Posts Tagged: "Social Media"

A Look At Facebook Patents Covering ‘Big Brother’ Data Collection Technologies

Facebook users continue to be shocked at the amount and kind of data being collected by the social media platform, including recent reports about call and SMS text messaging data which Facebook has been collecting from Android mobile users. Along with the political heat Zuckerberg continues to take, Facebook itself could be on the hook for a record fine from the Federal Trade Commission if it’s found that the company’s data practices violate terms of a 2011 consent decree between Facebook and the FTC. With all of this focus on Facebook’s data collection practices, we decided to take a look at some of the social media technologies patented by Facebook at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which may give readers a better idea of just how this American social media giant leverages user data.

Are Today’s Social Media Tech Giants the Big Brother that Orwell Warned Us About?

Dystopian novels and science fiction often return to the subject of the loss of personal privacy which is often encouraged by the use of technology enabling constant, omnipresent surveillance. Perhaps the most famous example of this in the science fiction canon of the 20th century is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. First published in 1949, Orwell’s novel conceives of a world where government surveillance is so complete that the vast majority of citizens don’t mind being watched by two-way telescreens in their own apartments. Even the novel’s rebellious protagonist Winston Smith comes around at the end to fall prey to the same cult of personality that allows the government overseer — Big Brother — to remain in power… With concerns over the use of personal data fresh in the mainstream news, we’ll run a series of articles that will take a closer look at U.S. tech giants both in terms of the types of data they track and the purposes for which that data is used.

Zuckerberg Announces Facebook Users will Determine Trustworthiness of News

On January 19th, Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company would increase its efforts against “fake news” by asking its users to rate the trustworthiness of news sources being posted to the social media platform. Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook will utilize ongoing quality surveys to ask users if they are familiar with a particular news source. Using this data, Facebook will then rate each publication based on the user ratings and prioritize those that are most trusted to surface on news feeds. “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Social media enables people to spread information faster than ever before, and if we don’t specifically tackle these problems, then we end up amplifying them.”

Effective data management and governance for social media and cloud collaboration platforms

While there are a lot of irreplaceable benefits to leveraging social media and cloud collaboration platforms for business, there are also risks that, if not managed properly, leave organizations vulnerable to business and legal risk… According to Osterman, sometimes takes a significant event to drive decision makers to action in the context of good information governance. For instance, a lawsuit in which an organization is not able to adequately respond to an eDiscovery order, or a regulator’s request for information that cannot be properly satisfied, will often move information governance from the back burner to a properly funded and executed initiative.

The Legal Reality of Social Media IP: Who Owns What?

Today, as social media becomes more essential for businesses, there will almost certainly be an increase in intellectual property disputes about social media account ownership. Lawsuits relating to Twitter followers, LinkedIn connections, or Facebook friends are not off limits. These intangible assets — social media IP assets — are becoming increasingly more valuable to businesses… According to Ball, companies should be clear about who owns a social media account and what an employee can do with the account… Sarfati says that employers also need to recognize that social media is not just one thing – but rather a grouping of various websites that represent unique threats and opportunities to the employer’s bottom line.

Photo Sharing on Social Media & Copyright Infringement: What You Need to Know

With new social media platforms and photo sharing apps becoming more and more popular, the risk of copyright infringement through the sharing of photos is more present now than ever before. Not to mention, many social media platforms give the ability to re-post, save or share other people’s content. When so many options are available, allowing you to share someone’s photo at the click of a button, it is easy to forget about the possible legal implications of what you do on social media.

Selecting a Business Name in a Social Media Crazy World

Your business name is how people will identify with your goods and services, so you want to have one identity that is all your own. Simple enough really, at least in concept, but making a mistake at the selection stage will prove costly… It would seem virtually impossible to operate in the modern world without a website for your business, and soon it will be equally incomprehensible not to be using social media platforms in one way or another. The power of social media is only growing, and smart businesses are trying to position themselves to take advantage of the phenomenon. If you are serious about your business endeavors you too need to get in the social media game, and if you don’t already have a website for goodness sake get moving!

Bruno Mars, Warner Music Named Defendants in a Copyright Lawsuit Over Social Media Photo

On November 20th, both Peter Gene Hernandez, the American singer-songwriter-producer who goes by the professional name Bruno Mars, and New York City-based Warner Music Inc. were named as defendants in a copyright case filed in the Southern District of New York by Burbank, CA-based photographer Catherine McGann. The lawsuit targets Mars’ social media use of a photograph of himself taken by McGann when Mars was performing as an Elvis impersonator as a child.

