This is the first in a series of blogs with tips for minimizing legal risks when using social media to promote your business or organization.  This blog looks at some general guidelines for promotional activity in the social media context.

Promotion of your business through social media can have significant advantages. Social media platforms provide tremendous built-in audience potential.  Facebook has some 1 billion monthly active users, and Twitter boasts more than 270 million.  Social media also helps target advertisements much more precisely and provides opportunities for obtaining mass direct endorsements (e.g., with “Likes”), and indirect endorsements by using content obtained from individual social media activity.
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In a recent March 25, 2013 decision from the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion ruled that the jury could draw an adverse inference against the plaintiff for his failure to preserve his Facebook account and the intentional destruction of evidence. 

The case, Gatto v. United Air

In two closely-watched cases with potentially broad implications for the way businesses and individuals use the Internet, Google, Inc. suffered setbacks in the continuing battle over responsibility for intellectual property infringement.  Both cases – one copyright and the other trademark – cast clouds over Google’s practices concerning its users’ employment of third parties’ intellectual property.

The development of digital technology has revolutionized the way artists create and distribute their work.  Although simplifying and streamlining the creative process, the digital age has created a myriad of legal issues that the courts must now address on a daily basis.  One such issue involves the protection of copyright information embedded in or around

Can a company use its competitor’s trademark as a “keyword” in advertising it purchases on popular search engines like “Google” and “Bing”? The answer is evolving with consumers’ – and the courts’ – sophistication in Internet use and practices and, according to at least one recent appellate decision, depends on the context in which the