Social media, copyright, and fair use

On August 16, 2023, a federal trial court in Texas ruled on a copyright matter involving a factual video that went viral on social media.  At the motion to dismiss stage, the issue the court faced was whether the affirmative defense of fair use applied to a defendant who used the video to promote his … Continue reading

A step closer to “meaningful consent” under PIPEDA

Privacy concerns continue to cast a shadow over social media companies where third party applications utilize and integrate their applications on their platforms. In the decision of Canada (Privacy Commissioner) v. Facebook, Inc., 2023 FC 533, the Federal Court dismissed the Privacy Commissioner’s claims that Facebook breached the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act … Continue reading

Electric cooperative, internet service, and social media

On July 14, 2023, a federal trial court in Oklahoma ruled on an electric cooperative’s motions to dismiss  various breach of contract, trade secret, deceptive trade practices, and tortious interference claims brought by its former business collaborator, an internet service provider.  The court allowed most of the challenged claims to proceed after reviewing the alleged … Continue reading

Update on Bill C-18: Digital media platforms respond to legislation receiving royal assent

In a previous blog post, we covered Bill C-18 (Online News Act) and how this proposed legislation would require digital media platforms to compensate news outlets when reproducing or otherwise facilitating access to their content. At the time of the post, Bill C-18 had recently been tabled by Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez. Although it … Continue reading

Models’ photos on social media – Second Circuit rules for defendants

On May 19, 2023, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of defendants in a trademark matter involving unauthorized use of models’ photographs.  Souza v Exotic Island Enterprises, Inc., Dkt. No. 21-2149-cv (2d Cir. May 19, 2023) (2023 WL 3556053). Background According to the opinion, a “gentlemen’s club” engaged a third … Continue reading

Pitfalls of crowdsourced legal services from social media platforms

Common diatribes levied against the market for legal services typically take aim at the hourly fees, the complexity of the justice system, and the exclusivity of bona fide legal advice as a covetous but inaccessible resource. Access to legal services is not a new problem – and is no stranger to legislative reform. For decades, … Continue reading

Misappropriation of confidential information

On February 8, 2023, a federal trial court in New Jersey ruled that login credentials were a trade secret and also addressed the concept of “misappropriation of confidential information,” in a case where one party was accused of locking the other party out of its own social media pages.  CLI Interactive, LLC v. Diamond Phil’s, … Continue reading

Synthetic data: A potential solution to the de-identification problem

The risk of privacy breaches using large data sets of personal information is only increasing with advancements in data processing and artificial intelligence (AI). With any large-scale manipulation of personal data by organizations, there is potential for misuse or disclosure of protected personal information. For instance, AI and machine learning systems necessitate vast quantities of … Continue reading

Ninth Circuit joins Eleventh Circuit holding that social media marketers of financial products may be liable as sellers under Securities Law

Collage of stock numbers and lights               The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently issued an opinion in Pino v. Cardone Capital, LLC that followed the Eleventh Circuit ruling in Wildes v. BitConnect (see our March, 2022 post on that case here: Social media and cryptocurrency fraud), when it held that if a person promotes the sale … Continue reading

Photo backgrounds and copyright infringement

Many companies post photos on social media in order to promote their businesses.  A recent federal court ruling demonstrates how simple it is to become subject to a copyright infringement lawsuit because of the background of the photo.  (Petersen v. Diesel Power Gear LLC, No. 1:21-cv-08827 (SDA) (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 21, 2022) (2022 WL 17832314).) Background … Continue reading