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A federal appeals court has denied Fox's bid to shut down the Dish Anywhere streaming platform. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of TV streaming just three weeks after the Supreme Court shut down Aereo for streaming TV over the internet without permission.

So why did a California federal court give the green light to Dish to continue selling a service so similar to Aereo?

Fox had argued that Dish "engages in virtually identical conduct when it streams Fox's programming to Dish subscribers over the Internet--albeit also in violation of an express contractual prohibition--has repeatedly raised the same defenses as Aereo which have now been rejected by the Supreme Court."

Fox asked the 9th Circuit to impose a preliminary injunction, one that would put a halt to the service.

In a short four-page opinion (attached below), the judges found that Fox's claim that it would be "irreparably harmed" without an immediate block to Hopper was not credible.

A federal appeals court has released a secret Justice Department memo that justifies a 2011 drone attack that killed Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born Islamist preacher and suspected al Qaeda leader.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals released a redacted version of the secret Obama administration memorandum on Monday. The memo (which starts on page 67 after the opinion) states that since the U.S. government considered al Awlaki to be an "operational leader" of an "enemy force," it was legal for the Central Intelligence Agency to attack him with a drone even though he was a U.S. citizen.

The memo says the killing was further justified under Congressional authorization for the use of U.S. military force following the Sept. 11, 2001 hijacked-plane attacks.

The Obama administration released the memo in response to a court order following Freedom of Information lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times.

"High-level government officials have concluded, on the basis of al-Aulaqi's activities in Yemen, that al-Aulaqi is a leader of (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) whose activities in Yemen pose a 'continued an imminent threat' of violence to United states persons and interests," the document said.

Awlaki was killed in what U.S. officials acknowledged at the time was a CIA drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011, Reuters reports. Another American citizen, Samir Khan, was killed in the same attack, although U.S. officials have said that Khan was not intentionally targeted.

The Seventh Circuit has written a scathing rejection of a "scandalous" class-action settlement by in which a lawyer inserted his father-in-law as a named plaintiff and negotiated a $2 million advance on his fee.

Judge Richard Posner wrote in the opinion (attached below) that the lower court should have heeded dire warning signs. 

"Almost every danger sign in a class action settlement that our court and other courts have warned district judges to be on the lookout for was present in this case," Posner wrote. "The district court approved a class action settlement that is inequitable-- even scandalous."

Lead attorney Paul M. Weiss' agreement was structured to pay him and his co-counsel $11 million. 

Though the settlement was valued at $90 million, the class "could not expect to receive more than $8.5 million from the settlement, given all the obstacles that the terms of the settlement strewed in the path of the class members," Posner wrote.

FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Struck Down by D.C. Circuit

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the FCC’s open Internet rules, in a ruling that could give broadband providers more room to charge content companies for faster speeds.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled (see full opinion below) that the FCC lacked the authority to impose anti-discrimination rules because it had failed to classify broadband Internet as a common-carrier service.

The ruling is a blow to the concept of net neutrality, and opens the door for Verizon (and other Internet service providers) to offer managed services or other arrangements where content providers could pay to increase the speed to their content. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon (the plaintiff in this case) has indicated it would pursue such an arrangement if it was permitted to do so.

The FCC rules were designed to ensure Internet service providers treat similar content on broadband pipes equally. By enforcing net neutrality, the court found, the agency was imposing rules that didn’t apply to carriers.

"Birther" publisher and founder of conservative website WorldNetDaily, Joseph Farah had his defamation suit against Esquire Magazine dismissed, with the Court upholding the publication's right to political satire.

The suit began in June 2011, when Farah and author Jerome Corsi sued Esquire for running a parody article regarding the release of Corsi's newest book entitled "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case that Barack Obama is not Eligible to Be President."

Esquire's offending article, penned by journalist Mark Warren, lambasted Corsi and Farsi -- the book's publisher -- with a fake news story about Farsi pulling the book from shelves, denying its existence, and offering refunds.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals confirmed on Tuesday (see below) that Farah and Corsi had no case for defamation, based on the fact that the article was clearly satire and "satirical speech enjoys First Amendment protection."

