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Facebook, Twitter and the Next Generation of Social Media: Opportunities and Risks for Your Business July 13, 2010 John "Rocky" Rawls, Partner Valyncia.

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Presentation on theme: "Facebook, Twitter and the Next Generation of Social Media: Opportunities and Risks for Your Business July 13, 2010 John "Rocky" Rawls, Partner Valyncia."— Presentation transcript:

1 Facebook, Twitter and the Next Generation of Social Media: Opportunities and Risks for Your Business July 13, 2010 John "Rocky" Rawls, Partner Valyncia Simmons, Associate Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP

2 Vocabulary  Internet   Text Messages  Blog  Search Engine

3 Social Networks 101  Definition  Advantages  Building connections with others  User friendly  Potentially, publicly available  Typically free to users

4 Focused Marketing for Businesses  Builds "Self Executing" List of Interested Consumers  Additional Demographic Data Permits Tightly Targeted Advertising

5 Examples of Social Networking Sites  Classmates.com  Match.com  LinkedIn.com  Facebook.com  Myspace.com  Twitter.com

6 Unique Problems for IP Owners  User-generated content  Relative anonymity of users  Volume of users  Intersecting technology

7 Major Legal Issues  Trademark Infringement and/or Dilution  False Advertising  Copyright Infringement  Misappropriation of Name and/or Likeness  Defamation  Spam

8 Trademarks and False Advertising  Trademark: Word, logo, slogan, tagline etc…that identifies source  Infringement: Use of same or similar mark in a manner that creates a likelihood of confusion  Dilution: Limited to "famous" marks. No likelihood of confusion required.  False Advertising: Ad is likely to confuse or deceive consumers. No trademark use.

9 Trademarks and Social Networks  "Love" and "Hate" Pages  Usernames that incorporate trademarks   False Affiliation  Traditional Infringement/Counterfeiting

10 Copyright Law Generally  Protects Expression of Ideas  Examples:  Photographs  Motion pictures  Sound recordings  Books  Paintings

11 Copyright Infringement  Ownership of copyrightable subject matter  Violation of Exclusive Rights  Examples:  Copying  Distribution

12 Copyright and Social Networks  Video Games - Miller v. Facebook, Inc., 2010 WL (N.D. Cal. 2010)  Music - Henley v. DeVore, 2010 WL (C.D. Cal. 2010)  Photographs - Agence France-Presse v. Morel, case No. 10-civ-2730 (S.D.N.Y.) (March 26, 2010)

13 Misappropriation of Name and Likeness  State Law  Commercial use of another's name, likeness or other attributes of personality prohibited  No confusion required

14 Defamation  State law  False statements to third party  Malicious intent sometimes required  Harm to Reputation

15 Spam  Federal and State law  Prohibit unsolicited messages  s  Text messages

16 Who is Liable?  Varies depending on law  Contributory Infringement  Vicarious Liability

17 Contributory Infringement  Direct Infringement  "Knowledge of infringing activity"  "Induced, caused or materially contributed to the infringing conduct of another"  Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences v. Network Solutions, Inc., 989 F.Supp. 1276, 1279 (C.D. Cal. 1997)

18 Vicarious Liability  Direct Infringement  Profiting from such direct infringement  "Declining to exercise a right to stop or limit" the direct infringement.  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 545 U.S. 913, 930 (U.S. 2005)

19 Copyright and the DMCA  Takedown Notice  Identify Material  Ownership  Good faith belief of infringement  Misrepresentations  Viacom Int'l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., 2010 WL (SDNY 2010).

20 Twitter's Trademark Policy  Twitter's Trademark Policy provides that "[u]sing a company or business name, logo or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others or be used for financial gain may be considered a trademark policy violation. Accounts with clear intent to mislead others will be suspended; even if there is not an explicit trademark policy violation; attempts to mislead others may result in suspension." (last accessed July 6, 2010)

21 Other Twitter Policies Name Squatting Policy  "Attempts to sell, buy, or solicit other forms of payment in exchange for usernames…may result in permanent account suspension." (http://help.twitter.com/entries/18370-name- squatting-policy) (last accessed July 6, 2010)http://help.twitter.com/entries/18370-name- squatting-policy Copyright and DMCA Policy  Copyright owners may issue a complaint with Twitter and demand that copyrighted material be taken down. (http://help.twitter.com/entries/15795-copyright-and-dmca-policy) (last accessed July 6, 2010)http://help.twitter.com/entries/15795-copyright-and-dmca-policy

22 Facebook's IP Policy  Facebook states that once a complaint is made, "[s]o long as everything appears to be in order, we will promptly remove or disable access to the content. We will also notify the user and, if requested, provide your report to the user. We will terminate repeat infringers when appropriate." (http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php) (last accessed July 6, 2010).http://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php

23 Best Practices - Offensive  Proactive Acquisition of Usernames  Use of Social Network Programs  Review of Competitor Advertisements and Understanding Social Network Advertising Practices (Keyword Advertising)  Use of Social Network Watch Services

24 Best Practices - Defensive  Compliance for Your Business  Takedown Notices  Demand Letters  Litigation  Social Network Policies

25 Best Practices – Advantages of Using Social Network Policies  Expeditious  Budget Friendly  Eliminates Identification Problem  Builds Enforcement Record

26 Facebook, Twitter and the Next Generation of Social Media: Opportunities and Risks for Your Business July 13, 2010  John "Rocky" Rawls, Partner  Valyncia Simmons, Associate


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