Social Media And The Law 2 23 10


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  • o Valuable intellectual property or trade secrets which should not leave the organization. 27.4% of respondents say this type of content is “common” or “very common.” o Adult, obscene or potentially offensive content. 23.3% of respondents say this type of content is “common” or “very common.” o Confidential or proprietary business information about your organization. 24.7% of respondents say this type of content is “common” or “very common.” o Personal healthcare, financial or identity data which may violate privacy and data protection regulations. 26.5% of respondents say this type of content is “common” or “very common.”
  • Trade Libel includes making false or misleading statements made through a company's blog, Facebook page or Twitter account about the goods or services of a competitor that cause or are likely to cause the competitor harm may be grounds for a trade libel action. employees post content to the corporate blog, Facebook page or Twitter account that defames or invades the privacy of third parties. Posts that include a third party's intellectual property, such as copyrighted material or trademarks, may expose the company to liability for infringement. 
  • Anthony La Russa v. Twitter, Inc., et al. illustrates the potential exposure in these areas. LaRussa, the manager of the Saint Louis Cardinals, alleged that the site contains unauthorized photographs of him and written statements impliedly made by LaRussa when in fact they were not. Based on this, LaRussa contends, Twitter is liable for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution, cybersquatting, misappropriation of name, misappropriation of likeness, invasion of privacy, and intentional misrepresentation.
  • Social Media And The Law 2 23 10

    1. 1. Welcome to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Emerging Trends in Business: Social Media and The Law
    2. 2. Thank you
    3. 3. <ul><li> </li></ul>TBD Title
    4. 4. Emerging Litigation Michael Parks
    5. 5. Social Media Litigation Has Arrived and the Threat Is Growing
    6. 6. Recent Study Finds Companies Becoming Aware <ul><li>18% of companies investigated exposure of confidential information via video or audio media sharing site </li></ul><ul><li>17% investigated exposure of confidential information via posting to a social networking site </li></ul><ul><li>13% investigated exposure of confidential information via a blog or message board post </li></ul>Source: Outbound E-Mail & Data Loss Prevention 2009, Proofpoint, Inc. http//
    7. 7. Source: Outbound E-Mail & Data Loss Prevention 2009, Proofpoint, Inc. http// Recent Study Identifies Potential Litigation Exposure
    8. 8. Social Media Poses Unique Legal Risks <ul><li>Access / Anyone can use it! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of content control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scope of audience reach </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The Information is distributed and maintained by an entity that did not create it </li></ul><ul><li>Involves all different types of media </li></ul>
    9. 9. What Risks? <ul><li>Invasion of Privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Defamation </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual Property Claims </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Claims </li></ul>
    10. 10. Some Recent Examples <ul><ul><li>LaRussa v. Twitter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Horizon Group Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellect Art Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Law & Tritt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Salon Professional Academy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domelights </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. LaRussa v. Twitter, et al. <ul><ul><li>“ Lost 2 out of 3, but we made it out of Chicago without one drunk driving incident or dead pitcher... I’d call that an I-55 series.” </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Horizon Group Mgt., LLC v. Bonnen <ul><li>Defendant’s Tweet </li></ul><ul><li>Trade Libel Claim </li></ul><ul><li>Case dismissed without written opinion </li></ul>
    13. 13. Intellect Art Media v. Milewski <ul><li>Swiss Finance Academy Summer College Courses </li></ul><ul><li>Milewski post says SFA is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ 100% Bait & Switch Scam” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Its [sic] all a joke and a scam that needs to be stopped” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>130 out of 150 would ask for refund because “they got worked” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Court finds opinion about “quality of services” is protected speech </li></ul><ul><li>“ Subjective expressions of consumer dissatisfaction are not actionable” </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive website submits site owners to jurisdiction </li></ul><ul><li>Section 230 (c)(1) of Communications Decency Act protects site owner </li></ul>Source: 2009 Slip Op 51912 (NY Sup. Ct.)