Considering the article in context, the Court denied that a reasonable reader could have mistaken the article for "real news." In addition, commenting on Farah and Corsi's beliefs that President Obama is ineligible for the presidency (the "Birther" mindset) is also protected political speech.

Airline Lawsuit Over Sex-Toy Prank Survives at 5th Cir.

A lawsuit against an airline for allegedly taping a sex toy to the top of a checked bag should survive a motion to dismiss, the Fifth Circuit has ruled.

The complaint for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and negligence can proceed, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an unpublished opinion (attached below).

The lawsuit claims the sex toy had been removed from their luggage, covered in a greasy foul-smelling substance and taped to the top of one of their bags.

The bag was circulating on the luggage carousel at the Norfolk Airport when the travelers discovered it, the ABA Journal reports. The plaintiffs argue that airline employees targeted them because they are gay men.

The defendants -- United Continental Holdings, Inc. and Continental Airlines -- argued the plaintiffs' suit was preempted by Article 17 of the Montreal Convention, which governs airline liability, including liability for damage to baggage. But the 5th Circuit disagreed.

"The alleged misconduct in this case simply does not relate to any damage to plaintiffs' duffel bag ... rather, plaintiffs seek a remedy for the way in which their bag was utilized to inflict personal injury," the court ruled.

The case was remanded to the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Texas.

A California law that bans the sale of foie gras made from force-feeding birds has been upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The 2012 California foie gras law prohibits the sale of products made from the force-feeding of birds to enlarge their livers. Foie gras is a delicacy featuring the fatty liver of a force-fed goose or duck.

A three-judge panel held that the lawsuit filed by foie gras producers was unlikely to succeed on constitutional grounds. Legally speaking, the lawsuit is being consistently shot down by federal courts in California.

The plaintiffs appear undeterred and vow to continue the legal fight.

"This isn't like fireworks, nobody is being harmed by foie gras," Marcus Henley, operations manager of a New York farm, told The Associated Press. He also noted some California consumers continue to legally order foie gras online.

The video game industry is sure to take notice after a federal appeals court ruled that Electronic Arts can be sued by a former college quarterback who alleges EA stole his likeness for its popular “NCAA Football” game.

Ryan Hart, who played for Rutgers from 2002 to 2005, may pursue his lawsuit against EA on allegations that the video game giant misappropriated his likeness for the popular video game.

The 2-1 decision (attached below) was delivered Tuesday by a panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. It reversed a district court decision which held that the depiction of college players in the video game was protected by the First Amendment right to free speech.

Hart sued EA in 2009, alleging it violated his right of publicity by using his likeness in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 installments of the “NCAA Football” game. The game’s quarterback shared Mr. Hart’s number, height, weight, helmet visor and the left wrist band he regularly wore in real life.

To earn a First Amendment shield, Electronic Arts had to show that it had transformed Mr. Hart’s identity to a significant degree. The majority of the appeals court panel held that EA had not done so.

“The digital Ryan Hart does what the actual Ryan Hart did while at Rutgers: he plays college football, in digital recreations of college football stadiums, filled with all the trappings of a college football game,” Circuit Judge Joseph Greenaway wrote for the majority. “This is not transformative.”

Meanwhile, the Ninth Circuit is considering a similar lawsuit filed by former Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller and other former players.

Varsity Athlete Can't Sue University for Being Cut from Team

Being cut from a team and losing your athletic scholarship is not grounds for a lawsuit.

That is how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled after a college basketball player sued her university and coach after losing her athletic scholarship.

The plaintiff, Brooke Elizabeth Heike, was awarded a scholarship by Central Michigan University. When she lost her scholarship she decided to seek legal relief.

DC Circuit Rejects Challenge to DC Gun Laws

The DC Circuit has upheld the gun laws passed by the District of Columbia after the Supreme Court struck down prior DC firearm regulations. The laws at issue in the suit imposed registration requirements and prohibited assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The court found that the laws did not violate the Second Amendment.