Mirror, mirror on the wall, what’s my taxable Insta value after all?

In sad news for celebrities and Instagram influencers across Australia, the introduction of the so-called ‘fame tax’ as part of a raft of integrity measures announced in the 2018/19 budget means that they could end up paying higher taxes on the income and non-cash benefits earned through the commercial exploitation of their image rights.

In this article, we explore the impact of the changes on individuals who currently use a separate entity to cash in on their image rights. Continue reading

Trademarks, social media and lessons learned

On June 14, 2018, a federal trial court in New York issued a decision relating to a restaurant owner’s claim that the restaurant manager was using the owner’s trademarks on social media in violation of the federal trademark law known as the Lanham Act. The trial court denied the owner’s claim, in a ruling that provides some useful lessons to anyone who licenses a trademark. (Thousand Island Park Corp. v. Welser, 5:18-CV-117 (N.D.N.Y. June 14, 2018 (2018 WL 29803231)).) Continue reading

NLRB issues new guidance on employer policies

In the wake of the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), the NLRB has recently issued new guidance regarding employee handbook rules. The NLRB’s guidance can be found here.

In Boeing, the Board overturned its old standard, under which an employer rule violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) if a worker could “reasonably construe” it to interfere with the right to engage in protected concerted activity. Under the new standard adopted by the Board, an employer rule will only violate the NLRA if it would be reasonably interpreted to interfere with workers’ NLRA rights considering the balance between (A) the nature and extent of the rule’s potential impact on protected rights and (B) the employer’s legitimate justifications for the rule. Continue reading

GDPR, ePrivacy-Regulation and social media – What to know

In addition to several changes to existing rules on data protection, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does also have a considerable impact on online marketing and social media, affecting in particular business models based on advertising tools such as tracking pixels, placed advertisements or social plug-ins. Continue reading

Exposed! Woman awarded $6.4m for explicit revenge photos including copyright breach

Four years after a Californian woman sued her ex-boyfriend for posting sexually explicit photographs and videos of her online, she was awarded USD $6.4 million in one the largest judgments of its kind. According to the New York Times, although the victim was successful, this case highlights the complexities of the law in this area which (like many other areas of law) lags behind technology. Continue reading

Update: U.S. State Department to collect visa applicants’ social media information

In a previous post, we addressed efforts by the Department of Homeland Security to collect certain information relating to immigrants’ use of social media for record-keeping and tracking purposes. Subsequently, on March 30, 2018, the State Department released a notice of a proposed rule that would require the collection of social media information in connection with an application for a Nonimmigrant Visa through what is called a DS-160. Continue reading

The growing importance of brand optimization strategies

Brand recognition and brand awareness

Having a social media presence in today’s digital and fast-paced era is critical. However, having a social media presence requires a long-term strategy that includes a plan to optimize the company’s brand awareness and brand recognition. These are some of the key factors in the profitability and longevity of a business: Continue reading

Social Media, Copyright & Photographs

Many social media sites and pages encourage people to post and share photos. This activity creates an issue where the owner of the photos has not given permission for that use, as a photographer alleged in a recent Fifth Circuit case Stross v. Redfin Corp., ___ Fed. Appx. ___ (5th Cir. Apr. 9, 2018) (2018 WL 1721749). Continue reading

Submissions Now Open For Artificial Intelligence Stakeholders: Canada’s Copyright Act Review

Social media depends on digital technology, and the Canadian government has begun a review of Canada’s Copyright Act with a view to keep the copyright framework current in light of digital technology.

Written submissions are now being solicited from all Canadians on Canada’s Copyright Act, as the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (“Committee”) conducts its mandatory five-year review of the statute. The Committee also will be considering testimony from live witnesses representing different sectors of activity, including software and telecommunications, as well as considering the views of people across Canada as it travels to various locations throughout May. Continue reading

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