Dentist Misused Copyright To Stifle Yelp Reviews: Judge

Law360, New York (March 2, 2015, 1:57 PM EST) -- A New York federal court handed down a judgment on Friday against dentist Stacy Makhnevich, wrapping up a strange class action with a ruling that said she misused copyright law in an effort to quash negative Yelp reviews of her practice.

With the help of consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and attorneys at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, several patients sued Makhnevich in 2011 over her novel approach to controlling online reviews: forcing patients to sign a contract that made her the "copyright" owner of any reviews they wrote about the practice. The dentist would then threaten infringement litigation if such reviews...

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