Happy Saturday – What a week it’s been. Crypto is imploding, Elon is being Elon, and Season 3 of Love is Blind concluded. It’s a lot to take in.

My goal with this newsletter is to share with you some of the things I read as I stay on top of current issues and trends for my clients. 
If you were forwarded this from a friend, please click here to subscribe for free, and consider sharing it with someone who might like to see it.

Here’s what I’ve been paying attention to over the last seven days:

New Lawsuits

  • EDM producer 3LAU, who famously generated more than $11M in revenue through selling his Ultraviolet album as an NFT, is being sued by Luna Aura, a singer who contributed to the track Walk Away. She claims 3LAU never paid her any portion of that revenue, despite their contract, which she alleges entitles her to royalties from those sales.
  • The Pennsylvania Attorney General has sued Fluent for deceptive lead-gen tactics, such as allegedly tricking consumers into providing “consent” to use of personal information by Fluent’s “marketing partners.”  
  • Off-grid vehicle maker Living Vehicle is suing influencers who claim LV’s trailers contained high levels of toxic chemicals, including “very high formaldehyde” that caused illness and rendered the trailers uninhabitable. 

    Living Vehicle says it has the evidence to prove there are no such chemicals in its trailers, so it’s suing the influencers for trade libel and business disparagement.

    This week, Living Vehicle filed its motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent the influencers from making any additional claims about purported chemicals. 
  • Men’s Journal is being sued for copyright infringement for using a photo it allegedly found on the internet to advertise a shirt, without clearing the rights to said photo. 

Legal News

  • Obnoxious Instagram “personality” Jay Mazini is going to prison for running a Ponzi scheme.  

    “This multi-million dollar case is a reminder for anyone thinking of investing: Be skeptical of any investments with larger than life promises, because if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Fattorusso said in a statement.
  • Twitter won yet another account termination case, for the same reasons as usual (i.e., Section 230 and Twitter’s TOS).
  • Speaking of Twitter, their recent high-level departures have caught the FTC’s attention
  • And speaking of the FTC, they will meet next week to vote on whether to initiate rulemaking that would expand the Business Opportunity Rule to cover “business and e-commerce coaching and work-from-home offers.”

Off topic:

Here’s my favorite quote shouted in a moment of victory that I can think of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKQOXYB2cd8.  Both an inquisitive and exclamatory statement at once, it defies categorization. 

Thanks for making it this far.  Have a great weekend!


Happy Saturday, and Happy Halloween!

This year, I’m dressing up as Waluigi. He’s always been my favorite Mario character, and I already look a lot like him in real life, so I’m excited to dress in overalls and WAA at people a lot.  

This installment is a bit shorter than normal. Not every week is full of interesting tidbits, but this way you can get back to your weekend sooner.Anyway, my goal with this newsletter is to share with you some of the things I read as I stay on top of current issues and trends for my clients. 
If you were forwarded this email from a friend, please click here to subscribe for free, and consider sharing it with someone who might like to see it.

Here’s what I’ve been paying attention to over the last seven days:

New Lawsuits

  • The maker of Jeeter weed pre-rolls is facing a class action brought by California consumers who claim the product doesn’t have as much THC as advertised.  
  • A talent management company is suing a beauty product brand and its CEO for over $100k in unpaid invoices related influencer marketing services.  
  • A model who lost a lawsuit against Twitter for copyright infringement has amended her complaint to add a defendant with one of the racier names I’ve seen on a pleading.

    I can only imagine appearing in court for that defendant. “Good morning, your honor, John Smith appearing for defendant….uh, the other defendant.”

Legal News

  • Smashburger ran ads saying its “Trible Double” hamburgers contained “double the beef,” but consumers in a class action said those burgers had the same amount of beef, just split across two patties, and they wouldn’t have bought the burgers if they knew the truth.

    Smashburger has agreed to pay $5.5M to settle the case
  • A seller of novelty drinking glasses with bullets embedded them must pay $3M to their competitor, who sued under the Lanham Act for false advertising because the losing competitor advertised the glasses as being “Made in the USA,” when in reality, the glasses themselves were made in China, but the bullets were glued to the glass in the U.S.
  • Section 230 shielded TikTok from liability for the popular but incredibly risky (and in some cases fatal) “Blackout Challenge.” The mother of a child who died participating in the challenge sought to hold TikTok liable under products liability and negligence theories.

    She argued that TikTok had a duty to prevent its algorithm from recommending potentially deadly content to kids, and TikTok’s algorithmic recommendations are effectively TikTok’s own publication of content. But the court ruled that the algorithm simply promotes the work of others, so Section 230 shields the platform from liability.
  • This is a good overview of some of the potential revisions to the FTC’s endorsement guides.
  • Here is a quick high-level rundown of some of the issues to keep in mind if you run giveaways as part of your web3/crypto projects. 

Off topic:

Every year, I buy the new Call of Duty release and expect it to be different in some real way, and every year, it’s pretty much the same thing. But I bought it again this year. If you did too, and you want to hop in a game some time, send me a message so we can connect.

Thanks for making it this far.  Have a great weekend!


This case is a great reminder for brands and influencers about usage rights and the importance of understanding creator agreements.

A model and creator is suing a beauty brand she partnered with in federal court for false endorsement and misappropriation of likeness.

Under the influencer agreement, the creator agreed to post 1 photo and 1 video to Instagram and granted the brand rights to that content only. Later, she discovered that the brand used another image (shown above) taken from her IG account and used that image to promote that brand in stores across the U.S.

Because she did not grant the brand usage rights to that image or her likeness more broadly, she sent a demand letter to the brand seeking $40,000 in additional compensation.

When the brand ignored the demand letter (never a good idea), she filed this lawsuit.

The brand has until August 22 to respond, and I’ll track this one as it progresses.

The issues presented here come up over and over again.

Brands often mistakenly assume that because they engaged a creator for one campaign, they can use that creator’s images and likeness however they want.

That’s not true, unless the agreement covers such usages.

Here are just a few of the issues that you want to consider as you (preferably through your legal team) draft your agreement:

-Who owns the rights to the content?

-Where can the content be used, and for how long?

-How is the influencer being paid, and when?

-What publicity rights are being transferred?

-Is there an exclusivity clause, and is everyone okay with its scope?

-Does the brand get to approve the content before it goes live?

-Where will you resolve disputes, and what law will apply?

-How do you terminate the agreement, and what happens when you do?

Thinking through all of these issues in advance will save you time and money down the road.