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

Tag Archives: Terms of Service

“Do You Want to Know a Secret?” The Risks Posed by Anonymous Social Apps

Posted in Privacy

First we had social media platforms, but recently a variety of “anti-social” media platforms have emerged—well, anti-social in a sense. For years, social media platforms have encouraged (or even, in some cases, required) us to use our real identities, with the aim of building friendships and networks in the online world. But these new social… Continue Reading

Potential Limitations Placed on Unilateral Right to Modify Terms of Use

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

Contractual provisions giving a website operator the unilateral right to change its end user terms of service are ubiquitous and appear in the online terms of many major social media sites and other websites, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google. Although amendments to terms of service quite often cause consumers to complain, litigation regarding such… Continue Reading

Recent UK Court Rulings on Employees’ Use of LinkedIn

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Terms of Use, UK High Court

Following our post on U.S. lawsuits concerning the ownership of LinkedIn and Twitter accounts, we report on a recent United Kingdom High Court ruling that considered who was entitled to operate four LinkedIn Groups, and other UK cases that have addressed related issues. Before we describe the High Court’s ruling, it is important to provide… Continue Reading

Thinking About Using Pictures Pulled From Twitter? Think Again, New York Court Warns

Posted in Copyright, DMCA, IP, Litigation, Terms of Use

If you want to use those pictures you found on Twitter, beware. A federal judge in New York recently held that taking photos from Twitter to use for a commercial purpose infringes the photographer’s copyrights. On January 14, 2013, Judge Alison Nathan ruled that Agence France Presse (AFP), which provides subscribers with access to photos… Continue Reading

Socially Aware Looks Back: The Social Media Law Year in Review

Posted in Employment Law, Litigation, Privacy

2012 was a momentous year for social media law. We’ve combed through the court decisions, the legislative initiatives, the regulatory actions and the corporate trends to identify what we believe to be the ten most significant social media law developments of the past year–here they are, in no particular order: Bland v. Roberts – A… Continue Reading

That’s a Wrap: Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

Website operators often take for granted the enforceability of their websites’ terms of service. In a recent order issued in a case from the Central District of California, Nguyen v. Barnes & Noble, Inc., Judge Josephine Tucker reminds us that such presumptions are not necessarily correct: terms of service that do not require an affirmative… Continue Reading

Look Before You Leap: Amazon Web Services Customers May Be Subject to an IP Covenant Not to Sue

Posted in Litigation, Terms of Use

The growth of cloud computing has been phenomenal, as companies ranging from early stage start-ups to conservative, blue-chip corporations have sought to take advantage of the cost savings offered by cloud-based solutions. And at the head of this revolution has been Amazon Web Services (AWS), one of the earliest and most popular of the cloud… Continue Reading

We’ve Come for Your Tweets: Twitter to Appeal Denial of Its Motion to Quash District Attorney’s Subpoena

Posted in Litigation, Privacy, Terms of Use

As the Occupy Wall Street protests fade from memory, a related discovery battle between Twitter and the New York County District Attorney rages on. Earlier this year, we discussed the District Attorney’s efforts to subpoena user information and tweets of criminal defendant Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly… Continue Reading

New York Court to Criminal Defendant: Your Tweets May Be Used Against You

Posted in Litigation, Privacy

In past Socially Aware posts, we have discussed using subpoenas in civil litigation to obtain evidence from social media sites, including whether individuals have a privacy interest in this information and how the Stored Communications Act may limit the use of subpoenas in civil cases.  Until now, we have not discussed these issues in the… Continue Reading

Caveat Emptor, Part II: A Brief Overview of Twitter’s Terms of Service and Related Documents

Posted in IP, Online Promotions, Privacy, Terms of Use

In our September 2010 issue of Socially Aware, we provided a brief overview of Facebook’s “Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,” the social media service’s complex set of terms and conditions that companies frequently “click-accept” with little review (often, in a rush to establish their Facebook presences).  Naturally, this situation is not limited to Facebook— for… Continue Reading

Click-Accept Arbitration: Enforcing Arbitration Provisions in Online Terms of Service

Posted in Arbitration, Supreme Court

Companies that provide services to consumers have often sought to reduce the risk of class action lawsuits by requiring that their customers agree to arbitrate any disputes.  Such arbitration agreements may require customers to arbitrate on an individual basis only, with customers being obligated to waive any rights they might otherwise have to pursue claims… Continue Reading

District Court Considers Value of Twitter Account

Posted in Employment Law, IP, Terms of Use

“Man, what do I write here? And what’s it going to be valued at?” So read Noah Kravitz’s Twitter profile soon after Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James of the Northern District of California denied Kravitz’s motion to dismiss a number of claims brought against him by his former employer related to the Twitter account. While Kravitz… 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