Aaron Rubin

Aaron Rubin

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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Latest Publications


Social Links: Yellow journalism rakes in cash; NYC law protects gig economy pay; Twitter suspends “alt-right” accounts

“Yellow journalism” websites are using social media to capitalize on popular ideology. And they’re making a bundle. New York City recently passed the country’s first law protecting the wages of “gig economy” workers. The...more

12/2/2016 - CNN Ethics Gig Economy Google Journalism PayPal SnapChat Social Media Twitter YouTube

Yelp Case Shows CDA §230 Still Has Teeth

2016 has been a challenging year for Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and the website operators who depend on it for protection against liability stemming from user-generated content. An unusually large...more

11/23/2016 - Communications Decency Act Defamation Online Reviews Safe Harbors Section 230 User-Generated Content Website Owner Liability Yelp

Social Links: IMDb sues over right to post actors’ ages; Facebook tests jobs feature; Pinterest adopts “tried it” button

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has filed suit to overturn a law that requires the popular entertainment website to remove the ages or birth dates of people in the entertainment industry upon request. Vine might not...more

11/22/2016 - Facebook Hashtags IMDB Pinterest SnapChat Social Media Twitter Vine

Socially Aware: The Social Media Law Update Volume 7, Issue 6

Commercializing user-Generated Content: Five risk reduction strategies - We’re in the midst of a seismic shift in how companies interact with user-generated content (UGC). For years, companies were happy simply to...more

11/14/2016 - App Developers Clickwrap Agreements Disclosure Requirements Ransomware Safe Harbors Social Media Spokeo v Robins TCPA Text Messages User-Generated Content

Social Links: LinkedIn’s new feature estimates compensation; states grapple with social-media-account-inheritance laws; insurance...

Because it bases its assesments on job title, location and industry, LinkedIn’s new Salary feature might be more accurate than are other online compensation estimation tools....more

11/7/2016 - Ballots Big Data Digital Assets Ethics Facebook LinkedIn Social Media Terms of Use UK

Social Links: IoT Causes Web Outage; YouTube Makes Endorsement Disclosure Convenient; NFL’s Social Media Policy Imposes Fines

The Internet of Things is apparently to blame for the Web outage that paralyzed the online world earlier this month. Justin Timberlake took down his “ballot selfie” from Instagram after Tennessee authorities made clear...more

10/31/2016 - Artificial Intelligence Blockchain Google Internet of Things LinkedIn Social Media YouTube

Social Links: Facebook at Work; Google’s Allo messaging app; Snapchat’s Spectacles

Facebook at Work, the on-the-job version of the web’s most popular social media platform, will launch in London on October 10th. Add iHeartRadio to the list of Internet radio platforms that will be offering an on demand...more

10/6/2016 - Cyberbullying Facebook Google Mobile Apps Music Streaming Radio Stations SnapChat Social Media Twitter

Social Links: Yelp’s Communications Decency Act claim; Twitter loosens its character limit; building a Snapchat audience

The California Supreme Court agreed to hear Yelp’s case arguing that requiring the company to remove a one-star review of a law firm “creates a gaping hole” in the immunity that shields internet service providers from suits...more

9/27/2016 - Bots Department of Transportation (DOT) Driverless Cars Enforcement Authority Google Hackers Internet Service Providers (ISPs) LinkedIn Personally Identifiable Information Safety Precautions SnapChat Social Media Transparency Trolls Twitter Websites Yelp

Social Links: Instagram’s “offensive comment” filter; Twitter’s TV app; YouTube’s “Community” feature

Instagram now allows users to hide offensive comments posted to their feeds. Take that trolls! Soon you’ll be able to watch Twitter content like NFL Thursday Night Football on a Twitter app on Apple TV, Xbox One and...more

9/21/2016 - Ad-Blockers Ballots EU Google Instagram Internet Streaming Selfies SnapChat Social Media Twitter YouTube

Social Links: Snapchat ad revenue grows; the UK’s revenge porn problem; laws that enable control of digital assets after death

Snapchat is on track to rake in an enormous amount of ad revenue by 2017. Also, there’s mounting evidence that the company is working toward developing a Google Glass-like product. We have written previously...more

9/12/2016 - Digital Assets Facebook Google Hashtags Pinterest Revenge Porn SnapChat Social Media Twitter UK

Social Links: Instagram’s & Pinterest’s new features; the per-post premium paid to top influencers; a successful social media...

Instagram now allows users to zoom in on photos in their feeds and at least 11 brands are already capitalizing on the new feature. Pinterest acquired Instapaper, a tool that allows you to cache webpages for reading at a...more

9/6/2016 - Advertising Facebook Instagram Investment Adviser Investment Funds Investors Journalism Mobile Apps Photographs Pinterest SEC SnapChat Social Media

Court Upholds Enforceability of “Clickwrap” Employee Agreement

As we have previously discussed, if you want your electronic contracts to be enforceable, it is a best practice to require the counterparty to affirmatively accept the contract by checking a box or clicking a button. A recent...more

9/1/2016 - Acceptance Clickwrap Agreements Contract Formation Electronic Agreements Electronic Communications Employment Contract Enforceability Forum Selection Clause Non-Compete Agreements Restrictive Covenants Stock Options Terms of Use Unenforceable Contract Terms Void and Unenforceable

Social Links: Google penalizes sites with pop-up ads; proposed Federal legislation to criminalize revenge porn; ad industry group...

