Category: Internet Law

June 21, 2018

Supreme Court Rules Online Businesses Now Subject to Sales Tax

In a ruling announced today, the Supreme Court held that online businesses can be subjected to sales tax even in states where they do not have any brick-and-mortar operations. The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., overturns longstanding precedent requiring “physical presence” to subject a seller to state sales tax, representing a big change for… Read More

June 4, 2018

Effective Sports Betting Regulation Must Cover Mobile and Online Betting, Too.

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (“PASPA”), clearing the way for states to legalize sports gambling. In its wake, many states are now rushing to do just that. Currently fourteen states have legislation pending that would authorize some degree of sports wagering. An additional five… Read More

October 4, 2017

Customer Data Collection: GDPR Changes Everything.

Beginning on May 25, 2018, companies which process the personal data of European Union residents will be expected to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. Even companies located in the United States are subject to this regulation, and violating its terms may result in class actions and hefty fines. If your company… Read More

April 22, 2017

The FTC’s Role in Privacy

Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Maureen Ohlhausen, answered questions about the FTC’s current role in data privacy before a crowded audience at the April 2017 IAPP Global Privacy Summit in D.C.  Below are some take-aways we wanted to share from Commissioner Ohlhausen’s talk: Even if out of ISP oversight, the FTC is actively… Read More

January 12, 2017

Online Reviewers Get New Protections

Your business booked a large charity event.  However, the customer contact turns out to be a nightmare. She complains (during and after the event) that the service was slow, the food looked and tasted like a frozen meal, and the drinks were watered down.  She even claims she was overcharged.  You reviewed the situation and,… Read More

May 2, 2016

Getting Started with E-Rate

Public schools and libraries in the U.S. can save a lot of money on Internet service by applying for the Schools and Libraries Program, a federal subsidy better known as E-Rate. E-Rate funding, capped yearly at $3.9 billion, helps eligible institutions cover costs of Internet service. Participants can save anywhere from twenty to ninety percent… Read More

March 21, 2016

To Refer, Or Not To Refer? OIG’s Outdated Health Care Referral Restrictions

The Office of the Inspector General, which enforces Health and Human Services, has long been averse to referral services that don’t meet certain criteria.  To get protection against a possible enforcement action, the referral service can’t exclude anyone from participating in the service, and payments for referrals have to be reasonable and cannot be tied… Read More

March 16, 2016

Good Lord, & Taylor! Of Course You Need to Disclose Native Ads

On March 15, 2016, national retailer Lord & Taylor agreed to settle FTC charges that it “deceived consumers by paying for native advertisements.” The settlement is the first of its kind following the December 2015 guidance memorandum, Native Advertising: A Guide for Businesses, issued by the FTC. Under the terms of the settlement, Lord &… Read More

March 10, 2016

Latest German Sausage? Privacy-Wurst by Facebook

Despite not being explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, the Supreme Court has firmly held that a right to privacy for all Americans is found in several amendments to the Constitution, with almost 100 years of case law providing precedent for many personal privacy rights that have become a cornerstone of American culture. However, in this… Read More

December 28, 2015

Amazon Pursued Fake Reviews In 2015, What Will It Pursue In 2016?

  In 2015, Amazon filed suit against over 1,000 unnamed individuals for allegedly offering to sell fake online reviews (positive or negative) on Fiverr.com (“Fiverr”). The unnamed defendants offer to provide 5-star reviews and some defendants even encourage sellers to provide their own text to use in the review. In order to avoid detection, defendants… Read More

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