Senior U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong in Oakland has dismissed a privacy class-action lawsuit, Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc., without prejudice. Plaintiffs had asserted that Pandora violated two Michigan statutes, its Video Rental Privacy Act [a version of the federal Video Privacy Protection Act] and its Consumer Protection Act). They claimed that plaintiffs’ listening activity was disclosed to third parties (other users, nonsubscribers and Facebook friends). The court disagreed, finding that Pandora was not engaged in “selling… renting… or lending…sound recordings” in violation of the video rental privacy act. Pandora does not charge subscribers to listen to songs; songs are temporarily stored on a user’s computer to “facilitate the streaming process” and then deleted. The judge noted that Pandora holds only a public performance license to stream music, which is inconsistent with “selling at retail, renting or lending” sound recordings as required in the 1988 Michigan statute. The court also dismissed the consumer protection claim, because, under the statute, only “a person who suffers loss…may bring a class action” and the court found that the plaintiff had not claimed any actual damages. Plaintiffs may amend their claim and Jay Edelson of Edelson McGuire LLC, representing Deacon,  said he was “looking at the order and will either re-plead or appeal.” There is uncertainty how federal and state laws apply to modern technologies. The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a House of Representative’s  bid to update the 1998 video statute, H.R. 2471  which would allow companies to use a one-time request for ongoing consent to share customers’ streaming movie choices. More analysis of the case, including a California take on aspects of it, here.