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Society & Culture
Virtual Legality Episode 386

The Parler vs Amazon Lawsuit: Do They Have a Case?

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189 189 views
6m Jan 12, 2021
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With seemingly every technology company removing or disabling access to accounts and applications seen as sympathetic to President Trump after the events at the Capitol last week, it was only a matter of time before we saw our first lawsuit.

And that first lawsuit comes courtesy of Parler, the "microblogging" social media app (and self-proclaimed competitor to Twitter), who found itself cut off not just from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, but from the very Internet itself after Amazon (through its Amazon Web Services, or AWS, brand) cut off its access to cloud computing servers.

But do Parler's claims of antitrust violations, breaches of contract, or interference with contractual relationships really hold water?

Let's dive in.

"Step into my Parler", said the multi-national global conglomerate to the fly...in Virtual Legality.

#Parler #Amazon #Lawsuit


Discussed in this episode:

"Amazon, Apple and Google Cut Off Parler, an App That Drew Trump Supporters"
New York Times = Updated January 11, 2021
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/09/technology/apple-google-parler.html

"Parler goes dark, sues Amazon to demand immediate reinstatement"
Ars Technica - January 11, 2021
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2021/01/parler-goes-dark-sues-amazon-to-demand-immediate-reinstatement/

Parler v Amazon Web Services
Filed January 11, 2021
https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/gov.uscourts.wawd_.294664.1.0_1.pdf

"Amazon Will Suspend Hosting For Pro-Trump Social Network Parler"
Buzzfeed News - January 9, 2021
https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/johnpaczkowski/amazon-parler-aws?bftwnews&utm_term=4ldqpgc#4ldqpgc

"Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets"
US House Antitrust Subcommittee Majority Staff Report - October 6, 2020
https://judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/competition_in_digital_markets.pdf

"An Antitrust Epic"
YouTube Playlist - Hoeg Law
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy-lb7ReoUqL5_dTcM8ngmfV

"Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; penalty"
15 USC 1 (Sherman Act Section 1)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/1

"The Antitrust Laws"
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Website
https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/antitrust-laws

"'Burn down DC': Violence that erupted at Capitol was incited by pro-Trump mob on social media"
USA Today - January 6, 2021
https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2021/01/06/trump-riot-twitter-parler-proud-boys-boogaloos-antifa-qanon/6570794002/

"Twitter bans 70,000 QAnon accounts as conservatives report lost followers"
The Verge - January 12, 2021
https://www.theverge.com/2021/1/12/22226503/twitter-qanon-account-suspension-70000-capitol-riots

"AWS Customer Agreement"
Updated November 30, 2020
https://aws.amazon.com/agreement/

"AWS Acceptable Use Policy"
Updated September 16, 2016
https://aws.amazon.com/aup/

"Tort and Insurance Law: Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations in Colorado"
Colorado Bar Website
https://www.cobar.org/-em-Colorado-Lawyer-em/Details-Page/ArticleID/65/Tort-and-Insurance-Law-Intentional-Interference-with-Contractual-Relations-in-Colorado

"Protection for private blocking and screening of offensive material"
47 USC 230
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/47/230


"Virtual Legality" is a continuing series discussing the law, video games, software, and everything digital, hosted by Richard Hoeg, of the Hoeg Law Business Law Firm (Hoeg Law).

CHECK OUT THE REST OF VIRTUAL LEGALITY HERE:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1zDCgJzZUy9YAU61GoW-00K0TJOGnPCo

DISCUSSION IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS LEGAL ADVICE. INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN THE LEGAL TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS VIDEO SHOULD CONSULT WITH THEIR OWN COUNSEL.


Blog: hoeglaw.wordpress.com
STORE: https://teespring.com/stores/hoeg-law-store


DESIGN WORK
Joe Ellis (Logo Design)
Chris Leroux (Motion Graphics)
For more information: contact Chris at @Chrisleroux on Twitter.

PODCAST VERSIONS ALSO AVAILABLE

Table of Contents

Timecode Title
00:00 Introduction
06:03 The Lawsuit
08:15 The Amazon Letter and Buzzfeed Leak
11:43 The Regulatory Environment
14:30 Comparisons to Twitter
16:59 Antitrust Law
20:02 The Facts (according to Parler)
33:02 Strange Bedfellows
36:15 Parler's Legal Complaints
37:57 Looking at the Contract for Breach Claims
52:40 The Problem with Ambiguous Tort Claims
56:30 Conclusion

About Hoeg Law

The Hoeg Law Firm is a business law firm with big law experience and a small firm approach focusing on start-ups, technology, financing, and everything else a business might need.


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Everett Anderson

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Virtual – E515
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