Rap Up the Legal Drama

Internet libel

Although the right to freedom of speech is a protected principle, a court of law may determine whether or not the spoken opinions of one party have infringed upon the rights of an impacted individual. Cardi B, for example, fought back after a celebrity gossip blogger, Tasha K, posted videos that implied that the rapper was employed as a prostitute and used heavy street drugs. While this was the opinion of the blogger, who posted the videos to her YouTube account, there are potential limitations between exercising the First Amendment and exhibiting defamatory behavior. Since filing her defamation lawsuit in 2019, Cardi B has been awarded around $4 million. Read more

1991 Album Faces the Money

Pool of surprises

Among Nirvana’s studio records, perhaps one of the most iconic covers is printed on the “Nevermind” album. Although this was not their first album, it served as their breakthrough and reason for reaching the top of the charts in the early 1990’s. While “Nevermind” helped define Nirvana’s future in the music industry, it also eventually led to the band’s recent involvement in a federal lawsuit, in which the baby on the cover, who is now 30 years old, is suing for exploitation. He is holding several parties accountable for advertising and profiting from an album that illustrates an indecent photograph of a 4-month-old baby in a pool. Read more

Tech Trouble Ends in Settlement

Invasion of privacy?

Concerning a prior consumer complaint, which accused Facebook of violating an Illinois privacy law, a settlement has been reached and approved by a judge. According to the lawsuit, without the permission of users, Facebook has used facial-recognition technology to help tag photos on profiles. The lawsuit was initially filed in 2015 in Illinois, where state privacy laws specifically forbid this type of biometric collection and storage of data without the consent of members. Since the lawsuit began, Facebook has altered its technology and has also been ordered by a judge to pay $650 million in compensation. Read more

Tabloid Troubles

Invasion of privacy continues

Although there is no question that the lives of the royal family have been the subjects of tabloid gossip over the years, the law prohibits an opportunity for legal action well after the incident. Specifically in this recent case, Prince Harry has attempted to file a lawsuit against a news outlet for events that took place from January 1996 to December 2010. Involving personal conversations and exchanges between friends, an ex-girlfriend, and palace aides, Prince Harry accuses News of the World and The Sun of engaging in hacking activities. The problem is that the former tabloid ceased publication in July 2011 and the latter publication denies all accusations or participation. Read more

Motel 10 Million

Privacy scandal

According to court documents, for over two and a half years, Motel 6 employees provided guest information to Immigration and Customers Enforcement agents.  With the information provided, officers screened anyone listed with a Hispanic-sounding last name.  Some of the identifiers obtained include license plate numbers, full names, birthdays, and room numbers.  While some individuals were simply “looked into,” others were detained or arrested. These guest lists were willingly handed over without warrants or subpoenas.  As a result, the civil rights activist group Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a class action lawsuit in January 2018. Read more