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© 2009-2017 Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law

Consumer Review Protection Now Part of Federal Law

Seal of the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016Consumer review protection now is part of federal law. Specifically, in December 2016, Congress passed, and then-President Obama signed, the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016, 15 USC Section 45b.

Interestingly, this law has some similarities to – but is more detailed than – a law that California put into effect about two years earlier. See Consumer Non-disparagement Clauses Nixed in California. However, the federal law applies only to consumer reviews that involve interstate commerce. (more…)

Trade Secrets Receive Federal Protection

Photo of volumes of the United States Code, symbolizing DTSA protection of trade secretsThis post discusses the civil and criminal protections for trade secrets available since May 12, 2016 under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA).

Relevant definitions in the DTSA roughly follow – with numerous modest differences – those in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act , which has been adopted, with various modifications, by almost all states. (more…)

What is Copyright Infringement?

Logo of the United States Copyright Office, symbolizing this post about copyright infringement

I recently realized that I have referred to copyright infringement in quite a few posts. However, I neglected to define that term. It is time to correct that oversight.

Copyright Infringement Defined

Generally, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. I.e., copyright infringement is a violation of the copyright owner’s exclusive rights. (See Copyright Protection in One Easy Lesson.) (more…)

Cyberbully Verdict: Not Guilty

Megan Meier, the victim

Megan Meier, the victim

Lori Drew is the woman who, using Myspace in 2006, cyberbullied 13-year-old Megan Meier into committing suicide.

Drew’s actions were, without question, reprehensible. The interesting issue for this post, however, is the U.S. government’s decision to bring criminal charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. Section 1030.

(more…)