The Federal Trade Commission has issued a press release announcing that, by a five-to-zero vote, the commissioners have approved a settlement with Twitter, stemming from charges that the social media and social networking site had deceived consumers by failing to protect personal information and potentially compromising their privacy.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently sent over 90 letters to celebrities, athletes, marketing firms and other influencers, warning them to disclose clearly and conspicuously their relationships with brands when endorsing products through social media. This is the first time that the FTC has directly targeted social media influencers, highlighting requirements set out in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has approved certain uses of drones or unmanned aircraft systems in the National Airspace System for film and television productions. This is a breakthrough for the entertainment industry, but the FAA's approval is not without restriction.
The Federal Trade Commission recently issued a press release indicating that, following a review of many national television and print advertisements, warning letters have been sent to a number of companies – including some of the largest advertisers in the United States – noting that they had failed to make adequate disclosures in some of their advertising.
The US Supreme Court has reversed a Second Circuit decision and held that Aereo's service of providing mini-antennae to its thousands of customers to receive over-the-air broadcasts counted as a public performance of those broadcasts under the Copyright Act. Essentially, it found, Aereo was no different from cable companies, whose ability to freely transmit programming is limited under the act.
While social media, wireless and mobile technology and cloud computing can provide opportunities and capabilities unheard of just a few years ago, to a small business owner, figuring out how to capitalise on those opportunities and take advantage of those capabilities, without being overwhelmed with the challenges (and without incurring massive expenses in the process), is no trivial challenge.
'Crowdfunding' refers to the collective effort of individuals who network and pool their money, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organisations.There remains some confusion as to the mechanisms by which funds are made available. At present, there are four major categories of crowdfunding activity which can be used by, for example, musicians and film makers.
Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently spoke to members of the advertising industry, urging them to provide "effective and meaningful privacy protection" to consumers with respect to online tracking. She said that consumers feel "unease" with online tracking, and that they are still awaiting "an effective and functioning do-not-track system".
The governor of Nevada has signed legislation that enables the state to enter into agreements with other states that legalise interstate online poker. The move follows a memorandum from the Department of Justice suggesting that it no longer believes that non-sports related online betting and wagering (eg, online poker) is prohibited by the Wire Act.
Iconic music entertainer Chubby Checker is suing Hewlett-Packard for trademark infringement based on a mobile app named "The Chubby Checker". The suit alleges that purchasers of the app had been misled into believing that Checker had endorsed the app and that the use of his name would confuse users who might reasonably conclude that the singer had some association with the app bearing his name.
A California court has granted the motion picture studios and producer behind The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey a temporary restraining order against Global Asylum, blocking the release of Age of the Hobbits. Asylum has a history of creating low-budget films with parodied titles of Hollywood blockbusters timed to coincide with the release of their major motion picture counterparts.
Almax SpA's new EyeSee Mannequin contains a camera incorporating facial recognition technology that allows retailers to record information about the individuals passing by their shop fronts. In the coming years and months retailers, regulators and lawyers alike will have to grapple with the legal implications of such technology in advertising and marketing.
The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Division of Gaming Enforcement recently unveiled new temporary regulations applicable to mobile gaming in Atlantic City casinos. With a focus on preventing underage gambling and protecting the security of mobile gaming, these new regulations will permit established and licensed casinos to enable mobile gambling on their property.
The US television networks require that all revisions to existing commercials be submitted for review and approval prior to airing. Substantive changes, such as those involving claims, must be submitted in storyboard or script form for preliminary clearance, followed by a final, slated version and as-produced script for final approval. Minor revisions need be cleared in final form only.
The Federal Trade Commission, the primary government regulator of advertising in the United States, is to hold a workshop to discuss its guidelines for appropriate disclosures in online advertising. Items suggested for discussion include how effective disclosures can be made on social media platforms and mobile devices, and when disclosures provided separately from an initial advertisement can be considered adequate.
The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently breathed new life into Viacom's billion-dollar copyright infringement suit against YouTube. It vacated the district court's summary judgment against Viacom and remanded the case back to the lower court, instructing it to determine whether YouTube had knowledge of specific infringing material and wilfully blinded itself to that knowledge.
The US Department of Justice has reversed its decade-long position on the applicability of the US Wire Act to online gambling that does not involve sports betting. This opinion may well clear the way for states to become more aggressive in legislatively enabling intra-state online gaming.
