Frequently Asked Questions

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  1. Why did I get the Notice?
  2. Why is this a class action?
  3. What is this lawsuit about?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. I am a minor or a parent or guardian of a minor. How do I know if I am (or my child is) a Minor Subclass Member?

THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

  1. What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?
  2. Will the Representative Plaintiffs receive any compensation for their efforts in bringing this Action?

HOW TO REQUEST A PAYMENT – SUBMITTING A CLAIM FORM

  1. How can I (or my child who is a Minor Subclass Member) get a payment?
  2. When will I (or my child) get a payment if I submit a Claim Form?

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

  1. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  2. How will the lawyers be paid?

DISMISSAL OF ACTION AND RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS

  1. What do Class Members give up to obtain relief under the Settlement?

HOW TO EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT

  1. How do Class Members exclude themselves from the Settlement?

HOW TO OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT

  1. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
  2. What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?

FAIRNESS HEARING

  1. What is the Fairness Hearing?
  2. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?
  3. May I speak at the hearing?

GETTING MORE INFORMATION & UPDATING INFORMATION

  1. How do I get more information?
  2. What if my address or other information changes after I have submitted a Claim Form?




1. Why did I get the Notice?

You received the Notice because a settlement has been reached in this Action regarding Sponsored Stories on Facebook. According to Facebook’s available records, you and/or your child may be a member of the Settlement Class and may be entitled to the relief detailed below.

The Notice explains the nature of the Action, the general terms of the Settlement, and your legal rights and obligations. To obtain more information about the Settlement, including information about how you can see a copy of the Settlement Agreement (which defines certain capitalized terms used in the Notice), see Section 20 below.

2. Why is this a class action?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called class representatives or “Representative Plaintiffs” (in this Action, Susan Mainzer, James Duval, and W.T., a minor, by and through Russell Tait) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims (“Class Members”). For purposes of this Settlement, one court will resolve the issues for all Class Members, except for those people who properly exclude themselves from the Settlement Class, as explained in Section 14 below. The company sued in this case, Facebook, is called the Defendant.

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3. What is this lawsuit about?

Representative Plaintiffs contend that Sponsored Stories were advertisements that used Facebook members’ names and likenesses to sell products without their consent. California Civil Code section 3344 provides that one whose name and/or likeness has been misappropriated is entitled to damages caused by the misappropriation or statutory damages, and that punitive damages may be awarded to the injured party. It also states that the prevailing party (whether it be the person bringing the lawsuit or the defendant, in this case, Facebook) will be entitled to collect attorneys’ fees and costs from the other party. Representative Plaintiffs also allege that Facebook violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business and Professions Code, section 17200 and the sections that follow).

Facebook denies any wrongdoing and any liability whatsoever and the issuance of the Notice is not an expression of the Court’s opinion on the merit or the lack of merit of any of the Representative Plaintiffs’ claims in the Action.

For information about how to learn about what has happened in the Action to date, please see Section 20 below.

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4. Why is there a Settlement?

The Court has not decided that Representative Plaintiffs or Facebook should win this Action. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the Class Members will receive relief when the Settlement is final, rather than years from now, if at all.

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5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

The Court has decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member for purposes of the Settlement:

All persons in the United States who have or have had a Facebook account at any time and had their names, nicknames, pseudonyms, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, or identities displayed in a Sponsored Story at any time on or before the date of entry of the Preliminary Approval Order [which occurred on December 3, 2012].

Class Members and Minor Subclass Members (defined below in Section 6) will be collectively referred to as “Class Members.”

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6. I am a minor or a parent or guardian of a minor. How do I know if I am (or my child is) a Minor Subclass Member?

The Court has decided that everyone who fits this description is a Minor Subclass Member for the purposes of the proposed Settlement:

All persons in the Class who additionally have or have had a Facebook account at any time and had their names, nicknames, pseudonyms, profile pictures, photographs, likenesses, or identities displayed in a Sponsored Story, while under eighteen (18) years of age, or under any other applicable age of majority, at any time on or before the date of entry of the Preliminary Approval Order [which occurred on December 3, 2012].

