• On February 15, 2011, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in the federal district court for the Northern District of California against Apple and a host of other defendants, including application developers and various recipients of the plaintiffs’ confidential data, including the New York Times, NPR, WebMD, Groupon, Pandora, and Yelp. The plaintiffs claim that the applications that they downloaded onto their iPhones and iPads – applications that Apple allegedly vetted and assured were safe – surreptitiously extracted private information about them and transmitted it back to the defendants and their affiliates. Plaintiffs state that “[t]he conduct of the defendants, individually and jointly, is a fraud that has been perpetrated for years, facilitated and coordinated by some of the world’s largest application developers, network advertising industry, and web analytic vendors, thereby costing the class upwards of tens of millions of dollars” in terms of the bandwidth consumed with these surreptitious functions and privacy-related damages. Rodimer v. Apple Inc., Case No. 11-cv-0700 (N.D. Cal).
  • On February 14, 2011, the federal Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit heard argument in Cablevision’s appeal over whether the FCC erred in treating terrestrial cable providers like satellite cable providers in rules that contain program-access obligations. Specifically, the FCC issued rules requiring any cable operate that owns an interest in a satellite-delivered video programming service to offer that service to any of its competitors. Cablevision argued that Congress’s repeated use of the word “satellite” in the relevant portion of the statute should have circumscribed the agency’s role to that arena. The Court, however, seemed skeptical about Cablevision’s argument that the FCC was arbitrary and capricious in treating “selling” broadcast content the same as “providing” it, the latter being the term used in the statute. Cablevision Systems Corp. v. FCC, No. 10-1062 (D.C. Cir.).