    14. 14. Low and Tritt v. The Pizza Kitchen, et al. Pizza kitchen owner then posts on Twitter Pizza kitchen owner Facebook posts: “ Don’t EVER use Lowandtritt marketing firm.” “ Don’t EVER use Lowandtritt marketing firm.” “ Crooks-stolen email list and have tried to pressure me by threat of lawsuit to sign a license agreement to use their marketing materials.”
    15. 15. Employment Claims Harassment <ul><li>Blog hosted by police sergeant </li></ul><ul><li>Postings include racial slurs </li></ul><ul><li>City sued because workers accessed blog from worksite and no action taken in response to complaints </li></ul>
    16. 16. Welcome to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Managing Social Media in the Workplace
    17. 17. Managing Social Media in the Workplace How should you approach social media in the workplace? No restrictions No access Acceptable Use Tailor your Acceptable Use Policy to your unique workplace.
    18. 18. Managing Social Media in the Workplace Elements of an Acceptable Use Policy: <ul><li>Notice to employees that you monitor computer use </li></ul><ul><li>Protect confidential and proprietary information </li></ul><ul><li>Identify yourself, be transparent, be honest </li></ul><ul><li>Play nice. Report abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Use common sense and good judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget why you’re here …. TO WORK </li></ul>
    19. 19. Managing Social Media in the Workplace Should you “friend” an employee? Should you Tweet about your workplace? Should you require employees to disclose Facebook, blogs, Twitter?
    20. 20. Managing Social Media in the Workplace … I’ve worked Tirelessly 2 not cause trouble, BUT I will now have 2 turn 2 my revenge side (GOD’S REVENGE SIDE) 2 teach da world a lesson of stepping on GOD. I thank GOD 4 pot 2 calm down my frustration n worries or else I will go beserk n shoot everyone …. Prepare to See Crazy Trang in public eye soon IN UR TELEVISION n other news vehicles … - Nguyen v. Starbucks Coffee Corp., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113461 (N.D.Cal. Dec.7, 2009) Should you monitor your employees on MySpace, Twitter, etc.?
    21. 21. Managing Social Media in the Workplace Social Media and the On-Boarding Process  Do you recruit through social media?  Do you investigate an applicant’s Facebook, Twitter, etc.?  Have you ever made a hiring decision based on what you learned via social media? Is all this legal?
    22. 22. Managing Social Media in the Workplace Labor unions are on Twitter, Facebook Is it lawful for you to follow? Is it working? Does anyone care?
    23. 23. Managing Social Media in the Workplace The Fundamentals Never Change <ul><li>Dignity and Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Open Lines of Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well-drafted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well-communicated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fairness and Consistency </li></ul>
    24. 24. Brand Protection Thomas Williams
    25. 25. Brand Protection in Social Media <ul><li>Topics: </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive Steps in Brand Protection </li></ul><ul><li>Applying Lessons from the Domain Name Wars </li></ul><ul><li>Effective Enforcement Strategies </li></ul>
    26. 26. I. Proactive Steps in Brand Protection <ul><li>A three-step process……. </li></ul><ul><li>Step #1: Identify your Trademarks and Brands </li></ul><ul><li>“ Trademark” is a legal term of art: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>company name </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Product name </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Slogan </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other: logo, shape, color, sound, scent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Brand” = “Trademark” + “promise” of something extra (quality, prestige, etc.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>All “Brands” are “Trademarks,” but not all “Trademarks” are “Brands.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Step #2: Register your Brands as User Names on Social Networking sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reserve “your” Brands ASAP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Block second-comers from taking your Brands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Act quickly </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Step #3: Register Your Brands as Trademarks/Service Marks in USPTO </li></ul><ul><li>Why register your Brands as marks? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserves your exclusive right to manage your Brand identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides legal presumptions: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Validity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trademark registrations should be given weight by Facebook ®, etc., in analyzing requests for removal of infringing content </li></ul></ul>
    29. 29. II. Applying Lessons from the Domain Name Wars <ul><li>1990’s Domain Name Land Rush: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brand owners lagged behind savvy internet users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Wild West” environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cybersquatters ruled </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Registrars’ solutions were inadequate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Courts struggled </li></ul></ul>
