+1 212 318 2000
Europe, Middle East, & Africa
+44 20 7330 7500
+65 6212 1000
A $20 million settlement agreement to resolve class claims that Facebook Inc. unlawfully displayed users' names and likenesses through its Sponsored Stories advertising program won preliminary approval Dec. 3 from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Fraley v. Facebook Inc., N.D. Cal., No. 3:11-cv-01726-RS, preliminary approval of settlement 12/3/12).
Judge Richard Seeborg, who denied Aug. 17 an earlier proposed settlement agreement in the right of publicity case (11 PVLR 1343, 9/3/12), wrote that he was “satisfied that the revisions to the terms of the settlement are sufficient to warrant preliminary approval.” At a Nov. 15 hearing regarding the motion for preliminary approval, Seeborg told counsel that the revisions “certainly endeavored to address the concerns, serious concerns, on my part” (11 PVLR 1687, 11/19/12).
The Sponsored Stories program combined a Facebook member's name and profile picture with an advertiser's logo and a note stating that the user had “liked” the company. Plaintiffs in the case argued that merely clicking the “Like” button on Facebook did not provide consent for their profile photos to be used for marketing purposes.
In ruling against the earlier settlement, Seeborg faulted the parties for not adequately justifying the lack of a direct payment to class members. The earlier agreement would have established a $10 million cy pres fund to assist organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Consumer Federation of America. Seeborg also was troubled by a “clear sailing” provision that meant Facebook would not contest an award of $10 million in attorneys' fees.
Under the revised agreement, Facebook still will provide a $20 million settlement. However, the settlement now offers a direct payment of $10 per claimant. If the total sum of claims would exhaust the settlement fund, then a pro rata share will be used unless the share is less than $5 per claimant, in which case the court could elect to substitute the cy pres fund.
The new agreement also stripped the “clear sailing” provision.
Full text of the court's opinion is available at http://op.bna.com/pl.nsf/r?Open=kjon-92nudy.
Full text of the amended settlement agreement is available at http://op.bna.com/tpif.nsf/r?Open=mlon-8ywm8s.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).