Major Legal actions

Timeline created by sls292
In History
  • Religious Technology Center v. Netcom

    Religious Technology Center v. Netcom
    An internet user had reposted links from the Church of Scientology into a forum hosted by Netcom. This led to the Church of Scientology suing Netcom for having the files, saying that they should not have access to copyrighted material. A court ruled in the favor of Netcom, saying that the website shouldn't be held responsible for a user reposting material, and that ruling against doing so would be blocking people's ability to exercise free speech. This gave us the ability to repost links.
  • Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union

    Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union
    Congress had passed a law titled the "Communications Decency Act" which was an attempt to prohibit minors from being exposed to explicit content on the internet. Their way of doing this was threatening criminal prosecution against adults who were sharing explicit content online. Federal judges in Philadelphia and New York voted against the act which the Supreme Court agreed with unanimously due to it being a form of suppression of free speech against adult users.
  • ProCD v. Zeidenberg

    ProCD v. Zeidenberg
    Matthew Zeidenberg had purchased a CD of a telephone directory and clicked through a series of warnings stating that the directory was owned by the company and users were not allowed to sell the contents of it for money. Ignoring the warnings, he began to sell access to the directory for a lower price than what was offered by ProCD. An appeals court decided that that the series of warnings he had clicked through were enforceable as a contract, meaning that he had violated a legal agreement
  • Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc.

    Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc.
    The lighter company Zippo Manufacturing sued the web company Zippo Dot Com over trademark violations regarding the name Zippo. The lighter company wanted to use the domain name for their website, and due to the other company being an interactive website (hosting forums etc) instead of being passive (sharing information only), they won the case. The decision had established the "Zippo Test", which asks courts to decide whether a website is passive, interactive, or commercial to determine its use
  • Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)

    Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA)
    Imposes certain requirements on operators of websites and apps directed towards the safety of children under 13 years of age. Also gives parents control over what information websites and online services can collect from their children.
  • Suicide of Megan Meier

    Suicide of Megan Meier
    Megan was relentlessly bullied on MySpace before she took her own life. The person who bullied her had a fake account and it was her friend’s mom behind the account, Lori Drew. Lori Drew couldn’t be charged with anything because there were no laws regarding cyberbullying at the time but this case prompted up cyber bullying laws.
  • The shutdown of LimeWire

    The shutdown of LimeWire
    LimeWire was a site where people could download free music and other media for free and the music industry suffered from this heavily. Amongst other lawsuits regarding people breaking copyright laws, LimeWire was shut down after running for 10 years. Even though LimeWire was not technically a social media site people could share stuff with each other but the primary purpose was downloading material.
  • Consumer Review Fairness Act

    Consumer Review Fairness Act
    The Consumer Review Fairness Act(CRFA) protects people's ability to share opinions on business's products and service in any form including social media. Act was passed in response to companies having provisions in place that allow them to sue or penalize consumers for posting negative reviews.
  • Snapchat Lawsuit Over Sexual Content

    Snapchat Lawsuit Over Sexual Content
    Snapchat was sued by a 14 year old boy and his mother after Snapchat was posting sexual content in there stories such as "10 Things He Thinks When He Can't Make You Orgasm" and minors could view the content. This case prompted Snapchat to when before you download it in the App Store there is a warning that is posted when download the app that sexual content may be on the app.
  • Teacher Fired Over Social Media Posts

    A Georgia teacher was fired because she mocked a disabled student on social media. This is not a lawsuit but this shows that an inappropriate social media post is not just something that goes away but can and has costed some people their jobs and in even more severe cases peoples have ruined their lives via social media posts.
  • Sorrell v. IMS Health

    Sorrell v. IMS Health
    The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in the state of Vermont to prohibit pharmacies to sell patients drug information and history to data mining companies. In this case, IMC Health would then sell the information to pharmaceutical companies which helped their sales by targeting doctor's offices based on detailed patient records. States also carrying laws against health data mining are Maine and New Hampshire.
  • Facebook and Cambridge Analytica Scandal

    In 2018, it was discovered that a data analytics company , had ties to the 2016 elections, and helping sway voters one way or the other. The Trump administration partnered with this company, and Facebook. Facebook sold users data to Cambridge Analytica, and this data was used to influence voters on social media. The data company ended up getting shut down, and Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook had to sit before Congress and explain themselves, as well as updating their privacy policy.
  • Youtube and Google pay $170 Million in damages for violation of Children's Privacy Law

    Youtube and Google had to pay a combined settlement with the state of New York, and the Federal Trade Commission, after it was discovered that they were collecting the data of users on their websites that were underage. This data was used to track demographics and a users internet browsing habits to tailor various ads and marketing tools to profit off of these children. Youtube had to update their privacy policy on top of dealing with the scandal, and the payout.