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Did Twitter violate Anti-Terrorism Act by providing ISIS accounts?

On August 10, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, in Fields v. Twitter, Inc., dismissed the plaintiffs’ complaint against Twitter with leave to amend. The plaintiffs’ complaint arose out of the deaths of Lloyd Fields, Jr. and James Damon Creach, two United States government contractors who were working at a law enforcement training center in Amman, Jordan. Fields and Creach were murdered at the hands of Anwar Abu Zaid, a Jordanian police captain who was inspired to commit the act after watching the ISIS execution of the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh via … Continue Reading

In case you missed it – ICYMI

The digital world moves fast. To get you up to speed, we have compiled a quarterly recap of our five most popular social media blog posts from the Social Media Law Bulletin and the post that is currently trending. From questions ranging from “Is my SnapChat really deleted?” to “Can I tell my employee to stop Tweeting?,” we’ve got you covered ICYMI.

Top posts

 

Facebook “like” button violates privacy laws

Nerushka Bowan and Tatum Govender | April 21, 2016

On 9 March 2016 the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany ruled that an online shopping site, Peek & Cloppenburg, which … Continue Reading

Social Media Property Rights

The number of people using social media these days is staggering. For instance, Facebook has 1.65 billion monthly active users as of March 31, 2016. As such, the ability to reach such a broad consumer base through social media is becoming increasingly important to businesses. Companies are no doubt eager to create social media pages that generate “followers” and “likes” that may, in turn, generate profits. As the number of “followers” and “likes” of a page increase, so do potential issues surrounding ownership of these aspects of social media pages.… Continue Reading

Recent changes to advertising on social media platforms

With millions of people walking around with their heads down on their phones, it’s no surprise that mobile advertising on social media platforms has experienced significant growth in the past 12 months. Social media platforms have been continuing to develop ad capabilities to maximize offerings for brands and growth in the social media marketing space is ever expanding. Statistics from a report commissioned by the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, however, show that marketers only spend between 2% and 8% of their total ad budget on internet video and mobile internet advertising, respectively.… Continue Reading

Instant Fame and the FTC Endorsement Guides

Native advertising—or advertising that appears to match the form and function of the platform upon which it appears—and social media endorsements provide considerable opportunities for companies to strengthen their brands and reach consumers in innovative ways. More and more, “influencers” like Instagram “models,” fashion and lifestyle bloggers, “pinners,” and “vloggers” are joining the ranks of A-list celebrities in receiving substantial sums, or freebies like helicopter rides and luxury cars, to endorse products in their social media posts. Companies stand to gain sizable increases in their brand value and sales by capitalizing on the fame of social media influencers.  But … Continue Reading

Is my SnapChat really deleted?

Yes and no. SnapChat automatically deletes most messages after they have been opened or expired.  However, it warns users that the recipient may take a screenshot or use some other screen capture technology (or simply take a photo of their screen with another camera).  Our long-time readers may recall that SnapChat entered into settlement agreements with both the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Maryland Attorney General on the topic of whether messages disappear.… Continue Reading

Socially responsible advertising

On April 6, 2016, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority considered a complaint made against Guccio Gucci SpA regarding a video, which originally appeared on the website at www.thetimes.co.uk.  The advert featured several models dancing in a house, clothed in the apparel of the global fashion brand, and the complaint centred around the physical appearance of these models.… Continue Reading

Adding to Glossary of Social Media Terms

We have several new readers to our blog, and we want make sure everyone is aware of our features that not only include blog posts, but also several glossaries. One of our glossaries to help our readers understand what the Marketing and Promotions employees have already discovered is our Glossary of Terms.  Here are some new terms that you may not be familiar with:

  • Vine.  Vine, a social media application owned by Twitter, allows users to record and share looping videos that are six seconds or less. A video can be a full six-seconds, or can be separate,
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Social media overload

The explosion of social media in the past decade has caused a major shift in the way we conduct our affairs. In particular, businesses have been required to adapt to new ways of communicating with their clients.  At a rate of thousands of social media applications surfacing each month, and new legal issues surrounding the use of social media, it can feel overwhelming, especially for new businesses. … Continue Reading

Crowdfunding: Advertising an offering’s terms on social media

Background

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted the final rules of Regulation Crowdfunding (the “Regulation”) on October 30, 2015. While the final rules have been adopted, they do not become effective until May 16, 2016. The Regulation is meant to expound upon Sections 4(a)(6) and 4A of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Act”), both of which provide limited exemptions from registering securities under the Act when a company sells securities by crowdfunding. Crowdfunding occurs when a large group of investors combines resources to support a third party’s efforts to reach a goal. Crowdfunding activities have become more popular … Continue Reading

Social media stars and IP empires

Social media platforms enable users to profit from their brand and original works such as photos, videos, articles and various “mash ups”. Their brand and content may be protected by trademarks and copyrights and users may generate thousands of postings to build an extensive intellectual property portfolio. A user may develop a popular brand for their curated content across multiple platforms such as web, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, with their creative posts generating significant goodwill and revenue. Companies pay popular users to reach target audiences instantaneously and effectively with authentic content of pictures, videos, blogs and other derivative works. This … Continue Reading

Social Listening – Are You Ready?

One of the keys to a successful social media presence for businesses is real-time engagement and quick response times. “Social listening” can help businesses tap into consumer sentiment in order to engage with their audience effectively and to elevate their brands.