Minor Subclass Members and Class Members (defined above in Section 5) will be collectively referred to as “Class Members.”

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7. What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?

If the Settlement becomes final, and if any appeals are filed, after any appeals are resolved, Facebook has agreed to:

In addition to the monetary benefits, the Settlement will require Facebook to:

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8. Will the Representative Plaintiffs receive any compensation for their efforts in bringing this Action?

Susan Mainzer, James Duval, and W.T., a minor, by and through Russell Tait, requested a service award of up to $12,500 (each) for their services as class representatives and their efforts in bringing the Action. The Court ordered an award to the Representative Plaintiffs of $1,500 for their services as class representatives and their efforts in bringing the Action.

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9. How can I (or my child who is a Minor Subclass Member) get a payment?

To qualify for payment, Class Members must have sent in a Claim Form. You must have read the instructions on the Claim Form carefully, filled out all the information requested, and submitted it electronically by 11:59 p.m. Pacific on May 2, 2013.

Alternatively, a copy of the Claim Form could have been obtained from the Settlement Administrator at the address below and submitted by postal mail. If a completed Claim Form was submitted by mail, it must have been submitted to the below address and postmarked by May 2, 2013.

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Settlement
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 35009
Seattle, WA 98124-1009

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10. When will I (or my child) get a payment if I submit a Claim Form?

If a Class Member submitted a valid Claim Form by May 2, 2013, and the Settlement becomes final, the Authorized Claimant will receive his or her payment about 70 days after the Settlement becomes final. Because an appeal was filed, the Settlement will become final only if all appeals are finally disposed of in a manner that affirms the Final Order and Judgment. The Claim Form allows Class Members to choose between payment via Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer and payment via physical check.

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11. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has ordered that the Arns Law Firm and Jonathan Jaffe Law (“Class Counsel”) will represent the interests of all Class Members. Class Members will not be separately charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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12. How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel requested $7.5 million for their attorneys’ fees and $236,591.08 to cover their costs. To see a copy of Class Counsel's application for attorney's fees and costs, please click HERE. The Court awarded $236,591.08 for costs and awarded attorney fees of 25% of the balance of the settlement funds remaining after deduction of (1) settlement administration expenses, (2) the costs awarded, and (3) the incentive awards described in FAQ 8.

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13. What do Class Members give up to obtain relief under the Settlement?

The Court entered a Final Order and Judgment dismissing the Action “with prejudice” (i.e., meaning that it cannot be filed again) on August 26, 2013.

Upon the entry of the Final Order and Judgment, Plaintiffs and all Class Members, including all Minor Subclass Members (and their parents or legal guardians on all Minor Subclass Members’ behalf), who did not validly and timely request to be excluded from the proposed Settlement, and each of their respective successors, assigns, legatees, heirs, and personal representatives (collectively the “Releasing Parties”) are deemed to have fully, finally, and forever released, relinquished, and discharged against Facebook and all other persons and entities, including but not limited to persons and entities that have purchased Sponsored Stories from Facebook, and each of their direct or indirect parents, wholly or majority-owned subsidiaries, affiliated and related entities, predecessors, successors and assigns, partners, privities, and any of their present and former directors, officers, employees, shareholders, agents, representatives, attorneys, accountants, insurers, and all persons acting by, through, under, or in concert with them, or any of them (collectively the “Released Parties”), all manner of action, causes of action, claims, demands, rights, suits, obligations, debts, contracts, agreements, promises, liabilities, damages, charges, penalties, losses, costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees, of any nature whatsoever, known or unknown claims, in law or equity, fixed or contingent, which the Releasing Parties have or may have against the Released Parties arising out of or relating to any of the acts, omissions, or other conduct that was or could have been alleged in the Action, including but not limited to any and all acts, omissions, or other conduct related to the display of any Class Member’s name, nickname, pseudonym, profile picture, photograph, likeness, or identity in a Sponsored Story (“Released Claims”).

