On Monday, March 28, 2022, the United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Lynn Goldsmith and Lynn Goldsmith, Ltd. The case seeks to clarify a split between the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concerning the fair use defense in copyright cases.
On Thursday, March 10, 2022, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a verdict favoring Google in a lawsuit brought by song lyrics website Genius. The lawsuit claimed that Google was displaying transcribed lyrics scraped by Google from Genius in search results in violation of Genius's copyright.
On Friday, January 28, 2022, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld a district court's ruling dismissing a lawyer's lawsuit concerning negative online reviews. The appeals court ruled that the negative reviews were expressions of opinion that could not support a libel claim.
On October 8, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld summary judgment entered in favor of singer Abel "The Weeknd" Tesfaye. The summary judgment entered in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, concerned a copyright infringement claim alleging that The Weeknd's song A Lonely Night copied Brian Clover and Scott McCulloch's song I Need to Love.
On Thursday, August 26, 2021, the Supreme Court of California issued a ruling in People v. McDaniel, establishing precedent that jury unanimity and reasonable doubt do not apply to the sentencing phase in California criminal law cases where the death penalty is warranted.
On Monday, December 21, 2020, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Github, LinkedIn, VMWare, and Internet Association filed a joint amici curiae brief in support of Facebook in NSO Group Technologies Limited, et al v. WhatsApp Inc., et al. The case is on appeal from the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, concerning a lawsuit filed by WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, alleging that NSO Group's spyware was used to hack multiple devices through a vulnerability in WhatsApp's messaging service. NSO Group previously argued that it should enjoy sovereign immunity since its tools are sold to foreign governments.
On Thursday, November 12, 2020, a panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, ruled in favor of Harvard University in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College. The panel ruled that Harvard's race-conscious undergraduate admissions process does not violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
On Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the First District Court of Appeal in California ruled that California law prevents anyone from recording either side of a phone conversation without both parties' consent. San Francisco attorney Eric Gruber previously filed suit against Yelp, Inc., alleging violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act ("CIPA") (Pen. Code, § 630 et seq.) for recording conversations between himself and Yelp sales representatives without his notice or consent. The trial court ruled in Yelp's favor on a motion for summary judgment, finding no triable issues as to whether Yelp violated CIPA. The First District Court of Appeal reversed and remanded the trial court's decision.
On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, the United States Supreme Court denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in Malwarebytes, Inc. v. Enigma Software Group USA, LLC. The high court appeal stems from a case wherein Malwarebytes used software to block its users from accessing products from its competitor, Enigma. The district court rejected Enigma's claim based on immunity provided by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The Ninth Circuit panel reversed the district court's ruling, stating that "[i]mmunity under that section does not extend to anticompetitive conduct." Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas penned a concurring opinion to the denial of certiorari, suggesting that a review of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act may be warranted in an appropriate case.