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Socially Aware Blog The Law and Business of Social Media

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Social Media Policies for IRS, Veterans Affairs, Distilled Spirits Council and More

Posted in FTC, Status Updates

IRS Personal Use Policy Your tax dollars at work:  The IRS has issued a new personal computer use policy that prohibits employees from using government computers to access social networking sites.  Other personal-use websites, such as Craigslist, dating sites, and pornographic sites are also off-limits according to the new policy. Department of Veterans Affairs Social… Continue Reading

Skirmish in Europe: Google Battles the Belgian Press

Posted in Copyright

In the June 2011 issue of Socially Aware, we reported on a Brussels Court of Appeal ruling in favor of Copiepresse, the Belgian association for the protection of French-language press copyright, in a case against Google.  To recap, on May 5, 2011, the Brussels Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling that Google had infringed copyright when… Continue Reading

You’re Out of Order: Jurors, Social Media and Legal Ethics

Posted in Ethics

The Internet and, in particular, social media have changed the landscape of federal and state jury instructions, which now prohibit jurors from conducting independent research on the Internet, from sending emails, texts, Facebook postings, tweets or other electronic communications conveying developments in a trial or in deliberations, and from using mobile cameras to record courtroom… Continue Reading

CDA Immunity Gives Social Media Providers Wide Latitude in Combating Spam

Posted in Section 230 Safe Harbor

As we reported last month, the safe harbor in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (“CDA”) immunizes social media providers from liability based on content posted by users under most circumstances, but not from liability for content that the providers themselves generate.  But what about when providers block Internet traffic such as “spam” –… Continue Reading

What Every Company Should Know About E-Discovery and Social Media

Posted in E-Discovery

With the exponential growth in the use of social media by individuals and corporations, civil discovery questions inevitably follow.  Courts and litigants have been left to grapple with questions regarding the discoverability of data on social media sites and the appropriate scope of such discovery.  Although the law will surely evolve in this area, some… Continue Reading

Rough Waters: Repeat Infringer Policies and the DMCA Safe Harbors

Posted in DMCA

Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) offers various “safe harbors” to online service providers (“OSPs”) for claims of copyright infringement against them arising from certain acts of their subscribers and account holders.  Section 512 provides that in order for an OSP to qualify for the DMCA’s protections, it must satisfy certain requirements.  One threshold… Continue Reading

NLRB Report Provides Guidance to Employers on Social Media Issues

Posted in Employment Law

On August 18, 2011, the National Labor Relations Board’s (“NLRB”) Office of the General Counsel released a report discussing the outcome of fourteen cases that its Division of Advice has investigated this year involving social media use in the employment context.  While the report does not reflect actual decisions of the NLRB, it does indicate the… Continue Reading