W39Y23 Weekly Review: FTC v. Amazon, Copyright Limitations, and H&R Block Data Racketeering

+++ FTC Sues Amazon Over Monopoly 
+++ SCOTUS To Hear Copyright Statute Of Limitations Case Against Rapper Flo Rida
+++ H&R Block, Google, Meta Hit With RICO Class-Action Lawsuit Over Illegal Scraping Of Taxpayer Data

FTC Sues Amazon Over Monopoly 
The Federal Trade Commission and 17 State Attorneys General have filed a lawsuit against Amazon accusing the e-commerce behemoth of being a monopolist that uses unfair tactics to maintain its dominance illegally. Allegedly, Amazon’s actions prevent rivals and sellers from lowering prices, reducing product quality, overcharging sellers, hindering innovation, and impeding fair competition. Amazon allegedly engages in exclusionary practices that stifle competitors. These practices impact billions of dollars in retail sales, numerous products, and millions of shoppers. The lawsuit aims to hold Amazon accountable for these monopolistic practices and restore fair competition by seeking a permanent injunction.

Read the full press release by the FTC.
Read the full report in the Washington Post.
Read the full academic paper by Lina M. Khan titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”.
Read the case FTC et al v. Amazon, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington, No. 2:23-cv-01495. 

SCOTUS To Hear Copyright Statute Of Limitations Case Against Rapper Flo Rida
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to clarify the time period during which plaintiffs can seek damages in copyright claims. This case involves a Miami music producer, Sherman Nealy, who sued Warner Music’s Atlantic Records label over the use of a 1980s song in a 2008 Flo Rida track. Nealy argues that his record label owns the rights to the song and that the licenses given to the defendants were invalid because he did not give permission while he was incarcerated. SCOTUS will address the conflicting rulings of lower courts on the time limit for seeking damages in copyright cases. This case is set to be heard in the upcoming court term.

Read the full report on The Hollywood Reporter.
Read the full docket Warner Chappell Music v. Sherman Nealy, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 22-1078.

H&R Block, Google, Meta Hit With RICO Class-Action Lawsuit Over Illegal Scraping Of Taxpayer Data
Trial lawyer R. Brent Wisner is suing H&R Block alleging the tax firm collaborated with Meta and Google to use “spyware” on its website for profit from scraped taxpayer data. The class-action suit is filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), claiming a pattern of racketeering tantamount to the mafia. It argues that these companies failed to inform consumers about data sharing and engaged in deceptive practices. A congressional report revealed H&R Block shared data through tracking pixels, potentially violating data privacy laws. The lawsuit cites tax code limitations on data use. The FTC recently warned H&R Block about data usage without consent.

Read the full report on Gizmodo.
Read the case Justin Hunt v. Meta Platforms, Google, H&R Block, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 3:23-cv-04953.

More Headlines

  • Digital Services Act: “EU Court Says Amazon Is Not a ‘Very Large Online Platform,’ for Now” (by Gizmodo
  • Digital Services Act: “Elon Musk’s X headed for ‘rule of law’ clash with EU, warns Twitter’s former head of trust & safety” (by TechCrunch)
  • Free Speech: “SCOTUS to decide if Florida and Texas social media laws violate 1st Amendment” (by Ars Technica
  • Free Speech: “New York’s Hate Speech Law Violates the First Amendment” (by Cato)
  • Copyright Law: “Jay-Z, Timbaland, Ginuwine Win Years-Long Copyright Infringement Suit Over “Paper Chase” and “Toe 2 Toe” (by American Songwriter)
  • Copyright Law: “Ed Sheeran Wins ‘Thinking Out Loud’ Copyright Trial” (by Rolling Stone)
  • Copyright Law: “Yung Gravy and Rick Astley Settle Vocal Impersonation Lawsuit” (by Billboard)
  • Data Privacy: “IBM and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Sued Over August 2023 Data Breach” (by HIPPA Journal)
  • Data Privacy: “Enforcement of California’s Age-Appropriate Design Code Act Is Put on Ice — for Now” (by JD Supra)
  • Data Privacy: “Revealed: US collects more data on migrants than previously known” (by Guardian
  • Data Privacy: “Honeywell facing multiple lawsuits over data breach” (by WCNC)
  • Data Privacy: “Donald Trump Sues Former British Spy in London Data Lawsuit” (by Bloomberg)

In Other News (or publications you should read)

This post originated from my publication Codifying Chaos.

Leave a Reply