In addition, the Releasing Parties expressly waive and relinquish, to the fullest extent permitted by law, the provisions, rights, and benefits of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, or any other similar provision under federal or state law, which provides:

A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.

The Releasing Parties fully understand that the facts on which this Settlement Agreement is executed may be different from the facts now believed by the Releasing Parties and their Counsel to be true, and they expressly accept and assume the risk of this possible difference in facts and agree that this Settlement Agreement remains effective despite any difference in facts. Further, the Releasing Parties agree that this waiver is an essential and material term of this release and the Settlement that underlies it and that without such waiver the Settlement would not have been accepted.

The precise definitions of the capitalized terms in the paragraph above can be found in the Settlement Agreement, which is located online or may be obtained by requesting it from the Settlement Administrator: Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Settlement, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 35009, Seattle, WA 98124-1009, GCG@fraleyfacebooksettlement.com.

Unless you excluded yourself, you remained in the Settlement Class, and that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit about the Released Claims. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

If you excluded yourself from the Settlement Class, you retain the right to bring a claim against Facebook, but you will not have representation provided for you through this lawsuit, and will be responsible for hiring your own attorney at your own expense.

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14. How do Class Members exclude themselves from the Settlement?

Class Members who did not want to be a part of the Settlement must have completed a form requesting to be excluded. If submitted electronically, the submission must have been completed by May 2, 2013, 11:59 p.m. (Pacific).

Alternatively, a copy of this form could have been obtained on this website or from the Settlement Administrator at the address below and submitted by postal mail. If the form was submitted by mail, it must have been submitted to the below address and postmarked by May 2, 2013.

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Settlement
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 35009
Seattle, WA 98124-1009

Requests for exclusions must have been made on an individual basis using the provided form. “Mass” or “class” opt-outs purporting to be made on behalf of multiple persons or classes of persons were not allowed.

If you submitted a valid electronic or written request to be excluded from the Class, you will not be a part of the Settlement, you will not be eligible to make a claim for payment (as described in Section 9 above), will not be bound by the Final Order and Judgment entered in the Action, and will not be precluded from bringing any individual claim against Facebook based on the conduct complained of in the Action. If an Authorized Claimant also submitted a request for exclusion from the Class and Settlement, the request for exclusion was ignored.

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15. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?

At the date, time, and location stated in Section 18 below, the Court held a Fairness Hearing to determine if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to also consider Class Counsel’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses, and a service award to the Representative Plaintiffs

If you did not submit a timely exclusion request and wished to object to the Settlement or to the award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, or service awards, you must have delivered a written objection (“Objection”) by May 2, 2013, that complied with the following requirements.

Written Objections must have been verified by a declaration under the penalty of perjury or a sworn affidavit and must have included: (a) the name of the Action and case number, “Fraley v. Facebook, Inc., Case No. CV-11-01726 RS”; (b) the full name, address, telephone number, and email address associated with the Facebook account of the person objecting; and (c) an explanation detailing the specific reasons for each Objection, including any legal and factual support the objector wished to bring to the Court’s attention and any evidence the objector wished to introduce in support of the Objection(s). Objections were not valid if they only objected to the lawsuit’s appropriateness or merits.

You may have, but need not have, filed and served your Objection through counsel of your choice. If you did make your Objection through an attorney, you were be responsible for your personal attorney’s fees and costs.

