Yelp Sues Law Firm For Posting Fake Reviews

TechDirt:  “Many sites that include user reviews work pretty hard to scrub the obviously fake ones, but it appears Yelp has taken that to a new level, deciding to sue a law firm for posting fake reviews. . . . Yelp is arguing that when McMillan employees created fake accounts in order to post bogus positive reviews for their own firm, they violated the terms of service of the site. . . . the lawsuit focuses on some specific charges including breach of contract, intentional interference with contractual relations, unfair competition and false advertising.”

See the Complaint.

Diet Blogger Censored For Statements Critical of American Diabetes Association

Estate of Denial:  “For a man who’s been diagnosed with diabetes, you’d never guess that about Steven Cooksey. His life choices fly directly in the face of the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations for people living with the disease. He maintains a no-grain/low-carbohydrate diet, commonly known as the Paleo diet, and as a result is in fantastic health. Incredibly, because of his dietary decisions, Cooksey no longer requires insulin injections (on his website, he states that before adopting the Paleo diet he was taking four insulin shots a day). With those kind of seemingly miraculous results, it’s no surprise that Cooksey wanted to share his story and hopefully help others with what he’s learned through his own research and experience. 

While trying to help others, Cooksey also has no problem making his disagreements with the ADA known. However, little did he know that by blogging about his success in maintaining his diabetes with the Paleo diet while also lambasting the ADA for its dietary policies would lead to him becoming a target for government censorship.”

The Legal Case Against The Fox News Mole and The Gawker

forbes.com:  According to the latest from Forbes, Fox news employee who provided material to the Gawker to expose the “seedy underbelly” (not our choice of words) of Fox news may have more than a civil lawsuit on his hands.  According to New York state law, he may have committed a crime.  Fox News says he’s now at the mercy of law enforcement personnel though Fox News no doubt plans to vigorously pursue claims against him, if for no other reason than to make sure that no future employee has the same bright idea.

Arizona Internet Censorship Bill On Hold

Phoenix New Times: Arizona’s House Bill 2549, which was labeled by one critic as a “bill to censor electronic speech,” has been stopped, according to one of the bill’s sponsors.

As we’ve already mentioned twice before, the bill was never transferred to the governor, contrary to the numerous media reports saying it has. The bill was amended before it passed the Senate, meaning it was returned to the House — where it’s apparently been stopped.

State Representative Vic Williams tells New Times that legislators have received quite a bit of “legitimate concerns” — and illegitimate concerns — about the bill, and Representative Ted Vogt has stopped the bill from moving forward so everyone can figure it out.”

Government’s Power to Regulate the Internet

Estate of Denial:  The Cato Institute’s Julian Sanchez provides important perspective regarding public outcries over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) by reminding of how the FBI already has significant power when it comes to internet regulation. That certainly doesn’t mean that apparently successful protests over these two acts weren’t a good thing, but Sanchez uses a Justice Department action that took place just last week to illustrate his point. From FBI Reminds Us Government Already Has MegaPower to Take Down Websites:

Online activists were still busy celebrating a successful day of protest against proposed (and now shelved) Internet censorship legislation when the Justice Department pulled the popular cyberlocker site Megaupload offline Thursday, and indicted its owners on charges of criminal copyright infringement. It was a serendipitously timed demonstration of two important facts.

Continue reading about the government’s power to regulate the internet.

Wikipedia Protests Proposed Piracy Legislation With Blackout

ABA Journal:  Wikipedia is planning to protest anti-piracy legislation with a 24-hour blackout of its English-language website on Wednesday.

The nonprofit that operates the online encyclopedia written by its readers said in a statement that the legislation would harm the free and open Internet, report Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Several other websites were also planning a blackout the same day, including Reddit and BoingBoing, the Times says.

Continue reading about Wikipedia’s blackout.