Editors: Linda A. Goldstein | Jeffrey S. Edelstein | Marc Roth
Electric carmaker Tesla Motors has filed suit against the BBC over a Top Gear television show episode that portrayed a Tesla Roadster that purportedly ran out of electricity and stopped on the show’s test circuit while racing a gas powered Lotus Elise.
The show aired in December 2008, but continues to appear on the Internet, a Top Gear DVD, and on repeats of the show. Tesla is alleging libel and malicious falsehood, and is seeking to enjoin the BBC from any further broadcasting or publication of the episode. Read more
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Applying the federal CAN-SPAM Act beyond a traditional e-mail message, a U.S. District Court ruled that the Act applies to messages sent by commercial Facebook pages.
Facebook sued MaxBounty, a company that operates a network for affiliate marketers, in which it alleged that MaxBounty created fake Facebook pages intended to redirect Facebook users away from the site to third-party commercial sites displaying a message that users can take advantage of a “limited-time offer” that includes an iPad product tester or gift cards. Read more
The Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comment on a proposed rule that would require chain restaurants and other food retailers with 20 or more locations to make calorie and other nutritional disclosures on menus and menu boards.
A second proposed rule, applying to vending machine operators, would impose similar caloric disclosure requirements. The agency was required to promulgate the rules under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which established the disclosure requirements. Read more
A California lawmaker introduced a privacy bill in the state legislature that would require Internet companies to notify state residents about their data collection practices and to provide an opt out option. Companies would be prohibited from collecting or using covered information if a consumer exercises his right to opt out.
State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D – Long Beach) introduced SB 761, that would require the California Office of Privacy Protection and the attorney general to adopt regulations to establish a means under which consumers can opt out of online collection. The bill’s definition of personal information includes an individual’s online activity as well as his/her name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and IP address. Read more
The Federal Trade Commission recently reached a proposed settlement over what the agency alleged were false and unproven claims about Oreck’s Halo vacuum and ProShield Plus air purifier. The air purifier filters air particles using an electrostatic precipitator, while the vacuum features a HEPA filter.
According to the complaint, Oreck used infomercials, print ads, in-store displays, online advertisements and traditional television ads to make unsubstantiated claims like “The Halo and the ProShield Plus prevent or substantially reduce the risk of flu,” and “The Halo and the ProShield Plus prevents or substantially reduces the risk of other illnesses or ailments caused by bacteria, viruses, molds, and allergens – such as the common cold – asthma, and allergy symptoms.” In addition, the FTC alleged that Oreck provided advertisements to its franchised stores for use in their marketing and sale of the products, which provided the “means and instrumentalities” to deceive consumers. Read more
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