The Law and Business of Social Media
May 28, 2020 - DMCA, E-Commerce, European Union, Cyberbullying, Employment Law, Ethics

Social Links: A report suggesting DMCA changes; a new social-media-use regulation for Fla. Bar members; big changes at Facebook

A new report from the U.S. Copyright Office suggests that Congress should fine-tune the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to, among other things, alter the takedown system that platforms must adhere to in order to be eligible for the safe harbor the DMCA affords to online platforms when third parties post infringing content. Read about the Copyright Office’s issues with the current takedown system.

Malwarebytes, an online filtering company, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in a case brought by one of Malwarebytes’ competitors, Enigma Software, alleging that—when Malwarebytes flagged one of Enigma’s most popular offerings as a potential threat—Malwarebytes, among other things, committed a deceptive business practice. The Ninth Circuit refused to dismiss the case, holding that Section 230(c)(2) of the Communications Decency Act did not insulate Malwarebytes from liability.

A new law in France would impose fines of up to $1.36 million on technology platforms that fail to take down terrorist and child pornography content within one hour of that content being flagged, or fail to remove hateful comments that concern topics including gender or disability within 24 hours of being flagged.

Members of the Florida Bar who deliver targeted ads through social media must comply with that state bar’s more restrictive direct solicitation rules rather than its general advertising rules.

A law firm fired one of its Dallas-based employees after learning he had posted to his personal social media account a rant about businesses requesting him to wear a mask to thwart the possibility of spreading or catching the COVID-19 virus. The rant included a threat to “show [his] Glock 21” handgun shooting range results to “the lame security guard outside of a ghetto store.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) decided that John Robertelli, a Rivkin Radler lawyer, violated the state’s Rules of Professional Conduct when—in order to gather evidence while acting as counsel for defendants in a personal injury case—Robertelli surreptitiously accessed the private Facebook account of the plaintiff, whom Robertelli knew was represented by opposing counsel. The DRB also recommended that the New Jersey Supreme Court adopt a policy on using social media for discovery purposes. Read the guidelines the DRB suggested.

Big changes are afoot at Facebook, which has recently introduced Shops, allowing users to purchase products directly from businesses’ Facebook pages, and announced the addition of new features to Workplace, the company’s “enterprise-focused chat and video platform.”