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Social Media Powerpoint Final

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This presentation on Social Media legal issues was presented in 2011.

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Social Media Powerpoint Final

  1. 1. Keep It Legal : The Legal Implications of Social Media Michael J. Dommermuth, Esq. J. Randolph Earnest, Esq. (303) 863-9800 [email_address] [email_address] © McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  2. 2. Chrysler Fires Social Media Agency <ul><li>New Media employee mistook the official account for a private Twitter account last week and compounded the error with an F-bomb: </li></ul><ul><li>Employee Post : &quot;I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to (expletive) drive.&quot; </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  3. 3. Business and Personal Use Overlap <ul><li>On-line personal identity and professional identity may be the same </li></ul><ul><li>Unregulated employee contact with public. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we control? </li></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  4. 4. Legal Issues <ul><li>Compliance with Colorado and Federal Law </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advertising </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dealership Liability for Acts of Employees </li></ul><ul><li>Defamation and Bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Liability of Employers </li></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  5. 5. Best Practices <ul><li>One employee responsible for all social media content produced by dealership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reality : Sales people will have their own personal pages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Personal comments may reflect on dealership </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  6. 6. Compliance with FTC Guidelines <ul><li>FTC guidelines prohibit: “ Untrue, unfair or deceptive acts or practices. ” </li></ul><ul><li>Covers advertising claims, marketing and promotional activities and sales practices in general </li></ul><ul><li>FTC penalties </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  7. 7. Compliance with Auto Industry Division Regulations <ul><li>What is advertising under dealer regulations? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>http://www.coloradodealers.org/reg_state.php </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Broadly Defined : Any “ commercial message … on a computer display …” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Dealership website </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social media posts by Dealer </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social media posts by Salesperson </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Craigslist </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ebay </li></ul></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  8. 8. Compliance with Auto Industry Division Regulations (continued) <ul><li>What is required to be part of advertisement under Dealer regulations? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name of Dealer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Or word “ dealer ” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must not be misleading or inaccurate or misrepresent the vehicle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>16 additional AID regulations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Regulation § 12-6-118(3)(k) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Rules </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Price and payment terms </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lease </li></ul></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  9. 9. Social Media and Dealership Liability - Agency <ul><li>Can Dealership be sued for Employee actions? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Posting of inappropriate or offensive content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees ’ postings may cause binding obligations for Dealer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defamation, harassment, discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interference with a business relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trademark and Copyright infringement </li></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  10. 10. Social Media and Dealership Liability - Unauthorized Use <ul><li>Cannot use customer ’ s name, photo or likeness for commercial purposes w/o consent </li></ul><ul><li>No statutory prohibitions </li></ul><ul><li>in Colorado, but common </li></ul><ul><li>law claims permitted </li></ul><ul><li>28 states prohibit </li></ul><ul><li>unauthorized use by </li></ul><ul><li>statute </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  11. 11. Social Media and Dealership Liability - Unauthorized Use (continued) <ul><li>Potential “ common law ” lawsuits in Colorado </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prohibits use of name, image or likeness for commercial gain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Right to privacy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriation of name or likeness </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Damages: Mental anguish/hurt feelings </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Right of publicity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Property interest in a persons “ name, voice, signature, photo, image, likeness, appearance, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright, trademark and intellectual property rights </li></ul></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  12. 12. Social Media and Dealership Liability - Unauthorized Use (continued) <ul><li>Customer Consent and/or License </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Best Practice: Obtain customer consent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consideration or payment for a consent (probably) required. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider oil changes, coupons, etc., as payment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Underlying benefit to service department </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SOCIAL MEDIA: Legal Issues http://www.cadaopenroad.org/enewsletter/2011/links/reg_legal_link_022211.html </li></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  13. 13. Use of Social Media in Lawsuits <ul><li>Social media postings treated similarly to e-mails or written letters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discoverable and admissible </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of Social Media based lawsuits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discrimination in hiring employees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Using Social Media to discriminate or harass </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unauthorized use of image/likeness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy invasion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employees ’ expectations of privacy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interference with a business relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sexual harassment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Back up electronic communications </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  14. 14. Employee Issues <ul><li>Employers may regulate use: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No reasonable expectation of privacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postings on company assets, computers/mobile phones? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are the messages stored? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What network are the messages traveling through? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are the messages being generated on company time? </li></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  15. 15. Employee Issues (continued) <ul><li>Employers may examine employees ’ on-line activity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Does employer have a duty? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create employer policies governing use of social media </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  16. 16. Employee Issues (continued) <ul><li>Counsel employees on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is appropriate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to use better judgment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Employer Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Alternatively, designate a gatekeeper to be responsible for all on-line posts </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss implications, such as employment termination, suspension, other discipline </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  17. 17. Employer Policy on Use of Social Media <ul><li>What is appropriate, good judgment, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Obtain authorization to use someone ’ s name, image or likeness </li></ul><ul><li>Personal use by employees may effect dealership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain professional on-line identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May meet clients/potential clients through Social Media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Keep confidential information confidential </li></ul><ul><li>Comply with dealership policies, dealer regulations and employee handbook </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  18. 18. Employer Policy on Use of Social Media (continued) <ul><li>Do not violate “ advertising ” guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Be accurate, honest, non-misleading, polite, professional, respectable </li></ul><ul><li>Identify yourself as an individual when giving opinions, specifically state that employee is not representing the dealership </li></ul><ul><li>Do not make any posts which could be considered discrimination, defamation or harassment </li></ul><ul><li>Honor all copyright, trademark and service mark requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Contests rules and regulations </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  19. 19. Hiring and Termination Practices <ul><li>Employers may: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Check employee profiles to verify information supplied by an applicant or an employee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check social media sites to view postings that may be: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Harassing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If an employee who has called in sick is really out for other reasons </li></ul></ul></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  20. 20. Hiring and Termination Practices (continued) <ul><li>Employers may not: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use information found on social media to discriminate against employees or candidates due to race, religion, sexual orientation or other protected classes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First Amendment Issues </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  21. 21. Reacting to Customer Comments <ul><li>Customers have the ability to post comments </li></ul><ul><li>Customers are anonymous </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Leads to inflammatory comments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>DO NOT BITE! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Polite and direct rebuttal of customer complaints is more effective than rants, angry posts, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Turn it around; take advantage of the opportunity to improve </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Media Providers are not liable for content of posts </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011
  22. 22. Contact Information <ul><li>Michael J. Dommermuth </li></ul><ul><li>J. Randolph Earnest </li></ul><ul><li>McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, PC </li></ul><ul><li>1600 Stout Street, Suite 1600 </li></ul><ul><li>Denver, Colorado 80202 </li></ul><ul><li>Tel: (303) 863-9800 </li></ul><ul><li>Fax: (303) 571-1600 </li></ul><ul><li>E-Mail: [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>© McGloin, Davenport, Severson and Snow, P.C. - 2011

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