Summer is finally here - and were going to celebrate the way we do every Friday - by bringing you subscription features to keep you informed on the latest in the subscription world. In this weeks edition, we share Reuters Institutes and University of Oxfords Digital News Report for 2019, Mary Meekers top internet trends, customer service tips from Hubspot, all we know about the new Disney+ streaming video subscription service and how an $8.9 million judgment against two dozen companies for subscription scams.
Last week Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq. reported on anticipated new rules to be issued by Mastercard based on an announcement Mastercard made on January 16th, modified on the following day. There were still outstanding questions. Today's update further clarifies the Mastercard announcement including what types of companies these rules impact and when they go into effect.
In one of the first Internet of Things (IoT) class action settlements, the maker of a Bluetooth-enabled personal vibrator called We-Vibe agreed to settle a privacy class action lawsuit for $3.75 million. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insider Guide to Subscription Regulation and Compliance, explains the suit and the key lesson learned.
Pennsylvania is the latest government entity to impose a so-called "Netflix tax" on its citizens, reports Penn Record. Brought forth by the state legislature, the new 6 percent digital product tax will cover over-the-top TV services like Netflix, Hulu and Sling TV. It was part of a new revenue package passed on August 1. Newspapers and magazines delivered by digital or electronic means are exempt.
In May, two authors filed a lawsuit against textbook publisher Cengage, saying the new Cengage Unlimited subscription service will cost the authors significant sales and royalty revenue. Authors David Knox and Caroline Schact are seeking class action status in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. Cengage's lawyers have finally responded to the lawsuit, reports Publishers Weekly. The lawyers say there is no reason to believe that the authors' income will substantially decline.
Two social media influencers, Trevor Martin, 'TmarTn' and Thomas Cassell of The Syndicate Project, settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that they failed to disclose their ownership in CSGO Lotto when they endorsed the online gaming company. According to the FTC, Martin and Cassell paid other social media influencers thousands of dollars to promote CSGO Lotto on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch, but failed to disclose this in their social media posts. As part of the settlement, the FTC is requiring the pair to 'clearly and conspicuously disclose any material connections with an endorser or between an endorser and any promoted product or service.'
Mastercard just announced that they are introducing new rules for merchants who sell using recurring billing models. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq explains what this means for subscription merchants.
NutraClick just entered into a consent decree with the FTC over free product samples tied to negative option (auto-renewal) sales. Lisa B. Dubrow, Esq., Subscription Insiders Guide to Subscription Regulation and Compliance, walks through the case and why this is a lesson for all subscription and recurring revenue businesses to make sure terms and conditions are clear and conspicuous.
Loot Crate is out of loot. The popular subscription box service, who sells subscription boxes to gamers, nerds and pop culture fans, has agreed to be acquired by Loot Crate Acquisition LLC. Loot Crate will voluntarily file for chapter 11 bankruptcy in Wilmington, Delaware this week. The sale and subsequent reorganization will go through bankruptcy court. Bankruptcy code requires that other companies be allowed to submit competing bids for the companys assets. Loot Crate hopes for the sale to be completed in 45 days.
In February 2016, Subscription Insider wrote a best practice report on Canadas Anti-Spam legislation (CASL) designed to protect Canadians from electronic spam and to work toward a safer, more secure online marketplace. The majority of that legislation went into effect on July 1, 2014, section 8 of the CASL Act went into effect on January 15, 2017, and the remaining portion - sections 47 to 51 and 55 of the Act - come into force on July 1, 2017. Learn more about the new regulations at Subscription Insider.