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DomainBack in the olden days of last year, there was no particular reason for entertainment industry players to be particularly interested in the actual administration of the Internet, unless they were just curious.  Now, it benefits every brand owner to understand and pay attention to the basics of how new domain names come into being, who selects them and how they become public. 

On August 18, 2014, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may impact the way website users are bound by Terms of Use.  In Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., Plaintiff had purchased two items during a "fire sale" on the Barnes & Noble website, received an order confirmation and then received another e-mail the following day notifying him that the order had been cancelled.  Plaintiff proceeded to file a putative class action lawsuit against Barnes & Noble, alleging deceptive business practices and false advertising.  In response, Barnes & Noble moved to compel arbitration pursuant to the Barnes & Noble website Terms of Use.  Plaintiff argued that he never clicked on the link to the Terms, and he had no notice of the Terms or the arbitration provision.  The district court ruled in favor of the Plaintiff, finding that, even though the site contained a hyperlink to its Terms of Use on every page, including through completion of the purchase process, the Plaintiff did not have actual notice of the Terms, nor did the existence of the hyperlinks provide him with constructive notice (i.e. implied notice) of the Terms, and Plaintiff was therefore not bound by the arbitration provision.

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The Sports, Arts & Entertainment group at Foster Garvey provides full service legal representation on sports, entertainment and business matters, including handling transactions related to brand management, licensing, joint ventures, venture capital, private equity, technology, the Internet and new media.
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