The anonymity of the Internet has posed many challenges to the protection of intellectual property rights. The sheer size of the population of online users and the millions of file-sharing programs and other social media outlets that exist have left IP rights holders struggling to protect their property and goodwill in the digital era. For example, the battle between protecting copyright online while simultaneously protecting the privacy rights of online users has led to interesting debates in the courts as well as new IP strategies that are currently being explored.… Continue Reading
On 9 March 2016 the Düsseldorf Regional Court in Germany ruled that an online shopping site, Peek & Cloppenburg, which integrated Facebook’s “like” button into its website had violated users’ privacy rights.
How the “like” button works
The button allows website users who click on it to share instantly the pages and content from the website on their Facebook profiles. This technology is a rapidly-growing marketing tool.… Continue Reading
A South African high court recently ruled that a civil litigant’s private Facebook messages, which were unlawfully obtained by the hacking of his personal account, were nevertheless admissible as evidence against him.
In Harvey v Niland, the litigants were members of the same corporation. Niland was also an employee of the corporation. After leaving his employment on bad terms, he remained a member of the corporation. Harvey sought a court order to prevent Niland from soliciting the corporation’s existing customers for his new employer and damaging the corporation’s reputation, in breach of his fiduciary duties as a member of … Continue Reading
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
The popular social networking app “Secret” has reportedly been temporarily enjoined in Brazil. A civil court in Brazil ordered both Google and Apple to remove Secret from their respective app stores, and to pull the apps from the phones of their users.
In its opinion, the Brazilian court raised concerns that Secret’s anonymity feature can become an instrument of cyberbullying. Indeed, the case was brought by a young marketing consultant who complained of intimate photos of himself being shared anonymously, leaving him no legal recourse.
Brazil is not the only jurisdiction dealing with anonymity issues related to social media. In … Continue Reading
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas recently clarified the scope of discoverable information from private social media accounts.
In Stonebarger v. Union Pacific Corp., a wrongful death case where plaintiffs were seeking to recover damages for the deaths of two individuals killed in a collision, the defendants requested two types of information from plaintiffs’ social media accounts: (1) all account data for each plaintiff’s Facebook page, and (2) all photographs posted, uploaded or otherwise added to any social networking sites or blogs since the date of the accident.
Plaintiffs asserted various objections (including relevancy, … Continue Reading