Google is cracking down on mobile pop-up ads by knocking down the search-result position of websites that use them. The National Labor Relations Board decided a social media policy that Chipotle had in place for its...more

8/29/2016 - DHS Facebook FTC FTC Endorsement Guidelines Google Hate Speech Instagram Jury Selection Kardashians Labor Law Violations Native Advertising NLRB Personal Data Pop-Up Ads Revenge Porn Social Media Truth in Advertising Twitter UK Visa Waiver Program

Social Links: Twitter offers anti-harassment tools; Pinterest takes on video ads; P&G changes its social strategy

Twitter took steps to remedy its harassment problem. In addition, over the last six months, Twitter suspended 235,000 accounts that promoted terrorism....more

8/22/2016 - Advertising Ballots Divorce Facebook Harassment Pinterest SnapChat Social Media Terrorist Threats Twitter

Social Links: Facebook’s anti-ad-blocking software; LinkedIn’s “scraper” lawsuit; FTC’s upcoming crackdown on social influencers

Facebook introduced technology that disables ad blockers used by people who visit the platform via desktop computers, but Adblock Plus has already foiled the platform’s efforts, at least for now....more

8/15/2016 - Ad-Blockers Amicus Briefs Copyright Facebook FTC LinkedIn Mobile Apps PETA SnapChat Social Media Software Twitter Web Scraping

Ninth Circuit Case Demonstrates That the Social Media Platform, Not the User, Is in Control

We have written before about website operators’ use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to combat data scraping. We have also noted a number of recent cases in which courts held that social media platforms,...more

8/8/2016 - Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) Corporate Counsel Facebook Social Media Unauthorized Access User-Generated Content Web Scraping

Social Links: Twitter’s tough quarter; Yelp warns users about litigious dentist; Pinterest battles Snapchat

Instagram now allows celebrities to block trolls. The rest of us will have to continue trying to ignore Instagram trolls. While Facebook reached new highs last quarter, Twitter continued to stumble. Will adding more live...more

8/1/2016 - Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) Defamation Emoji Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Pinterest SnapChat Social Media Trolls Twitter Yelp

Augmenting Reality: A Pokémon Go Business and Legal Primer

We have become inured to the sight of people staring at their phones rather than engaging with one another or enjoying their real-life surroundings. But, over the past two weeks, enslavement to mobile devices rose to new...more

7/21/2016 - Google Mobile Apps Nintendo Risk Mitigation SnapChat Terms of Service Trespass Video Games

Social Links: Appeals court opinions show reach of anti-hacking law; a virtual reality sickness cure; intrigue at Vine

The UK wants to use the blockchain to track the spending of welfare recipients. Some believe that a recent Ninth Circuit holding could turn sharing passwords into a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act....more

7/18/2016 - Blockchain Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) Facebook Live Streaming Mobile Apps Patent Applications Patents SnapChat Social Media UK Vine Virtual Reality

#Trademarks?: Hashtags as Trademarks Revisited

Since our previous article on the emerging issue of trademark rights in hashtags, the use of hashtags in social media marketing has continued to grow. Described as the “ignition keys to a social media keyword search,”...more

7/18/2016 - Advertising Corporate Counsel Hashtags International Trademark Protection Marketing Popular Preliminary Injunctions Settlement Agreements Social Media Trademark Application Trademark Infringement Trademarks USPTO Young Lawyers

Social Links: Kids roll eyes as parents embrace Snapchat; teen sues Snapchat over sexual content; Snapchat to become less...

Snapchat has caught on with “oldies” (that’s people 35 and older, FYI). The Chinese government has forbidden online media from reporting news spread on social media sites. A 14-year-old and his mom are suing...more

7/11/2016 - Asia China Facebook Instagram Marketing SnapChat Social Media South Korea Twitter YouTube

Social Links: Implications of Facebook’s algorithm change; branded emoji; free travel apps

The Internet is abuzz over the Facebook algorithm change. Here are the implications for marketers and publishers and for regular users. U.S. Customs wants to start collecting the social media accounts for foreign...more

7/5/2016 - Algorithms Cybersecurity Emoji Facebook Mobile Apps SnapChat Social Media U.S. Customs Unemployment Insurance

Social Links: Livestreaming goes mainstream; social-media-use guidance for judges; three years in jail for trolling?

Facebook signs more than $50 million worth of deals with media firms and celebrities to create videos for its live-streaming service....more

6/27/2016 - Celebrity Endorsements Facebook Gun Laws Hiring & Firing Judges Marketing SnapChat Social Media Tumblr Twitter

Social Links: The ramifications of Microsoft’s LinkedIn purchase; the brands using Snapchat; lawyers’ social media use

Lots of press surrounding Microsoft’s purchase of LinkedIn: Will LinkedIn change as a result? Will the Microsoft purchase inspire a Twitter acquisition? “Spam King” gets 30 months in jail for sending 27 million messages....more

6/20/2016 - Acquisitions LinkedIn Marketing Microsoft SnapChat Social Media Spam Twitter YouTube

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