What is social listening?

Social listening constitutes tracking conversations on social media that mention particular words, phrases, or brand names in order to connect with the people involved and to leverage those communications in order to promote a brand or business. One part of social listening is monitoring particular instances – a hashtag, an @mention, a Facebook tag, etc. … Continue Reading

We’re back, with our top five social media stories of 2015

The Social Media Law Bulletin is back!We’re back, with our top five social media stories of 2015

The ongoing interest of our readers as well as the increasing impact of social media led us to re-launch the Social Media Law Bulletin. We will be bringing you coverage of one or two items approximately each week, but in the meantime, we thought we would give you a brief summary of some of the most significant social media stories from 2015:

Schrems v Facebook

Facebook earned the top spot in our social media impact list, due to a court ruling that only indirectly affected it. In October 6, 2015, the European Court … Continue Reading

To our Social Media Law Bulletin subscribers

Our Social Media Law Bulletin team has been contributing articles on legal issues in social media since 2012.

The blog has gained a reputation for timely and substantive content. We appreciate your interest and the topical discussions that have resulted from the blog. As of March 6, 2015, however, the social media blog will become inactive.

The blog will remain searchable and our writers will continue to cover social media on our other popular blogs in Norton Rose Fulbright’s blog network.

We encourage you to visit and subscribe to any of these blogs for continued social media updates:

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Who owns your Instagram content?

You do (at least as between you and Instagram—your employer may have ownership rights in certain situations)!  Instagram does not claim ownership of any content that you post.

You do grant Instagram very broad license rights:  a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to use content that you post. This license grant means that you have given Instagram the right to use any of your photos for free, for any reason, anywhere in the world. Instagram can also give those rights to a third party.… Continue Reading

Guidelines relating to social media

In addition to laws and regulations, as well as the terms and conditions posted by the social media sites themselves, regulators and trade associations sometimes offer companies guidance to help them comply with requirements, best practices, and principles.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Social Media Law Bulletin is proud to offer a Glossary of Guidance documents listing various references attributed to social media issues. Some are general guidance by subject matter (such as the FTC’s guidelines on the use of endorsements) and others can be very industry-specific (the FDA, FINRA, and the SEC have each issued social media guidance).  The Glossary includes … Continue Reading

WhatsApp your contract

“This post discusses an interesting case in South Africa involving contract amendments via e-mail and other electronic platforms.”

A recent court decision, Spring Forest Trading v Ecowash, potentially allows contracting parties to sign their contracts by way of a data message (which includes emails and other communication platforms such as WhatsApp, BBM and social media) by typing their name at the end of a message. In the case, the contract was subject to a non-variation clause stating that no variation or consensual cancellation would be valid unless reduced to writing and signed by both parties. An email signed “Greg” … Continue Reading

Navigating the world of social media apps

Social media apps and networking websites are exploding in the world of social media. Just last year, Apple announced that its Apple iOS App Store reached a landmark 40 billion downloads and 775,000 apps for its platform.[1]  Companies are taking advantage of this rise of social media apps and many of them use more than one social media site to connect with users and to advertise their services. The social media landscape is rapidly changing, and the increased time and costs in adapting to these changes has incentivized companies to manage and control their social media activity.

Third party … Continue Reading

Don’t tell bloggers about NAD wins

If a company sues a competitor about an advertisement that the company believes is false or misleading about the company’s product, a court victory is frequently cause for a press release, as well as announcements on social media and to bloggers.  When the complaint is made to the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus; however, those announcements can violate NAD procedures and can result in unfavorable press releases from the NAD.

Many of our readers may not be familiar with the NAD, which is run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB), the national … Continue Reading

Yelp! survives complaint of extortion

Does a web site’s manipulation of publicly available positive and negative reviews rise to the level of extortion?  In a September 2, 2014 opinion, the Ninth Circuit said not necessarily.  In affirming the district court’s dismissal, the Ninth Circuit in Levitt v Yelp, No. 11-17676, stated that “unless a person has a preexisting right to be free of the threatened economic harm, threatening economic harm to induce a person to pay for a legitimate service is not extortion.”  Id. at 13.

Plaintiffs—all small business owners—filed suit under California’s Unfair Competition Law, alleging that Yelp! actively pushed negative reviews to … Continue Reading

Social Media Accounts After Death – Delaware’s New Law

After January 1, 2015, individuals whose wills are governed by Delaware law can have their digital assets and digital accounts accessed and controlled by their personal representatives of their estates, courtesy of a new Delaware law.  Modeled on the uniform model Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, the Delaware law vests the decedent’s personal representative with the same authority as the owner of the digital assets.  Upon request of the personal representative for access to, transfer of, copy of, or destruction of the digital asset, the online service provider/web site has 60 days to respond to such a … Continue Reading

A new addition to Norton Rose Fulbright’s blog network – Regulation Tomorrow

Our readers are probably familiar with our various blogs, which are listed at the bottom of this page.

We are pleased to announce that the Financial Services:  Regulation Tomorrow blog has just gone international.

Readers from Australia, Canada, the EU and UK, and the US will find financial services postings specific to their countries as well as postings of general interest, including this posting on social media.


Sue Ross (susan.ross@nortonrosefulbright.com / +1 212 318 3280) is a lawyer in Norton Rose Fulbright’s US intellectual property practice.

 … Continue Reading

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