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High-Tech Law & Litigation Blog

  • 10
  • August
  • 2017

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Public Fora in for a Change? Social Media and Data Analytics Are Changing Constitutional Free Speech Law, and Businesses May Feel the Effects

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a North Carolina law barring registered sex offenders from accessing social media websites on the grounds that the law violated the First Amendment. Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730, 1738 (2017). In so holding, the Court recognized the importance of social media as a tool for public expression. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy observed that social media websites “provide perhaps the most powerful mechanisms available to a private citizens to make his or her voice heard”—“allow[ing] a person with an Internet connection to ‘become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox.’” Id. at 1737 (quoting Reno v. Am. Civil Liberties Union, 521 U.S. 844, 870 (1997)).

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  • 18
  • July
  • 2017

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After Bristol-Myers Squibb, What’s the Prescription for Personal Jurisdiction in Online Defamation Cases?

For companies suffering from symptoms commonly associated with being forced to defend themselves in remote and inhospitable locales, the recently-concluded U.S. Supreme Court term brought some much-needed relief. In addition to its blockbuster patent-venue ruling in TC Heartland, the Court issued a major decision limiting nonresident plaintiffs’ ability to invoke loose specific jurisdiction standards to force out-of-state defendants to litigate claims that have no substantial connection to the forum. See Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., No. 16-466, 2017 WL 215687 (U.S. June 19, 2017). In doing so, the Court rejected plaintiffs’ reliance on a company’s general business and promotional contacts with the forum state when those contacts are insufficiently related to the claims asserted.

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Welcome to V&E's High-Tech Law & Litigation Blog

Welcome to the High-Tech Law and Litigation Blog, which offers updates and insights about important cases and other legal developments affecting the all-important technology sector of the economy. We are Vinson & Elkins attorneys who practice in different areas but have one fundamental thing in common: clients and personal interests that intersect with the technology industry. Our goal is to provide a resource for those seeking to stay abreast of the law shaping – and sometimes shaped by – the rapidly changing world of technology.

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  • 10
  • July
  • 2017

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Social Media Companies Should Not Forget Traditional Tort Principles Where They Fall Outside Role of 'Publisher or Speaker'

Since 1996, internet and social media companies have relied on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, 47 U.S.C. § 230, to obtain dismissal of claims based on user-generated content posted on their sites. But, as two recent cases demonstrate, the line can be fuzzy between a claim that targets a social media platform as a "publisher or speaker" and one that targets the platform in some other role.

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Contributors

Jason A. Levine

Jason A. Levine Partner

Jennifer C. Chen

Jennifer C. Chen Partner

Devika Kornbacher

Devika Kornbacher Partner

Danny Tobey

Danny Tobey Partner

William R. Vigdor

William R. Vigdor Partner

Marc A. Fuller

Marc A. Fuller Counsel

John Andren

John Andren Associate

Thomas W. Bohnett

Thomas W. Bohnett Associate

Megan Coker

Megan Coker Associate

Caroline Colpoys

Caroline Colpoys

Trey Hebert

Trey Hebert Associate

Keeney, Jeremy C.

Jeremy C. Keeney Associate

Howard Lithaw Lim Associate

Kimberly R. McCoy

Kimberly R. McCoy Senior Associate

Elizabeth Krabill McIntyre

Elizabeth Krabill McIntyre Senior Associate

David C. Smith

David C. Smith Senior Associate

Janice Ta

Janice Ta Senior Associate

Margaret D. Terwey

Margaret Dunlay Terwey Associate

Ryan B. Will

Ryan Will Associate

Siho (Scott) Yoo

Siho (Scott) Yoo Senior Associate