Header graphic for print
Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Monthly Archives: August 2011

Twitter Milestones, Threatening Social Media Posts, Sexyback Singer buys Myspace, and More

Posted in Status Updates

Facebook’s Motion to Dismiss Denied A federal court in Texas denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss or transfer to California a declaratory judgment suit filed by Lamebook, a self-described parody website that Facebook asserts is infringing its trademarks. New Jersey Supreme Court on Defamatory Comments The New Jersey Supreme court held recently that a person who… Continue Reading

Privacy Bill of Rights Introduced in Congress

Posted in Privacy

Earlier this year, U.S. Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced S. 799, the “Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011,” which would establish, for the first time in the United States, a comprehensive framework for the collection, use, storage, and transfer of covered information.  If passed as currently drafted, the bill would… Continue Reading

Twitpic Puzzles Users With Terms of Service Changes, Photo Agency Deal

Posted in Terms of Use

Twitpic, a user-generated content service that simplifies the process of sharing photographs and other media through Twitter, came under fire earlier this year for changes to its Terms of Service that appeared to dramatically expand the rights granted to Twitpic by its users— and that were described by some media outlets as a “copyright grab.”… Continue Reading

Reboot: Facebook Overhauls Its Promotions Guidelines

Posted in Online Promotions, Terms of Use

In our February 2011 issue of Socially Aware, we reported that, at the end of 2010, Facebook had revamped its Promotions Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) to eliminate the requirement that approval be obtained from Facebook prior to offering sweepstakes, contests or similar promotions in connection with one’s Facebook page.  More recently, Facebook substantially streamlined its Guidelines, which… Continue Reading

Two Recent Cases Illustrate Limitations of the CDA Section 230 Safe Harbor

Posted in Section 230 Safe Harbor

Although common law generally holds publishers responsible for the content that they publish, the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) gives website operators broad protection from liability for content posted by users.  Courts have applied the CDA in favor of website owners in nearly 200 cases, including cases involving Google, Facebook, MySpace, and even bloggers for content… Continue Reading

Stir It Up: Bob Marley and Cease & Desist Letters

Posted in DMCA

Section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) imposes liability on those who abuse the DMCA’s notice and take-down procedures by making knowingly false claims of copyright infringement.  Courts have issued sanctions on overly zealous copyright owners based on this provision, such as in the case of a voting technology firm that knowingly issued meritless… Continue Reading

Using Copyright Assignments to Control Customer Reviews

Posted in Copyright, DMCA

Consumers often turn to the Internet for reviews before purchasing products or services, and companies are increasingly interested in ensuring that such reviews reflect positively and accurately on their businesses.  When patients post negative or allegedly inaccurate reviews about their doctors on the Internet, however, doctors are often prevented from responding due to ethical obligations… Continue Reading

Crowd Control: SEC Cracks Down on Crowdfunding Venture

Posted in Securities Law

“Crowdfunding” or “crowdsourced funding” is a new outgrowth of social media that provides an emerging source of funding for a variety of ventures.  Crowdfunding works based on the ability to pool money from individuals who have a common interest and are willing to provide small contributions toward the venture, which potentially collectively add up to… Continue Reading