Their food source is snarled in litigation, so this weekend thousands of virtual rabbits in Second Life began to die. [Rock Paper Shotgun]
The Church of Anti-Discrimination, most confident of sects, will settle for nothing short of full establishment: under a California court settlement, ChristianMingle.com, which bills itself as the largest online Christian dating site, has agreed to establish search options for men seeking men and women seeking women. Two California men had sued under the state’s expansive Unruh Civil Rights Act. Owner Spark Networks, which admitted no wrongdoing, “agreed to pay each plaintiff $9,000 each and $450,000 in attorneys’ fees to the two men’s lawyers.” [Jacob Gershman and Sara Randazzo, WSJ Law Blog] At Patheos, David Smalley, who describes himself as a pro-gay atheist activist, says the episode is based on too broad a definition of public accommodation; declining to offer a particular service is not the same as offering it to the public but turning down some customers. “Since when can the government tell us what products or services we must offer to future customers? Every atheist, every liberal, and every business owner needs to fight for Christian Mingle’s rights to offer the products or services they choose, even if we disagree with their practices or philosophy behind it all.”
State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) has vowed to press the idea, the apparent idea being that the government is a better guardian of privacy interests than Facebook and similar services [Jacqueline Otto, CEI “Open Market”] Meanwhile, Geoffrey Manne reports that the feds are itching to start an antitrust or unfair competition case against Google [Main Justice via Truth on the Market]
Patrick at Popehat is not happy with a class action settlement over consumer non-injury from the Google Buzz service:
Mason and Ram will apply for, and probably get, $2,125,000 of that [$8.5 million] common fund, for all of their hard work representing thousands of people just like me, who weren’t damaged by Google because they ignored Google’s offer to try Google Buzz, a demonstrated failure that’s used by about seven people (not all of whom are class representatives) nationwide. …
If there’s any justice, and there isn’t, the Northern District of California will award Mason and Ram a dollar for every consumer who was injured by Google Buzz. That and five hundred more dollars will cover their airfare home.
- Litigation over high-tech products is rife, but major benefits for consumers can be hard to discern [Low End Mac]
- “United settles with female ex-pilot who found p0rn in cockpits” [Obscure Store]
- California suit charges negligent “laying on of hands” at church service [Lowering the Bar]
- UN resolution against “defamation of religion” imperils free speech [Paula Schriefer, Freedom House/CSM, Steyn/NR “Corner”, National Secular Society (U.K.), Ilya Somin @ Volokh
- DivorceNetwork.com, social networking for those caught up in family law battles? [Ambrogi, Legal BlogWatch]
- Prosecutors behaving badly in Wayne County (Mich.), Miami, Santa Clara County [Radley Balko, Reason “Hit and Run”]
- After nine years, the notorious Bill Lerach California-unfair-competition-law suit against Kwikset (over several screws from Taiwan in a lock marked “Made in America”) finally winds down [California Civil Justice, earlier]
- Oklahoma AG Drew Edmondson to poultry companies: my pals will bankrupt you with massive verdicts unless you settle [Rizo/Legal NewsLine; more]
When your litigation opponent subpoenas your Facebook, Amazon, MySpace, Flickr, LinkedIn and (locked) Twitter pages (& Likelihood of Confusion).