July 2023 Update
The Fourth Circuit, in Prudential Ins. Co. of Am. v Shenzhen Stone Network Info. Ltd. (4th Cir 2023) 58 F4th 785, 795, severely criticized the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in GoPets Ltd. v Hise (9th Cir 2011) 657 F3d 1024 that a re-registration of a website domain was not a registration within the meaning of 15 USC §1125(d)(1). See §9.31.
In Rigsby v GoDaddy Inc. (9th Cir 2023) 59 F4th 998, the court declined to extend liability to a website registrar whose activities did not extend beyond registration. See §9.31.
The California Supreme Court has characterized its holding in Comedy III Prods., Inc. v Gary Saderup, Inc. (2001) 25 C4th 387 as that “a celebrity may assert violations of publicity rights if another’s use of the celebrity’s name or likeness in an expressive work is not transformative—that is, does not add some sufficient new meaning or expression.” Serova v Sony Music Entertainment (2022) 13 C5th 859, 878 n7. See §10.12.
There has been a recent flood of litigation—particularly class actions—by state and private plaintiffs alleging violations of the California Invasion of Privacy Act (CIPA) by website owners and website-tracking companies. See §11.55.
In Lisa M. v Henry Mayo Newhall Mem. Hosp. (1995) 12 C4th 291, the court had held that a hospital was entitled to summary judgment when an ultrasound technician sexually molested the patient during an examination, because the technician’s conduct was beyond the scope of his employment. But in Samantha B. v Aurora Vista Del Mar, LLC (2022) 77 CA5th 85 the court distinguished Lisa M. as a case in which the employee’s brief interaction with the victim and technical duties were unlikely to lead to sexual exploitation, unlike the facts of Samantha B., which involved a mental health worker in a psychiatric hospital. See §11.64.
In Serova v Sony Music Entertainment (2022) 13 C5th 859, promotional statements and a promotional video identifying Michael Jackson as the lead singer on three disputed tracks of a music album were held to be commercial speech regulable under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and the Unfair Competition Law (UCL). See §11.127.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark opinion in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v Moriana (2022) 596 US ___, 142 S Ct 1906, and California courts have since wrestled with Viking River’s impact on Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims, arbitration provisions, and contractual waivers. See §13.79A.