Technology Law Blog

Lights, Camera, Action: Legal Considerations for the Entertainment Industry

filmingOrganizations within the entertainment industry have a unique set of legal considerations. To better understand these considerations, Attorney John Mashni is presenting an introductory and advanced level course on the "Legal Aspects of a Feature Film," and a course on "The Law of Music" to the NALA Paralegal Association at their annual conference and expo. The NALA annual conference is taking place in Las Vegas July 13 through July 15. Read More ›

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Employers Should Audit and Update Employment-Related Policies and Agreements in Light of New “Defend Trade Secrets Act”

Trade SecretPresident Obama recently signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (the “Act”) into law. The Act creates a new cause of action - which became effective immediately - for trade secret misappropriation.

Prior to the Act, civil claims for trade secret misappropriation were primarily governed by state law. The Act creates federal jurisdiction for claims brought under the Act, which provides plaintiffs with the option to sue in federal court. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Intellectual Property, Trade Secrets

No Need to Drone On: A Quick Overview of the New FAA Rules

DroneOn June 21, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) released its much-awaited operational rules for drones. We have been tracking these rules for the last year. The biggest change from the proposed rules to final rules is that the final rules eliminate the need for commercial drone operators to obtain a manned aircraft pilot's license. Instead, drone operators will have to pass a knowledge test for unmanned aircraft. The test will be administered at FAA approved testing centers nationwide.  Read More ›

Categories: News & Events

Copyright Basics: 3 Tips for Small Businesses Regarding Copyright

When it comes to copyrights, there are several common mistakes small businesses can make. If you are putting together marketing materials or a website and you download a photo online, often times that photo is protected by a copyright and is owned by someone else. This could lead to copyright infringement. Learn about a few other common copyright mistakes in the video below.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

Filming for TV Show Results in HIPAA Violation and $2.2 Million Settlement Paid by New York Presbyterian Hospital

HospitalIt’s not uncommon for “covered entities” such as hospitals and health systems to violate the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Protection Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). A stolen laptop or misplaced file can expose information that should be protected. Rarely, however, does a violation arise from the filming of a television show. But that’s exactly what happened in the case of New York Presbyterian Hospital (“NYP”), which recently entered into a settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million. Read More ›

Categories: HIPAA, Hospitals, Privacy

Unpaid Internships Give Rise to Government Enforcement and Class Actions Against Employers

InternsThe misclassification of employees as independent contractors is a common and serious issue affecting employers and workers in the technology sector. We recently touched on the legal challenges facing “on demand” technology companies such as Uber and Lyft due to their classification of drivers as independent contractors.

But employee vs. independent contractor is not the only classification issue that technology companies and investors must grapple with. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Fenox Venture Capital, recently agreed to pay $331,269 in back wages after the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) found the company misclassified 56 workers as unpaid interns. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, Startup

Seven Social Media Principles to Live By

How do you get the most out of your social media content? Attorney John Mashni will discuss seven social media principles to live by in his presentation for the State Bar of Michigan Paralegal Section titled "The Marketing Lifestyle." The seven principles include: Read More ›

Categories: Social Media

Uber Pays $100 Million to Settle “Employee or Independent Contractor?” Class Action Case

Taxi NavigationIn January we updated you on the numerous legal battles Uber was fighting across the country related to its classification of its drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Uber, the on-demand car service, recently put one of those battles behind it by settling a class action lawsuit covering 385,000 drivers in California and Massachusetts for $100 million.

Under the terms of the settlement Uber will continue to be able to classify its drivers as contractors. The company also made concessions allowing drivers to receive tips, and to form an association - although not a union - to discuss grievances with the company. Read More ›

Categories: Employment, News & Events

What is a Trademark?

What is a trademark? A trademark is the identity that you have in the marketplace specifically associated with your goods or services. Any name, phrase, identity, symbol or logo your company uses in conjunction with selling your goods and services is a trademark. There are two types of trademarks. Learn more in the short video below.


Categories: Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Intellectual Property: Copyrights

Business owners need to understand copyrights. The video below continues Foster Swift's Legal Basics for Business Video Series by explaining the basics of copyrights. Learn more about copyrights and how they are important to your business in this short video clip.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property