This week, users of Instagram scored a victory with the company’s management over a plan to amend Instagram’s terms of service that would allow the third-party use of users’ photos without their permission or any form of compensation. This change, which was scheduled to take effect in mid January, caused an uproar among Instagram’s user base.
Posts from the ‘Social Media’ Category
By now we all know at least one friend who has tweeted or posted something to Facebook without considering whether it will offend people. Ok… so, by “friend,” I mean we’ve all done it. Hopefully, your gaffe caused—at most—a few snickers, face-palms, or awkward conversations. For Steelers’ running back Rashad Mendenhall, his emotional tweet caused him to lose a multimillion dollar endorsement deal. Read more
While at least one Senator is drafting a bill to stop the “unreasonable invasion of privacy” resulting from employer access to your Facebook page, the House has rejected a similar proposal from Colorado Representative Ed Perlmutter. The measure would have prevented employers from collecting Facebook user names and passwords as a condition of employment. The law was added as an amendment to the FCC Reform Act Bill, but was shot down 236-184. Republican opposition spelled disaster for the amendment, though it’s not clear whether House Republicans were genuinely opposed to the legislation or simply did not want to address the matter as part of the FCC Bill (which incidentally, they passed later that day).
As this blog has reported previously, Facebook is vehemently opposed to employers gaining access to employee pages. However, presumably because Facebook lacks the legal and technical capacity to stop the practice, Facebook (and its user base) has been ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to do something.
Given the attention on this issue, it’s practically certain that these measures will be reintroduced in future legislation. We’ll no doubt be blogging about these developments, so check back with us for updates as this saga unfolds.
Would you be okay with Dave from human resources regularly monitoring your Facebook account? We have all known for some time that employers routinely check information publicly available on the Internet about current and potential employees as part of background checks and other employment decisions. Somehow, we’re okay with that because it is already out there. But, did you know that some employers are requiring greater or complete access to your private online accounts (e.g., Facebook) to either continue employment or to get hired? Read more
Although the new Silk browser by Amazon has just been released on the eagerly anticipated Kindle Fire, there looks like there could be potential legal trouble for the new browser in the future. As Stephan Kinsella shows, they may run into some problems with copyright infringement. Read more
Pandora, the popular internet radio website in which you can personalize your own stations by listening preference, is facing the threat of a class action lawsuit in Michigan. The charge is being led by Michigan resident Peter Deacon, who claims that Pandora is breaching customer privacy. Read more
A report on 89n.com seems to indicate that Google+ is losing momentum.
From the graphs in their post, it actually appears that Google+ is hemorrhaging interest. While Google+ has been gaining users, those users are posting much less.
If Google+ wants to be a go-to networking service, it needs to reach a critical mass like Facebook, and to a lesser extent, LinkedIn have. That’s why these services are so entrenched – users go to these services because so many of their friends and colleagues are on them.
Here is a graph:
Head to their website to see the rest.
EDIT: Please note that this was not a survey of all users, but ones that used ManageFlitter’s service.
The torrential rains in the DC area this past week culminated with a late night escapade amidst a driving rain into my home’s crawl space to pump about a foot of water.
That being said, we never lost internet connectivity (through that, Irene, or the earthquake), so we are able to present this week’s Five For Friday.
First, it is becoming increasingly clear that (for better or for worse) IP addresses are not the silver bullet in identifying potential infringers accused of unlawfully downloading copyrighted works. It will be interesting to see if the industries’ strategy changes course.
Second, a new week = a new social media platform. This one, Mightybell is counter-intuitive. Here is why.
For being the last week of summer, last week was pretty busy. Let’s take a quick look:
- First, as I posted last night, a blogger was held liable for blogging the truth. Have no fear, this seems like a decision destined to be overturned on appeal.
- The ongoing trademark saga between a little known author and the Texas DoT made for some interesting reading. We have the story here and our analysis here (Why you can sometimes “Mess with Texas”).
- Groupon’s CEO sent out a meandering memo to his staff defending his company. We later learned that that very memorandum may delay Groupon’s IPO.
- My firm sued Verizon business. The story is here.
- What bothers me about Yelp.
- Another silly case, an embarrassed substitute teacher, and our initial take on the Protect IP Act.
We’ll have more in a bit.
Busy day for the blog today. We’ve already had the most views ever today and we still have 6 hours to go. First a little on Irene and then on to the Five for Friday. The first part has some information even the natural disaster free west coasters can use.
What calamity will come our way next? I am so glad I recently purchased a home in an old now new earthquake zone and close to the water in a hurricane-prone area. That being said, here are some useful links for affected East Coasters to get themselves through the next few days:
MSNBC.com’s page highlights some useful mobile apps in times like these. Speaking of Apps, FEMA just launched its Droid App just in time. A search did not reveal an App for iOS though. Have no fear, iOS Apps are here.
The Washington Post has a good resource on all the Hurricane information. The AP, has a nice blurb on how best to stay connected. And, of course, if you want up to date weather information: go to the source.
Why is social media and the legal implications of what we do on it so important? Because 50% of adults use it. Without further adieu, here is another solid Five for Friday:
First, part of the now-infamous law that was to take affect Sunday that would have prevented private online chats between teachers and students has been put on hold by a Missouri state court judge. Details are here and here. Gov. Nixon, who signed the bill, now wants it repealed.
Second, Gawker.com reports on a new trend that may be ending right after it began: elevator tweets. The first was a twitter account dedicated to Conde Naste. A copycat one started from Goldman Sachs. Not surprisingly, Twitter refused to freeze the Goldman Sachs account. Instead, Goldman Sachs has launched an internal
witch hunt investigation, according to the New York Post’s Page Six (though GS denies this).
There is a good lesson to be learned by this: (1) have a plan to protect proprietary information; (2) instruct employees about when or where you should discuss proprietary information (hint: not in an elevator with strangers); and (3) require employees to sign a written policy and train them about the consequences of revealing proprietary information. I, of course, can help you with that.
Third, look for a story and analysis on a new case next week (or tomorrow if I batten down the hatches quick enough). The maker of the Angry Birds games has sued a toy manufacturer for making “Angry Birds” stuffed animals. In the meantime, read about copyrights here.
Fourth, recent law grad Justin Silverman has the most comprehensive analysis on the legality of BART’s actions here and here. I have no examined it yet, but I will when I have a few minutes over the weekend and offer my comments next week. Since that time, BART has been the target of Anonymous and protests. Some of BART’s “exposure” has been of their own doing.
Speaking of hacking, a hacker exposed (via msnbc.com) the e-mail and passwords of 66,000 people (including US government employees). It seems like the government and contractors are always one-step behind in prevention.
Fifth, here are a few tidbits worth further reading:
- Here is a good primer how click fraud works. We’ll have more on click fraud in the coming days.
- Here (via cnet.com)is more on the MP3tunes decision we discussed a few days ago.
- Google may be changing their search engine’s algorithm soon.
- The NYPD arrested more than 50 gang members (via mashable) who they tracked down using social media. We discussed this in an earlier blog.
I will also try to blog about the Protect IP Act next week in all its controversy.
Stay safe and have a good weekend. Please feel free to offer your insights in the comments.