California SB 1001, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17940, et seq., takes effect July 1, 2019. The law regulates the online use of “bots” – computer programs that interact with a human being and give the appearance of being an actual person – by requiring disclosure when bots are being used.

The law applies in limited cases of online communications to (a) sell commercial goods or services, or (b) influence a vote in an election. Specifically, the law prohibits using a bot in those circumstances, “with the intent to mislead the other person about its artificial identity for the purpose of knowingly deceiving the person about the content of the communication in order to incentivize a purchase or sale of goods or services in a commercial transaction or to influence a vote in an election.” Disclosure of the existence of the bot avoids liability.

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Photo of Ed Chansky Ed Chansky

Ed Chansky focuses his practice in the areas of intellectual property (particularly development, selection, protection and licensing of trademarks worldwide) and advertising, sales promotion, and trade-regulation law, including charitable promotions, cause-related marketing, sweepstakes, contests, gift cards, eCommerce, substantiation of advertising claims, social gaming,

Ed Chansky focuses his practice in the areas of intellectual property (particularly development, selection, protection and licensing of trademarks worldwide) and advertising, sales promotion, and trade-regulation law, including charitable promotions, cause-related marketing, sweepstakes, contests, gift cards, eCommerce, substantiation of advertising claims, social gaming, social media, and all aspects of unfair or deceptive trade practices in a wide variety of industries.

A trusted advisor to many national companies, Ed is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences on advertising and promotion law topics, including sweepstakes, premium production, coupon and rebate offers, charitable promotions, social gaming, and social media, and has helped shape state legislation affecting sales promotion matters. He also works with clients on a wide range of contract and licensing matters, including agency-client agreements in the advertising and sales promotion industries, software and website development, privacy policies and terms of use, and other matters affecting intellectual property, marketing and electronic commerce. For many years, he worked as a part-time musician (trombone) playing everything from grand opera to rhythm and blues.

Photo of Ian C. Ballon Ian C. Ballon

Ian Ballon is an intellectual property and Internet litigator who is the Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group. He represents clients in copyright, DMCA, trademark, trade secret, right of publicity, privacy, security, software, database and Internet- and

Ian Ballon is an intellectual property and Internet litigator who is the Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group. He represents clients in copyright, DMCA, trademark, trade secret, right of publicity, privacy, security, software, database and Internet- and mobile-related disputes and in the defense of data privacy, security breach, behavioral advertising, TCPA and other Internet-related class action suits. Please click here to view a list of some of his recent cases.

Mr. Ballon, who splits his time between the firm’s Silicon Valley and LA offices, is the author of the five-volume legal treatise, E-Commerce and Internet Law: Treatise With Forms 2d Edition (Thomson Reuters West 2008 & 2018 Cum. Supp., www.ianballon.net) and the earlier first edition, which has been cited in state and federal court opinions. He is also the author of The Complete CAN-SPAM Act Handbook (West 2008) and The Complete State Security Breach Notification Compliance Handbook (West 2009). In addition, Mr. Ballon serves as Executive Director of Stanford University Law School’s Center for E-Commerce and serves as a member to the consultative group to the American Law Institute’s Principles of the Law, Data Privacy project. He previously served as an Advisor to the American Law Institute’s Intellectual Property: Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgments in Transnational Disputes (ALI Principles of Law 2007).

Mr. Ballon has been named one of the top 100 lawyers in California and has been recognized as one of the Top 75 intellectual property litigators in California by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal in every year that the list has been published, from 2009 through 2018. He also was named the “Lawyer of the Year” for technology law in 2018 and for information technology law in the 2019, 2016, and 2013 editions of The Best Lawyers in America. In 2018 and 2019, he was named one of the top 10 Cyber/Artificial Intelligence Lawyers in California by The Daily Journal, was recognized in World Trademark Review’s “WTR 1000,” in 2018 as a leading trademark attorney in California for trademark litigation, and named to the 2018 Lawdragon 500 Leading lawyers list. In 2017, he was selected as an “Intellectual Property Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal and named a “Groundbreaker” by The Recorder in its 2017 Litigation Departments of the Year awards for winning a series of TCPA class action suits. Mr. Ballon was recognized as the 2012 New Media Lawyer of the Year by the Century City Bar Association. In 2010, he was the recipient of the California State Bar Intellectual Property Law section’s Vanguard Award for outstanding legal professionals who are spearheading new developments in the world of intellectual property. Mr. Ballon was listed in Variety’s “Legal Impact Report: 50 Game-Changing Attorneys” (2012) and was recognized as one of the top new media lawyers in the United States by CyberEsq. magazine, one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California by California Law Business, one of the top 100 lawyers in L.A. by the Los Angeles Business Journal, a Northern California “Super Lawyer” (every year from 2004 through 2020), one of the top 50 IP Litigators in California and one of the top 25 copyright, trademark and patent lawyers in California by The Daily Journal. He is listed in Legal 500 U.S., The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of intellectual property and information technology and in the Chambers and Partners USA Guide in the areas of privacy and data security as well as IT and outsourcing.

Mr. Ballon is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia and Maryland and before the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. He also has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute and holds the CIPP/US certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.