Author: Eric P. Robinson

European privacy notions wash ashore in U.S.

By ERIC P. ROBINSON / European countries have long had different notions of privacy than we do in the United States, where privacy has weaker protection than free speech. But several recent developments are leading European privacy norms to have impact in the United States.

Court isn’t crazy about Prince challenge to dancing baby

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California isn’t crazy over Universal Music’s attempts to take down a YouTube video featuring a toddler dancing to the song “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince. In a September ruling, it agreed with a district judge who had held copyright owners must consider fair use before issuing takedown

Copyright verdict’s lesson: Use online photos with care

BY ERIC P. ROBINSON / In a case that offers a reminder that material found online cannot simply be reused without regard to copyright considerations, a federal jury in Manhattan awarded a photographer $1.2 million in November against a news agency that, without the photographer’s permission, distributed photos he had posted to Twitter. American copyright

Appeals Court likes “likes,” says they’re speech

BY ERIC P. ROBINSON / The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that "liking" something on Facebook is speech protected by the First Amendment, reversing a lower court opinion dismissing a suit brought by former employees of a sheriff's office who lost their job after they "liked" the Facebook page of opponent

Iowa’s media/non-media distinction in libel law could be trouble for bloggers

In mid-January, the Iowa Supreme Court decided to maintain the distinction in Iowa state law between “media” and “non-media” defendants in defamation cases, with the latter easier to sue for some types of libel. In Bierman v. Weier, the court said the distinction is “a well-established component of Iowa’s defamation law.” The decision raises the