Facebook Reaches ‘Settlement in Principle’ in Lawsuit over Ads

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Written By admin at Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012


Facebook Inc. has reached a “settlement agreement in principle” with a group of users who allege the social network used their names and likeness in paid advertisements without their consent.

The agreement was disclosed in a court filing Monday in federal court in San Jose; the terms of it were not. U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh has requested that the parties file a report on the progress of the settlement discussions by Friday.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment. Lawyers for the plaintiffs, who represent a purported class of users, didn’t immediately respond to Law Blog’s request for comment.

The lawsuit targets Facebook’s “Sponsored Story,” a type of ad that is created when a Facebook user “likes” a product or service. That endorsement is then visible to his or her friends.

The lawsuit alleges the Facebook ads violated the users’ statutory “right of publicity” under California law. The law protects against the non-consensual use of another’s likeness, voice, name for advertising or selling purposes.

Law Blog