In a proposed amendment to rules that have been in effect since 2000, the Federal Trade Commission has tabled revisions to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act that "would require parental notification and consent prior to the collection of persistent identifiers where they are used for purposes such as amassing data on a child's online activities or behaviorally targeting advertising to the child".
New Jersey recently announced a new corporate tax compliance initiative for media companies. Companies that come forward voluntarily can pay reduced tax and avoid significant penalties. However, companies have only until November 15 to take advantage of this programme.
A recent report suggests that the improper use of the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) behavioural icon is threatening to dilute the self-regulatory effectiveness of its campaign to educate consumers on the risks of online behavioural advertising and enable them to make an informed judgement in seeking to control the use of their browsing behaviour across multiple websites.
Advances in digital wired and wireless technology are rapidly expanding the types of both media and device that advertising, marketing and brand professionals can use to reach consumers. With technology as a dynamic enabler, cloud computing represents yet another shift in the ability of advertisers and agencies to reach their target audience, and for consumers and businesses to interact with the marketing community.
Facebook is facing a class action charging that it used minors in its advertising; at least two or three other such cases are pending. In each case the allegations are essentially the same. Facebook takes user names, pictures and preferences, using its "Like" buttons, and then merges them with paid sponsorship and advertising to target specific advertisements – sometimes referred to as 'enhanced' or 'premium' advertisements.
The Federal Trade Commission is seeking feedback from interested parties regarding updates to the online advertising guidance, based on the fact that when it was first released, social media, mobile marketing, 'apps' and similar innovative advertising and content distribution mechanisms either did not exist or were in their infancy.
The Wall Street Journal has established a secure mechanism which allows "newsworthy" materials to be uploaded to its separate, but internal, secure servers. The new service, Safehouse, is a logical outgrowth of the age-old newsgathering function. When viewed against the backdrop of the notorious WikiLeaks controversy, the service appears a prudent - if perhaps overdue - innovation.
An inter-agency working group has released a report making sweeping recommendations relating to the marketing of food to children. The recommendations in the principals bifurcate foods into two categories: foods deemed to make a "meaningful contribution to a healthful diet" and foods whose advertising should be limited due to their nutritional content.
Three academic legal scholars have filed an amici curiae brief in support of the Viacom entities in the Viacom v YouTube appeal. The brief states that the case hinges on "the legal tests for contributory and vicarious liability for copyright infringement from the use of Internet sites... to reproduce and disseminate large amounts of copyrighted material without authorization from copyright owners".
Viacom has filed its notice to appeal the decision of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in its billion-dollar case against YouTube and Google. The court ruled that YouTube is protected against claims of copyright infringement by the safe harbour provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
In the billion-dollar case brought by Viacom against YouTube and Google, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled in favour of Google and YouTube on a summary judgment motion. The court held that YouTube was protected against claims of copyright infringement by the safe harbour provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
An action brought by the Federal Trade Commission and 35 state attorneys general against LifeLock and its chief executive Todd Davis for an advertising campaign displaying Davis's Social Security number in full-page advertisements in major newspapers and billboards across the country has been settled for $11 million. The settlement resolves claims that LifeLock's advertising was deceptive and misleading.
Due to the growing use of social networking website Twitter, on which users (or 'tweeters') post messages (or 'tweets'), the courts are increasingly being asked to rule on issues raised by the site. In recent cases the courts have considered the impact of Twitter on fundamental constitutional rights and the question of whether tweets can constitute libel.
Over the past year there has been much talk of the phenomenon of 'social media'. In broad terms, this means the adoption of social networking tools and digital communications technologies to upload and transmit content to a wide audience. Although these capabilities are by no means new, it is the mass market adoption of these technologies that is driving change.
The US District Court for the Central District of California has rejected Universal Music Group's claim that Veoh Networks' business was essentially based on the infringing use of copyrighted works of others, notably musical groups and artists. The judge's decision vindicated Veoh supporters who have consistently maintained that Veoh is protected by the safe harbour provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
New York State Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden has ordered Google to turn over account information about an anonymous blogger to model Liskula Cohen in order to enable her to pursue a defamation claim. The judge noted that if Cohen could prove that the blogger's statements were factually inaccurate, this would refute the argument that the posts were merely opinion and would support a legal claim of defamation.
Six years after it began, a case involving Nestlé's use of a person's image has been returned to the trial court to determine whether Nestlé's label and advertising campaign constituted an integrated single publication. The California Supreme Court has ordered the trial court to answer the following question: what is the correct way to calculate the statute of limitations in lawsuits involving rights of publicity and product labelling?