Objections filed by attorneys registered for e-filing with this Court on behalf of Class Members may have been filed through the Court’s electronic court filing (“ECF”) system located at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/index.html. An Objection filed with the Court via ECF may have redacted the objecting individual’s telephone number or email address, so long as the unredacted version was served on both Class and Facebook Counsel at the following addresses: Class Counsel—Robert S. Arns, Esq., The Arns Law Firm, 515 Folsom Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104; Facebook’s Counsel—Michael G. Rhodes, Esq., Cooley LLP, 101 California Street, 5th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94111. Otherwise, Objections must have been sent to the Settlement Administrator by mail or email at the following addresses:

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Settlement
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 35009
Seattle, WA 98124-1009
GCG@fraleyfacebooksettlement.com

The date of an Objection was deemed to be the date on which it was:

(a) deposited in the U.S. Mail or equivalent foreign system, with postage paid by the objector, as evidenced by the postmark [if mailed to the Settlement Administrator];

(b) transmitted to the Settlement Administrator via email, as reflected on the transmission record [if emailed to the Settlement Administrator]; or

(c) filed with the Court as reflected on the Objection’s “notice of electronic filing” [if filed with the Court electronically and served on the Parties via the Court’s ECF system].

For the purposes of email and ECF transmission, transmission must have been complete by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on May 2, 2013.

IF YOU DID NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU WERE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS AND WERE NOT BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING.

If you delivered a timely Objection, and complied with these instructions, you may have appeared at the Fairness Hearing, either in person or through personal counsel hired at your expense, to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement, or to the award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, or service award. You were not required, however, to appear.

If you or your attorney intended to make an appearance at the Fairness Hearing, you must have also delivered, according to the above procedures, no later than May 2, 2013, a Notice of Intention to Appear. Alternatively, you may have stated in your Objection that you intended to appear and speak at the Fairness Hearing.

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16. What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You could have objected only if you stayed in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you excluded yourself, you had no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you.

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17. What is the Fairness Hearing?

The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and held a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. At the hearing, the Court approved the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; awarded attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel; and granted a service award to the Representative Plaintiffs. However, appeals have been filed and relief to Class Members will be provided only after the appeals are resolved in favor of the Settlement.

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18. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?

The Court held the Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on June 28, 2013, in Courtroom 3, 17th Floor, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102.

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19. May I speak at the hearing?

At that hearing, the Court was available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.

You may have attended, but you did not have to. As described above in Section 15, you may have spoken at the Fairness Hearing only if (a) you timely served and filed an Objection, and (b) followed the procedures set forth in Section 15 above for notifying the Court and the parties that you intended to speak at the Fairness Hearing.

If you have requested exclusion from the Settlement, however, you could not speak at the Fairness Hearing.

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20. How do I get more information?

To see a copy of the Settlement Agreement (which defines capitalized terms used in the Notice and provides a brief summary of what has happened in the Action), the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order, Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs, the operative complaint filed in the Action, and the Court’s Order Granting Motion for Final Approval of Settlement Agreement, please visit the Court Documents page. Alternatively, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at:

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Settlement
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 35009
Seattle WA 98124-1009.

The above description of the Action is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred. In order to see the complete file for the Action, you should visit the website of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, PACER Service Center, located at http://pacer.psc.uscourts.gov/. You may also visit or call the Clerk’s office at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Courthouse located at 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense.

You may also contact Class Counsel, Robert S. Arns, Esq. of the Arns Law Firm, by calling 1-888-214-5125 or by emailing fb.settlement@arnslaw.com.

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21. What if my address or other information changes after I have submitted a Claim Form?

If, after you submitted a Claim Form, you change your postal or email address, it is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator of your updated information. You may do so either by mail or email at the addresses below:

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc. Settlement
c/o GCG
P.O. Box 35009
Seattle, WA 98124-1009
GCG@fraleyfacebooksettlement.com

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Important Dates
DateDeadline
May 2, 2013 Claim Form Deadline
(postmarked) OR submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Pacific
[Expired]
May 2, 2013 Exclusion Deadline
(postmarked) OR submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Pacific
[Expired]
May 2, 2013 Objection Deadline
(postmarked) OR submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Pacific
[Expired]
May 2, 2013 Deadline to submit Notice of Intent to Appear
(postmarked) OR submitted electronically by 11:59 p.m. Pacific
[Expired]
June 28, 2013
at 10:00 a.m.
Final Approval Hearing
[Approved]

Your Options

  • For more information regarding the Settlement, please consult the Notice.