepresented 18-year-old who was dealing with a process that was already “‘emotionally exhausting.'” His “electronic message was designed to embarrass, burden, and create guilt in the mind of the biological mother.” These “bullying tactics directly reflect on [respondent’s] fitness to practice law as an attorney.” Consequently, we hold that the respondent should be suspended for a period of 6 months. A minority of the court would impose a longer period of suspension. We unanimously order a reinstatement hearing under Rule 219.

Court Dismisses Civil Revenge Porn Case Against Internet Hosting Service


Court Dismisses Civil Revenge Porn Case Against Internet Hosting Service

This civil case was brought by revenge porn victims against and and which hosted the aformentioned sites.  According to the plaintiffs, the two websites maintained sexually explicit photos of them. In dismissing, the court determined that the internet hosting service was immune from suit based on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Trial court case no. D-130018-C

Appeals court case no. 09-13-00285-CV

Supreme Court case no. 14-0408


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