There are approximately 160 million Facebook users in the United States; nearly 20 million people use Twitter.
For many small businesses, private citizen and corporations, the question now is not whether to use social media in its business, but how. There are a variety of challenges and pitfalls that anyone can face when navigation the changing waters of social media both private and professional.
Travieso Law helps see you through the complex layers of social media law and policy. With an expertise in privacy, labor, corporate and criminal law, the team pulls from decades of experience to assist in the most sensitive social media cases including:
1) Disclosure of Confidential Information
Often unknowingly, confidential information, such as trade secrets, may be disclosed by an employee or other party with knowledge on popular social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Confidential information may also be disclosed via blogs, chat rooms, and anonymous blog comments.
2) Unauthorized Use of Trademarks
Unauthorized use of third party trademarks on a social media site may lead to legal liability for trademark infringement, dilution or unfair competition.
3) Unauthorized Use of Copyright-Protected Works
Copyright-protected works, such as text, videos, music, photographs, and source code, are often copied from another location and used on a social media website without the authorization of the content owner.
4) Defamation Issues
Some of the features that make social media attractive, such as real-time interaction and the ability to post on the fly, are the same ones that could result in unintended legal liability. Statements published to a limited group of “connections” or “friends” that arguably defame a third party may result in legal action against the poster.
5) Electronic Discovery
The courts have begun to grapple with issues of discoverable information in electronic form beyond the usual emails and scanned documents. Today, “tweets” on Twitter, status postings in Facebook, and discussion forum postings on LinkedIn are all discoverable information to the same extent as emails and text messages.
Just as third-party materials posted to a social media site may infringe copyright or trademarks, or disclose confidential information, posting photographs and video without proper releases may violate the privacy or publicity rights of individuals.