Category Archives: Social Media

Upcoming seminar to focus on social media law

Are you a Pennsylvania attorney who is interested in how social media affects your clients’ business?  Co-course planner Nicole Galli and I are putting the finishing touches on a continuing legal education seminar that will provide practical advice about the interplay between social media and a wide array of legal disciplines.

The course, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, will cover topics such as:

  • Getting your Business Online:  Before using social media sites for business purposes, businesses need to know how social media site terms of service, privacy policies, FTC advertising guidelines, service level agreements, terms of use, intellectual property laws  and SEC regulations can affect that activity.  This session will cover the key elements of each area that attorneys need to know before advising clients in this area.
  • Social Media in the Workplace:  How state employment laws, the NLRB and other workplace issues affect the way that employers and employees can use social media.
  • Litigation Update:  An overview of the latest legal issues involving the use of social media in discovery, the potential impact of social media on juries, and movement of the court of public to an online medium.
  • Attorney Use of Social Media:  Practical tips and potential pitfalls for attorneys who use social media for marketing and communication purposes.
  • Industry Focus:  A discussion about the particular social media legal issues facing the healthcare industry, educational institutions, non-profits and companies involved in FDA regulatory matters.

The course is planned for the following dates and locations:

  • October 8 in Pittsburgh
  • October 9 in Philadelphia, with live webcast (
  • October 18 in Mechanicsburg, PA

More details are available at the PBI website.

Planning for the digital afterlife: What happens to social media accounts after the account holder dies?

For many individuals, social media accounts can hold some the most personally valuable intellectual property that the person owns. Photos, videos, written content, online personas (i.e., personal “brands”) — all of these reside in cloud-based servers that are, by design, password-protected and accessible only to the account holder.

When a person dies, the person’s heirs may want to take control of their loved one’s social media accounts to post memorials, information about funeral arrangements and other notices. This activity may or may not be consistent with what the account holder intended to  occur after death. If the person’s will contains detailed instructions and passwords, then the heirs will have a clear direction. However, this is not often the case. Continue reading

Bogus legal notice goes viral on Facebook

A fake “copyright notice”  has been making the rounds in Facebook posts this week.  The notice attempts to restrict the use of the posting member’s  profile information.  It also encourages other Facebook users to post the notice to their profile.  Quite simply, the notice is a hoax.

The copyright notice meme first made the rounds in Spring 2012, and it returned this month.  Its return prompted Facebook to publish a “fact check” bulletin debunking the hoax by stating: Continue reading

Twitter announces new policy to publicize copyright takedown notices

Social media service Twitter recently announced a change to its Copyright and DMCA Policy that will result in more publicity for allegations that content posted on Twitter infringes a U.S. copyright law.   This publicity will occur in the allegedly infringing user’s Twitter feed, as well as a third party website that seeks to call attention to overzealous allegations of infringement.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) allows copyright holders who find their content being infringed on the Internet to submit a “takedown notice” in which they demand that the Internet service provider remove the copyrighted material.

Under the Twitter policy, when Twitter removes material an allegedly infringing Tweet or media, it will automatically post a Tweet in the user’s feed, such as the following:

Presumably in an effort to not be viewed as favor one side over the other in the infringement dispute, Twitter will also send a copy of each DMCA takedown request to the Chilling Effects website, where it will be posted for public view.

According to Twitter, the new procedures represent “an effort to be as transparent as possible regarding the removal or restriction of access to user-posted content.”

The Twitter policy follows in the long-lived footsteps of Google, which in 2002 implemented a policy of sharing copies of many DMCA takedown notices to Chilling Effects.