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News & Analysis as of

A Photo Is Still a Photo, Even on Social Media

A recent case made headlines simply because it involved Instagram. Don’t be fooled by the hype—new technologies don’t always require new law. A photo is a photo regardless of where it appears, and its admissibility is based...more

Social Media Week Part I – Using Social Media In Your Compliance Program

Welcome to Part I of Social Media Week. I recently did a webinar, hosted by The Network, on the use of social media in your Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) compliance program. The response was as great as almost any...more

New FTC Guidelines for Promoting Products on Social Media

Social media can be used in a multitude of ways for savvy brands to promote their products. A popular approach is providing “celebrity bloggers” with free or discounted items in exchange for a picture, post, tweet or...more

Why Social Media Matters

Not many born before 1990 would argue with the assertion that, in our lifetime, the Internet has changed just about everything. Here are a few examples: Postal mail (“snail mail”) is well on the way to obsolescence. The...more

Demanding Access To Social Media And Personal Information - Is It Legal?

Employers, both public and private, are using social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to learn about prospective or current employees. Some employers have even gone so far as to request that...more

Maintaining the Magic: Disney's Use of Confidentiality Restrictions to Promote Character Integrity

When your business depends on a carefully-crafted public image, you do not want the public to know how hard you work to maintain that image. These days, that includes preventing your employees from revealing too much via...more

Status Updates: Driving while social; a small country’s Facebook ban; and Pinterest’s new purchasing feature

Driven to distraction. A frightening number of people are interacting with social media when they should be watching the road. As part of a public service campaign to stop distracted driving, the phone company AT&T recently...more

MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!: New Employment Laws for Social Media Accounts

The Nutshell - Effective July 1, 2015, Virginia Code § 40.1-28.7:5 prohibits employers from requiring that current or prospective employees disclose information about their personal social media accounts....more

Richard Prince Once Again Pushes The Limits Of Fair Use

Richard Prince is either on the very edge of fair use or is engaging in blatant copyright infringement. Unlike most however, Prince has been down this road before; accused of infringement and a defense based entirely on fair...more

Richard Prince’s Instagram Art: Do You Know Where Your Face Is?

Social media, it seems, has turned us all into photographers. Anyone with a Facebook page, an Instagram account or any of the other methods for socializing on the web, can post original photos for all the world to see,...more

Instagram for Sale: Artist Richard Prince’s New Portraits Sparks Controversy

In the past week, several news outlets and social media channels have been buzzing about artist Richard Prince’s exhibit New Portraits, which first debuted at the Gagosian Gallery on September 19, 2014 and was reborn with...more

Like It or Love It: How Not to Get Pinned (Legally) When Using Social Media to Promote Your Brand

Twitter®, Instagram®, Facebook®, Pinterest® and other social media websites and apps are great ways to interact with friends, family and potential customers. They are great avenues for advertising and promotion of one’s...more

Status Updates - April 2015 #4

Home(page) renovation. In an effort to encourage return visits from the 150 million Internet users who visit Twitter every month without signing in, the social media giant has revamped its home page. Now, instead of just “a...more

Status Updates - March 2015 #2

Out with the inbox? The overwhelming popularity of workplace-specific platforms that facilitate coworker communication—commonly referred to as “enterprise social media”—is undeniable. But are these platforms poised to someday...more

Who Will Update My Status When I’m Dead?: The Biggest Social Media Platforms’ Policies on Deceased-User Accounts

It’s often said that, when it comes to regulating technology, U.S. laws aren’t up to speed. That includes U.S. trusts and estates laws, which, in many cases, do not say much about what happens to your digital assets after you...more

Status Updates - January 2015 #3

A Craigslist conviction. The highest court in Massachusetts upheld the conviction under the Bay State’s anti-harassment statute of a couple who posted fake Craigslist advertisements that caused a great deal of trouble for...more

Status Updates - January 2015

Fake-out stakeout. For several months now, we’ve been covering the increasingly prevalent use of social media by law enforcement agencies conducting criminal investigations. In one such instance, the FBI sent a link to a...more

Consumer Groups Push FTC To Investigate Popular Candy Social Media Contest For Alleged Violations Of COPPA

According to a Request for Investigation filed with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) on December 9, 2014, a coalition of consumer and children’s privacy rights organizations has asked for a federal investigation of the...more

Status Updates - December 2014 #4

Instagrowth. Instagram’s relationship with Facebook is turning out to be mutually beneficial. Since Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, the photo sharing platform has passed the 300-million-user mark, surpassing...more

A “New World” of Fashion and Food

In a world of Instagram, Facebook and SMS text marketing, being fleet of foot in an ever-changing world of retail advertising and sales is the name of the game. As retailers and restaurateurs navigate the treacherous waters...more

Status Updates - November 2014 #6

That’s a lot of latte. It turns out that Starbucks—not a company in the mobile payments business—was the first company to make in-person payments by mobile phone mainstream. According to recent statements by the coffee...more

An Update On The Legal Implications Of User-Generated Content: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, And Instagram

Traditionally, media companies (as well as non-media companies) almost exclusively utilized their own content. However, because of the exponential growth in the public’s desire and ability to interconnect through social media...more

Advertising Law - October 2014 #4

Red Bull’s $13M False Ad Deal Crashes Site - Red Bull may claim to give you wings, but a false advertising settlement with the company apparently couldn’t stop its servers from crashing....more

Do Employees Have the Right to Access Social Media in the Workplace? Can Employers Block Social Media Websites?

A Pew Foundation study earlier this year found that 87% of all adults in the United States access the Internet or email, either through computers or mobile devices. The same study found that of those adults, as many as 74%...more

Social Media Pitfalls In Divorce

These days social media is ubiquitous. Everyone, young and old, enjoys some form of social media — from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram– we are all spending significant time posting our life happenings, likes and dislikes,...more

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