Tuesday, May 3, 2011

N.Y. Minor Wants to Take Facebook to 'Class'

Alfonse M. D'Amato United States Courthouse in...Image via WikipediaNastro v. Facebook, Inc. (Case No. 11-cv-2128), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York this week, seeks class action status against social media deep-pocket Facebook, Inc., for allegedly using the images of minors for a commercial purpose without parental consent, in violation of N.Y. Civil Rights Law.

As first reported by Bloomberg News, the suit concerns the thumbs-up "Like" icon. Facebook's use of social ads, dating back to 2007, purportedly displays the images and names of minors who click their support of products and events, and is also displayed when a user RSVPs for an advertised event, and on friends' home-page feeds.  The suit seeks damages for alleged revenues derived from the purported unauthorized commercial use of the minors' names and images.

In August 2010, suit was filed in a Los Angeles County Superior Court against Facebook for alleged violation of California law that prohibits using minors to endorse products and services, again, hinging on the users clicking the "Like" icon. (See "TUOL" post 8/30/10.)

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