Susan Ross (US)

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IOSCO, finfluencers, and social media

In December 2021, our post Federal Reserve and social media, highlighted sections of the Federal Reserve Financial Stability Report which demonstrated the Fed’s focus on the role of social media and retail investors in equity market volatility.  In March 2022, the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) followed suit, and also turned … Continue reading

Social media and cryptocurrency fraud

Creators of fraudulent crypto assets beware.  A recent court decision supported investors, creators and marketers of legitimate crypto assets, and the integrity of the crypto asset market as a whole. While the creator of BitConnect remains at large and is facing his own indictment for his role in the scheme that allegedly defrauded investors of … Continue reading

Nikola Corporation agrees to pay $125 million to settle SEC investor fraud case

In December 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced that Nikola Corporation (“Nikola”) agreed to pay $125 million to settle charges that the company allegedly defrauded investors and misled them about its products, technical advancements, and commercial prospects. Nikola did not admit or deny the SEC’s findings.   Earlier that same year, the SEC filed … Continue reading

Federal Reserve and social media

In November of 2021, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (the “Fed”) issued its Federal Reserve Financial Stability Report, a biannual report focused on potential risks to the financial system.  In this issue, the Fed highlighted the role of social media and retail investors in equity market volatility.… Continue reading

Positively negative: Lack of social media helps defeat default judgment motion

On November 2, 2021, a federal trial court in New York issued an opinion that combined breakfast restaurants, social media, trademarks, and COVID.  The judge ultimately ruled against the registered trademark owner’s request for a default judgment, in part based upon the defendant’s lack of social media advertising.  BYC, Inc. v. Broken Yolk, civ. no. … Continue reading

Social Media and Jurisdiction under FRCP 4(k)(2

On August 27, 2021, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in an international trademark dispute where U.S. jurisdiction hinged on Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2).  Reversing the trial court, the Ninth Circuit ruled that personal jurisdiction existed over an Australian skin care product company, based in part on that company’s actions on … Continue reading

Is social media regulation on the way?

So far, 2021 has seen some social media businesses implementing content takedowns, rolling internal reforms and banning high-profile individuals and applications from using their services.  It has caused some tech commentators to question recently whether this could be a defining moment in determining how social media businesses moderate content published on their platforms. Some are … Continue reading

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

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

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. … Continue reading

Social media, photographs, and fair use

We have previously written about the lawsuits that can result from unauthorized uses of photographs, but on November 2, 2020, a federal trial court in New York issued a ruling regarding use of a photo from a social media site that was “fair use” under the copyright laws. (Boesen, v. United Sports Publications, Ltd., 20-CV-1552 … Continue reading

Social media, photos, privacy, and conversion

There seem to be a lot of questions lately about the use of photographs on social media, so a recent federal court case may be of interest in raising some risks you may not have contemplated. The case involves some photos that professional models had posted to their social media pages, which they alleged had … Continue reading

FTC, celebrity influencers, and health claims

As the world struggles to move forward, our thoughts and support are with our readers and we hope for their good health and improving situations. Today’s post involves an FTC settlement that was announced just as New York was going into “lockdown” mode and so we wanted to make sure it did not escape your … Continue reading

Solar Energy, Trade Secrets, and Unfair Competition

On January 13, 2020, a solar energy sales lead generation company settled a federal lawsuit against several defendants, including a former employee. Both the initial complaint and settlement described the important role of social media to the business. (Solar Connect, LLC v. Endicott, Case No. 2:17-cv-01235 (D. Utah Jan. 13, 2020) (stipulated permanent injunction).… Continue reading

Social media influencers and FTC disclosures

On November 4, 2019, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) issued guidance for social media influencers to help them comply with FTC requirements relating to endorsements and disclosures. We have previously covered FTC action and guidance (including advisory letters) in this area, but the FTC has refined and updated its advice a bit:… Continue reading

Social media and corporate executive responsibility

Corporations that sell to consumers and are subject to consumer lawsuits commonly receive deposition demands for top executives. Corporations can frequently defeat these demands by showing that the executives did not participate or have control over the matter at issue. But a recent ruling from a federal trial court in California demonstrated how controlling social … Continue reading
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