Facebook’s Efficient Infringement of Social Media Platforms Continues to Impact Snap Shareholders

Snap has attempted to remain competitive with new features, such as increasing the allotted time for video capture and introducing new drawing tools this May. But it hasn’t been able to gain a foothold against Facebook, a company which reportedly offered to buy Snap for $3 billion prior to Snap’s IPO… “If we are unable to protect our intellectual property, the value of our brand and other intangible assets may be diminished, and our business may be seriously harmed,” one of the section titles in Snap’s S-1 filing reads. Of course, in the current IP landscape, there is no real ability to protect that property, especially where it pertains to patents. And Facebook’s copying of features which are valuable on the Snapchat platform has been blatant.

Like It or Love It: How Not to Get Pinned (Legally) When Using Social Media to Promote Your Brand

Twitter®, Instagram®, Facebook®, Pinterest® and other social media websites and apps are great avenues for advertising and promotion of one’s business and brand. However, in using social media to promote one’s business, there are a number of pitfalls that one must avoid. Using social media in relation to a business is not the same as using social media for personal, non-commercial use… The issues with using someone else’s copyrights, right of publicity and trademark in social media to promote a business is that the business is arguably profiting off of someone else’s property that does not belong to them. That can and does create a significant amount of conflict. Profiting from another’s property is what separates the use of social media in business from just personal use.

Copyright Preemption in the Smart Phone Society: The Ninth Circuit Clouds the Picture in T3Media

There is no question that smart phones have transformed the social and economic structure of society, and the integration of increasingly effective cameras has helped spark the revolution.  It is now the norm for people to document their lives through images of themselves and those around them, and to share those images through social media, where others then copy, edit, and reuse them within the blink of an eye.  Just imagine all the ways that photos are now taken, posted and virally spread via social media.  For instance, I have taken selfies, asked strangers to take pictures of me with my hiking buddies, and asked friends to send me images of people from their camera rolls. I have taken photographs of well-known personalities at private gatherings, and snapped pictures of individuals when they had no idea I was even there.   Sometimes I decide to post these personal images on Instagram or Facebook, and then away they go… Unfortunately, the Ninth Circuit failed in T3Media to fully and accurately address the limits of copyright preemption on state law claims involving the personal rights of individuals appearing in photographs.

Challenges for Trademarks in a Digital World: A Review of INTA 2017

Social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have provided the opportunity for brands to interact with mass audiences quickly and effectively, but this interaction is a two-way street. Increasingly the public is looking to social media as a vehicle to interact with brands when something goes wrong. Trademark professionals are having to consider not only which social platforms to deploy for their brands, but also work with marketing, communications and customer service teams to manage their brand’s presence online. Thinking of social media as “free” for those actively managing and promoting brands misses both the importance of the platform and the expectations of consumers in an increasingly connected world.

Managing and Protecting a Brand in the Age of Social Media

In 2016 social media users reached 2.3 billion. With an audience made up of consumers, competitors and industry influencers, social media is a melting pot of opportunity and risk. Social platforms have quickly become a go-to platform for engaging with customers. If used correctly, companies have the potential to build an online persona that stands out and drives commercial success… When big brands enforce their trademark rights against potentially infringing smaller entities, the David-and-Goliath-type battle can help to alienate the consumer market. Brands such as M&Ms are now using online personas – developed on social media – to gently enforce trademark rights.

The changing role of the trademark lawyer, managing complexity and generating insight to drive business advantage

The idea of brand value is evolving. Trademark lawyers must be concerned with everything that contributes to the protection of a brand, not just its trademarks. Protecting a brand now includes a number of issues that were simply not relevant to the role twenty years ago, such as: trademarks in domain names; the use of trademarks online; trademarks used in social media handles; and trademarks being mentioned in general online commentary.

Snap stock to be listed on NYSE, company to seek reported $25 billion in IPO

Although it seems likely that Snap will seek to secure around $25 billion during its IPO, the company itself doesn’t engage in a great deal of patent filing activity compared to other tech companies. According to analysis of Snap’s patenting activities published last November by CB Insights, a total of 46 U.S. patent applications filed by Snap between 2012 and 2016 were identified; this total is likely short of actual Snap patent application filing numbers during those four years because of the 18-month period it takes before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office publishes filed patent applications. Snap filed a total of 18 U.S. patent applications during both 2014 and 2015. 22 of Snap’s patent applications identified by CB Insights were directed at user interface and user experience inventions but other areas covered by Snap patent applications include automated content curation, network, spectacles as well as object, facial and audio recognition.