Intellectual Property Law

New Matter SUMMER 2014, Volume 39, Number 2

Exploitation by Wrap Contracts—Click "Agree"

Nancy S. Kim

California Western School of Law


A spate of news articles involving online agreements has made headlines recently. In July 2013, the Fourth Circuit held that copyright could be assigned via an online agreement.1 In September, Facebook announced changes to its privacy policy that inflamed privacy advocates and prompted an FTC investigation.2 These changes came after the settlement of a lawsuit involving its personal recommendation advertisements, known as "Sponsored Stories."3 A letter to the FTC from six privacy organizations protested that the changes would give Facebook the ability to exploit users’ personal information (including information about minors) in far-reaching and objectionable ways.4 Another online company, Yelp, recently sued a law firm for breach of contract, claiming that the law firm posted fake positive reviews.5 Interestingly, Yelp filed its lawsuit after the firm won a judgment against it in a case, which claimed that the online review company coerced the law firm into an advertising contract.6

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