Home Civil Law Ninth Circuit Rejects Lawsuit Over Hijacked Facebook Account-Long v. Dorset – Technology...

Ninth Circuit Rejects Lawsuit Over Hijacked Facebook Account-Long v. Dorset – Technology & Marketing Law Blog


Long is a ebook creator. He ran a Facebook enterprise page to advertise his work. An interloper, utilizing the alias “Tammy Dorset,” gained administrator entry to the Facebook page. Once answerable for the page, Dorset allegedly posted objects that infringed Long’s rights and disseminated a virus. After eight days, Long satisfied Facebook to drag the plug on Dorset, which additionally eliminated Dorset’s infringing posts. Long sued Facebook for copyright infringement and negligence for Dorset’s actions.

Copyright. Dorset triggered the copying. Long didn’t sufficiently allege volitional conduct by Facebook. Long’s complaints didn’t flip Facebook’s non-action into volition.

Long didn’t allege Facebook’s direct monetary profit from Dorset’s infringement.

With respect to contributory infringement: “Viewing the screenshots in conjunction with the text of Long’s accompanying emails, the list of links to his website that Long also attached (which themselves included a different set of text and images), and Long’s simultaneous request to restore his page administrator status, the Complaint fails to plausibly establish that Facebook actually knew precisely what infringing material was available on Facebook.”

Other Tort Claims. “Long contends that Facebook was negligent in (1) enabling Dorset to access Long’s business page; (2) failing to maintain automated responders that could refer user complaints to appropriate Facebook departments; and (3) failing to promptly remove Dorset’s infringing posts. He also asserts that Facebook aided and abetted Dorset through its inaction.” The courtroom says eradicating content material is one thing publishers do (cite to Barnes v. Yahoo), so Section 230 applies to these claims. Long sought to benefit from Section 230’s IP exception, however his tort claims didn’t pertain to IP, and Section 230 would preempt state IP claims in any case (Perfect 10 v. ccBill).

Case Citation: Long v. Dorset, 2021 WL 1590391 (ninth Cir. April 23, 2021)


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