Facebook to pay $10 million to settle suit

SAN FRANCISCO Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:57am IST

In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through glasses held by a woman in Bern May 19, 2012. REUTERS/Thomas Hodel

In this photo illustration, a Facebook logo on a computer screen is seen through glasses held by a woman in Bern May 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Hodel

Stocks

   
Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels as they rehearse for the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony in New Delhi January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

"Beating The Retreat" Rehearsals

Rehearsals are on for "Beating the Retreat" ceremony which symbolises retreat after a day on the battlefield, and marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations.  Slideshow 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc (FB.O) has agreed to pay $10 million to charity to settle a lawsuit that accused the site of violating users' rights to control the use of their own names, photographs and likenesses, according to court documents made public over the weekend.

The lawsuit, brought by five Facebook members, alleged the social networking site violated California law by publicizing users' "likes" of certain advertisers on its "Sponsored Stories" feature without paying them or giving them a way to opt out, the documents said.

A "Sponsored Story" is an advertisement that appears on a member's Facebook page and generally consists of another friend's name, profile picture and an assertion that the person "likes" the advertiser.

The settlement was reached last month but made public this weekend. Facebook declined to comment on Saturday.

The proposed class-action lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, California, could have included nearly one of every three Americans, with billions of dollars in damages, according to previous court documents.

In the lawsuit, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg was quoted as saying that a trusted referral was the "Holy Grail" of advertising.

In addition, the lawsuit cited comments from Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, saying that the value of a "Sponsored Story" advertisement was at least twice and up to three times the value of a standard Facebook.com ad without a friend endorsement.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh said the plaintiffs had shown economic injury could occur through Facebook's use of their names, photographs and likenesses.

"California has long recognized a right to protect one's name and likeness against appropriation by others for their advantage," Koh wrote.

The settlement arrangement is known as a cy-pres settlement, meaning the settlement funds can go to charity.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is Angel Fraley et al., individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated vs. Facebook Inc., 11-cv-1726.

Facebook shares closed at $30.01 on Friday, down 21 percent since the company's initial public offering last month.

(Editing by Jackie Frank)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Reuters Showcase

Vodafone Ruling

Vodafone Ruling

Government will not appeal Vodafone tax ruling   Full Article 

Indian Railways

Indian Railways

Private refiners compete with state firm to sell diesel to railways   Full Article 

Ranbaxy Results

Ranbaxy Results

Dec-quarter net loss widens on forex loss  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Sensex, Nifty retreat from record highs on profit-taking.  Full Article 

Tech Talk

Tech Talk

Apple takes high road in China smartphone standoff with Xiaomi.  Full Article 

Business Strategy

Business Strategy

Uber scraps commissions for its New Delhi taxis.  Full Article 

Job Cuts

Job Cuts

Sony to cut 1,000 jobs in smartphone business - sources.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage