Technology Law Blog

Showing 16 posts in Social Media.

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses Criminal Liability For Facebook Threats

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal law that prohibits sending threats over the internet requires some level of intention by the sender. The ruling leaves some issues open but is significant for those who engage in hyperbole online. Read More ›

Categories: First Amendment, News & Events, Social Media

Free Speech on Social Media: FTC Updates its Guidance on Social Media Endorsements

Social media is a great tool for companies to build their brands. Many have moved from nearly invisible to viral superstar status, thanks to a well-timed Tweet, Facebook post or clever YouTube video. But with this power comes risks.

One tried and true marketing tactic - both in social and traditional media - is leveraging the power of endorsements. If others are happily using or consuming a product it must be worthwhile, right? While the law and regulatory framework regarding social media promotion is still evolving, social media endorsement is an area that has recently received additional scrutiny from government regulators. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Social Media

FAA’s Takedown Orders Don’t Fly: Do You Need to Take Down Your Drone Videos?

Unmanned aircraft systems - drones - are become increasingly popular and less expensive. From drone pilot hobbyists to online retailers, recreational and business use of drone technology is likely to increase over the coming years. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has taken notice. Read More ›

Categories: News & Events, Social Media

Protect Your Business From Competitive Intelligence

Chess GameThe term "competitive intelligence" is the process of legally gathering information about one's competitors to gain a strategic advantage in the marketplace. Large corporations will have strategic intelligence experts as a part of their marketing department. These experts specialize in discovering promotional activities, sales figures, and other information about the company's competitors. Ideally, strong competitive intelligence enables a company to predict the strategy of a competitor and adapt with a strategy of its own that will result in an advantage in the marketplace.

The good news is that small and medium-sized businesses are not usually the targets of professional competitive intelligence experts. However, a business owner would be wise to protect itself from amateur intelligence gathering by its competitors. Competitive intelligence gathering begins by identifying the strategy of your own business and how your competitor's strategy will interfere. Then the intelligence gathering begins.  Read More ›

Categories: Privacy, Social Media

Do You Need a Social Media Policy?

Chris Holman interviews attorney John Mashni on the Michigan Business Network discussing social media policies. Listen to the podcast here.

Categories: Social Media

Can Social Media Cost You $5 Million?

I know you've probably heard this before, but it's worth repeating: be careful what you post on social media.

It may be used against you.  For one NFL player, it cost $5 million.  

New Orleans Saints football player Jimmy Graham was recently in a contract dispute with the Saints over whether he should be designated as a "Tight End" or a "Wide Receiver."  While the distinction may seem trivial, it had huge repercussions in terms of salary.  Read More ›

Categories: Social Media

Cincinnati Who-Dey Ruling is Big Deal for Internet Commerce: Website immune from Ex-Bengals Cheerleader’s Defamation Lawsuit

The gossip website,, is immune from liability for online posts about an ex-Bengals Cheerleader’s sexual promiscuity and acquiring a sexually transmitted disease. In a closely followed decision from a case that has generated considerable media coverage because of its potential to chill online speech and hold internet websites such as Facebook, Twitter and newspaper sites liable, which allow third party users to post content, was reversed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently overturned a jury verdict of $338,000 against gossip website and its owner Nik Richie. Sarah Jones v. Dirty World Entertainment Recordings LLC arose after Sarah Jones, a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader and teacher who was subsequently convicted of having sex with a high school student, sued the website after it posted unflattering information about her sexual promiscuity with football team players, she demanded the posts be removed, and the website refused. She filed state law tort claims for defamation and privacy torts and won at trial. The defendants appealed. Read More ›

Categories: First Amendment, Privacy, Social Media

YouTube Video Admitted as Character Evidence in Murder Case

Did you know that the YouTube video you just posted may be used in court to determine your character? In a Delaware case, Gallaway v. State, a video of a man using mouthwash as a decongestant may have been the difference for the jury, which found him guilty of murdering his daughter. The father claimed he was performing stretching exercises with his daughter when she slipped and fell on the floor. A few days after the fall, she died from suspected non-accidental trauma. Read More ›

Categories: Social Media

No Fury Like a Facebook Shareholder Scorned…

Technology IPOs used to be the norm in the IPO cycle, and when Facebook announced an IPO many investors could not contain the excitement. But less than expected stock results have caused investors to file suit against Facebook and the underwriters of the IPO.

Facebook stock chart
Source: Chart image from Yahoo! Finance

Facebook, along with Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs, are seeking the dismissal of claims made by investors in connection to the company's IPO. The claims allege misrepresentations by Facebook and its underwriting banks that violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the Exchange Act of 1934. Essentially, the investors claim that Facebook disclosed certain information to the underwriting banks that it did not disclose to investors. Read More ›

Categories: Regulatory, Social Media

Can the FTC Shut Down Your App?

FTC buildingYes, the FTC can shut down your app. But you could also face stiff penalties for lack of compliance.

COPPA is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC has recently revised the rules regarding collecting personal information from children, and has set a date of July 1, 2013 as the deadline for compliance with the latest revised rule. The revision focuses on applications that collect personal information about children, such as photos, videos, and audio files containing the child's voice. Read More ›

Categories: Privacy, Regulatory, Social Media