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All Hat and No Cattle: FTC Cites Hat Company for Overstating Made in USA Claims; Major Industry Group Asks FTC to Revise Made in USA Standards

The Federal Trade Commission recently announced a proposed settlement of another significant "Made in USA" enforcement action, and in response, a major industry trade association has requested that FTC revise its "Made in USA" enforcement policy.   

Think Before You Link: Embedding Twitter Photographs Can Be Infringement, Judge Rules

Last week, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled embedding a copyrighted photo that had been posted to Twitter constituted copyright infringement. This ruling may result in a widespread change in licensing practices for online content.  

Collaborating Instead of Litigating: Brands Make Hay of ‘Artistic’ Homage

Fashion Law leader Anthony V. Lupo spoke with WWD as part of their feature on a recent trend by companies to bring provocative (and critical) social media voices into their fold.   “Why are brands so quick to show they’re “in” on the joke and in turn validate what is simply an Instagram account doing little beyond calling out designers for copying one another,” asked WWD.  

Online Mandatory Arbitration Provision Stops Class Action from Moving Forward

In another victory for retail and fashion clients, a federal court recently held that an online arbitration provision for a web-based application was enforceable, reversing a lower court decision and essentially blocking a proposed class action.

It’s Every Influencer for Themselves as FTC Settles Debut Case Against Individual Social Stars

Calling all #influencers: that promotional post may attract more attention than you bargained for with your brand if you fail to use required disclosures. With several enforcement actions against companies, assistance from Instagram’s new paid partnerships tool, and the first ever complaint directly against social media influencers, the Federal Trade Commission has made it clear that they are fed up with deceptive endorsements.

Online Retailer and Executive Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy Conducted Via Social Media and Text Messaging

An online retailer and its president recently pled guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy for customized promotional products that was implemented through text messaging and social media platforms. The successful prosecutions are the latest in the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the online promotional products industry.  

Instagram Signals to #Influencers That There’s a #NewSheriff in Town

TLDR Instagram has a message for social media Influencers: the Wild West is coming to an end. The popular photo-sharing platform is rolling out a new tool that will make it easier to tag and track paid commercial content. The tool offers a potential replacement for the much loathed “#ad” disclosure, but it also signals a coming crackdown on Influencer posts.

Anonymous Online Business Reviews: Balancing Free Speech Rights Against Protections From Defamation

As nearly every company’s products and services can be critiqued on several online platforms, courts must balance a speaker’s First Amendment right to express opinions anonymously online against a business’s right protect itself from defamatory speech. On one hand, anonymous online speech is typically thought to be protected by the First Amendment, and websites posting anonymous reviews often fiercely defend their reviewers’ anonymity and their speech as non-actionable opinion. Early this year, Congress even passed the Consumer Review Fairness Act, which stops a company from using a contrac

FTC Fires Warning Shot Over Misleading Instagram Posts

What’s New? The Federal Trade Commission recently sent more than 90 letters to celebrities, athletes, and other influencers reminding them that brand endorsements made in social media posts must comply with the FTC’s Endor

Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016: What Brands Need to Know About This New Consumer Review Law

What’s the News? Before leaving office, President Obama signed into law the Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 (CRFA), which protects consumers engaging in consumer reviews. The CRFA voids a contract if it prohibits or restricts an individual from reviewing a seller's goods, services, or conduct. Who is Affected? All companies that have the prohibited clauses (see below) in their consumer contracts will have to review and update these contracts for compliance with the CRFA.