3rd party platform - legal issues

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  • (“Agence France-Presse Claims Twitter's Terms of Use Authorize Its Use of Photographs Posted to TwitPic”)
  • (“Online Game Network Isn't Company Town--Estavillo v. Sony”)
  • 3rd party platform - legal issues

    1. 1. Social Media Legal Issues Venkat Balasubramani (@VBalasubramani) third party platform considerations August 12, 2010
    2. 2. 2 Third Party Platforms
    3. 3. 3 Terms of Use When you sign up for an account you are agreeing to a set of terms. • terms of use may affect your social media efforts • agreement to bring claims in home court • promotions guidelines – Facebook and Twitter both have them • spam and unsolicited email guidelines • terms may regulate account use (what you can have in the name, how many accounts you can have, posting multiple l inks etc.)
    4. 4. 4 Content/Ownership Considerations The applicable terms of service may grant the platform a license to your content. • watermarking your content is always a good idea • put a copyright notice on your content
    5. 5. 5 Content/Ownership Considerations Do not download and widely use images or content from platforms such as TwitPic and Flickr unless you clear them first. [ link]
    6. 6. Takedowns Platforms typically have notice & takedown procedures (DMCA) whereby they’ll remove content in response to requests from a copyright owner. • familiarize yourself with the takedown and counter-notice process (e.g., you give a counter-notice to put the content back up) • entire blogs have been taken off-line by service providers 6
    7. 7. 7 Squatting Twitter Squatting – does not seem to be a significant issue. • it is worth registering names/accounts across platforms preemptively
    8. 8. 8 Squatting All service providers have their own dispute resolution policies (which can be effective). • it’s difficult to hold the service provider liable (e.g., La Russa v. Twitter) • Twitter’s Trademark Policy
    9. 9. 9 Building Apps Similar issues as with respect to content.  platforms can censor or pull apps at their discretion
    10. 10. 10 Account Termination Most platforms have the right to terminate your account leaving you little recourse. • Online Game Network Isn't Company Town -- Estavillo v. Sony • Facebook can terminate your account if it wants
    11. 11. 11 Account Termination Possible workarounds: • have alternate means of contacting your customers or fans • save any content you think is valuable elsewhere (archive blog posts, etc.) • publish / interact simultaneously across multiple platforms (don’t put all your eggs into one platform basket!)
    12. 12. 12 FTC Guidelines FTC issued endorsement guidelines • disclosure of free products, compensation, and relationships • company being endorsed has responsibility to enforce • The FTC’s Revised Endorsement Guides – FTC FAQ
    13. 13. 13 Regulated Industries Regulated industries receive special treatment: • financial/health industries (etc.) • FDA Tells Novartis That 'Facebook Sharing' Widget On Its Site Violates Drug Ad Rules
    14. 14. @VBalasubramani http://www.focallaw.com venkat@focallaw.com

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