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Lee v. Makhnevich

Topic(s): Class Actions
Internet Free Speech - Miscellaneous

Documents:

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Description:

A New York dentist includes in the stack of forms that are given to all new patients a form agreement by which each patient gives up the right to criticize the dentist publicly, including on any Internet blog or review web site; the same form assigns to the dentist the copyright in anything that the patient may later write about the dentist. When a patient later posted on Yelp and other review sites a complaint about being overcharged for a filling, and about the dentist’s failure to provide the necessary paperwork to the patient’s insurance company, the dentist sent a “takedown” notice to the review sites, claiming that the posting violated her copyright. The dentist also sent the patient a series of invoices demanding payment of $100 for each day the “copyrighted” complaints continued to appear online. Public Citizen has filed a class action complaint, on behalf of all of this dentist’s patients, seeking a declaration that the agreement is null and void under New York law and that it is a misuse of copyright law; the complaint also seeks an injunction against imposing the agreement on future patients.

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