    30. 30. <ul><li>Lessons for Social Media? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat social network names like domain names: online source identifiers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Move quickly: Reserve social network user names a part of major product launches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume that a “squatter” will grab what you do not reserve </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assume that the courts will struggle with disputes </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. <ul><li>Open Issues: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What will be the next “Facebook ®,” “Twitter®,” or “YouTube®”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternatively, what will be the next “.info” or “.us”? </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. III. Effective Enforcement Strategies <ul><ul><li>Survey Question: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has your company been involved in a social media “naming” dispute? </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><ul><li>Selective Enforcement: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There is no such thing as a “non-infringed” trademark </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You cannot stop all online abuses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Counterfeiters/Imposters selling fakes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defamatory statements about your products </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Fan site” misuse </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    34. 34. <ul><ul><li>Your Tools of Enforcement: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Invoke host’s dispute policies and take-down procedures: </li></ul></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Facebook® Dispute Policy Page
    36. 36. Twitter® Dispute Policy Page
    37. 37. <ul><ul><ul><li>Send “Cease-and-Desist” Demand Letters? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Reputation Management”: Beware of online backlash! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    38. 38. <ul><ul><ul><li>File lawsuits? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tony La Russa v. Twitter (imposter user name, settlement) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Expect limited legal recourse against network providers </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Courts are reluctant to impose liability on hosts </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Legal claims are typically against squatter </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Litigation, while costliest option, would provide broadest remedies (injunction, damages) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    39. 39. Conclusion <ul><ul><li>Be proactive in protecting your online identity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Treat social network names like domain names. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid the courts—when possible—in social network name disputes. </li></ul></ul>
    40. 40. Contact Information For additional information, please contact: Thomas M. Williams Howrey LLP 321 N. Clark St. Suite 3400 Chicago, Illinois 60654 312.846.5620 [email_address]
    41. 41. Corporate Considerations Robert Kamensky, Esq.
    42. 43. Adult Use of Internet 2005 - 2009
    43. 44. Growth in Social Media Use 2005 - 2009
    44. 45. Adult Social Media Site Use
    45. 46. Impact of Social Media Source: Digital Marketing Factbook
    46. 47. Company Policy
    47. 48. Social Media Approach <ul><li>“ This concept of trying to control or block [social media usage], is not going to work. There's going to be a divide, with some companies that shun public social networks and are fearful of using them, and some who embrace it and take the risk.” </li></ul><ul><li>- Facebook, Twitter become business tools, but CIOs remain wary. NetworkWorld January 10, 2010 </li></ul>
    48. 49. Social Media Approach IBM -The Impact of Corporate Culture on Enterprise Social Media Corporate Culture VS Social Media Corporate Culture + Social Media = = FAILURE SUCCESS
    49. 50. Policy Comparisons IBM ESPN Encouraged Cautious Tolerated No Policy CISCO FINRA Baker Razorfish
    50. 51. Encouraged IBM –Sales Organization
    51. 52. Encouraged Services - Razorfish If you are not using Social Influence Marketing in your job, please get started. Razorfish encourages employees to adopt Social Influence Marketing – whether you’re on Twitter, running your own work blog, posting comments on someone else’s blog, uploading presentations on community sites like SlideShare, or otherwise participating in the world of social media.
    52. 53. Cautious ESPN - Broadcasting
    53. 54. Cautious FINRA – Regulated Industries
    54. 55. Cautious Baker & Daniels - Service Industry Baker & Daniels Remember the internet is not anonymous, nor does it forget. There is no clear line between your work and personal life Avoid Hazardous materials Don’t promote other brands with the firm’s brand Keep confidentiality Don’t pad your own stats Do not pat yourself on the back Do not qualify your work Do not approve recommendations or testimonials Do not promote successes Do not return fire Do not offer or appear to offer legal advice
    55. 57. A Blueprint for Social Media Success <ul><li>Understand the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Define your business objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Assess your resources and capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the risks </li></ul><ul><li>Formulate the strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Execute like you mean it </li></ul><ul><li>Measure and evaluate </li></ul>
    56. 58. Questions?