Social media and Satan: pitfalls of losing control of brand social media accounts

Be careful whom you entrust with administrator access to your brand’s social media accounts. If an administrator does use your brand’s social media accounts beyond their permitted use, you should formally revoke their authority to access the accounts to allow potential legal action based on their unauthorized use after the revocation.… Continue Reading

California legislature takes aim at social media user conduct

In the last week of March 2021, a bill was introduced in the California assembly that would require social media platforms to publicly disclose the specific user conduct that will get users temporarily or permanently banned from those sites—including online hate, disinformation, extremism, harassment, and foreign interference.… Continue Reading

Think Before You App

Self-isolation, stay-at-home orders, and lockdowns have changed the way we live during the COVID-19 pandemic. As many of us work remotely, limit face-to-face interactions, and stay indoors, we are reaching for our smartphones more and increasing our mobile app use. Mobile app usage increased by 40% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020, hitting an all-time high of over 200 billion hours of app usage in April. The average user is spending 4 hours and 20 minutes per day on their smartphones, frequently on social media.

Apps for games, entertainment, photo and video sharing, business, health and fitness, shopping, digital … Continue Reading

Social media – trademarks, accounts, and names

On March 4, 2021, a federal trial court in New York issued a preliminary injunction that halted a bridal gown designer and social media influencer from using her social media accounts without her former employer’s permission. JLM Couture, Inc. v. Gutman, No. 20 CV 10575-LTS-SLC (S.D.N.Y. March 4, 2021) (2021 WL 827749).… Continue Reading

Bill S-225: Proposed Canadian legislation to have social media pay news media

Across the world, as digital companies’ advertising revenues climb, traditional news organizations’ revenues fall. As a result, many traditional news organizations, like broadcasters and newspapers, are going out of business. The public’s appetite for journalism, however, has not waned. If anything, the public needs reliable news sources more than ever in this era of “fake news” and internet-borne misinformation. Often it is the very digital platforms that share news organizations’ content that are perceived as putting news organizations out of business.

Governments around the world are contemplating various policies and legislation to save struggling traditional news organizations. Many of these … Continue Reading

Testing and trade secrets: Marketing may eliminate rights

Sharing information and reaching consumers is even easier today thanks to the prevalence of social media. However, sharing certain information with the public can result in the removal of trade secret protections.

According to a recent federal court decision, posting photographs of testing equipment and sharing information about testing procedures are two examples of where protection for potential trade secrets was lost. (S&G Labs Hawaii v. Graves).

Before sharing company information on social media to attract more customers, always consider the need to protect that information from competitor access.

Trade secrets and their application to advertising

Trade secrets … Continue Reading

Defamatory social media posts may establish personal jurisdiction in California

In recent posts, we have discussed how employee social media use may subject California companies to liability for defamation. Now, a recent California court of appeals case found that social media conduct by out-of-state users was sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction in California courts. … Continue Reading

Social media and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Given all the recent headlines about data theft as well as a resurgence of interest in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a December 18, 2020 ruling from a federal trial court in Colorado may be of interest to our readers. MCS Safety Solutions, LLC v. Trivent Safety Consulting, LLC, No. 19-cv-00938-MEH (D. Colo. Dec. 18, 2020) (2020 WL 7425874).… Continue Reading

The business reason to monitor and remove illicit content

Social media platforms have revolutionized the way people receive and deliver their news and information. Industry players, legislators, and consumers of social media have all had to adapt to this new medium of speech. While having the permanence and public nature of traditional forms of news, such as newspapers, social media posts are not subject to the same kinds of editorial review and control. The sheer volume and pace of social media posts has made it impractical for social media companies to maintain a similar amount of content review as newspapers or television broadcasts.

Although this new environment has provided … Continue Reading

Social media copyright infringement: International small claims in Canada

In the last month of 2020, Canadian courts decided two proceedings involving alleged copyright infringement and social media platforms. Both proceedings were small scale and involved foreign copyright holders. One proceeding was heard by the British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal (BCCRT) and the other was heard by the Federal Court of Canada (FC) under its simplified procedure for small claims.… Continue Reading

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