March 2009

B2B Newsletters With Something to Say Sure Beat the Alternative

March 31st 2009

You may recall that last year I wrote about how holiday e-cards are a window into brands and how companies think about customers. I spend much more time on e-newsletters, and just like holiday cards, there’s a difference that separates the few with vision from pointless marketing blather. Mark Brownlow illustrates this in his video […]

Breaking: Federal Court Backs ACLU in Sexting Case

March 30th 2009

Siding with the American Civil Liberties Union, Judge James M. Munley has barred the Wyoming County District Attorney from pursuing threatened felony charges against teenage girls he has accused of sending explicit photographs over their cell phones. The controversial case over so-called “sexting” was filed by the ACLU, along with the parents of three girls, […]

Google on Section 92A of New Zealand’s Copyright Law

March 30th 2009

While commenting on New Zealand copyright law, Google makes some interesting facts known about the DMCA. According to an article in New Zealand PCWorld: Google notes that more than half (57%) of the takedown notices it has received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, were sent by business targeting competitors and over one […]

Offensive Obama Ads Aren’t Limited to the US

March 27th 2009

Around Inauguration Day I featured Pepsi’s logo aping the Obama brand, as well as some tasteless products, such as Yes We Can perfume and the Obama thong. Apparently, this enthusiasm and questionable judgment isn’t confined to Americans.  Here are a spate of foreign ads, which are sure to get you thinking. Racist or Ridiculous? “Black in White” […]

Finkel v. Facebook: Online Defamation Case Tests the Limits of Defamation Law

March 26th 2009

Recently we’ve seen an employer charged with defamation for making true disclosures that would hurt a former employee, and Medical Justice which seeks to prevent online defamation by prohibiting patients from participating in social media. Now, a New York teenager has sued Facebook and a handful of its users for discussing her in a private […]

Wieneke’s Law of Advertising: Death and Soft Drinks Don’t Mix

March 25th 2009

Though traffic accidents still rivet the attention of passers-by, most companys wouldn’t want to sponsor the carnage. Its bad for brand. That’s the basis of Wieneke’s First Law of Advertising: “Avoid associating your brand with death or terrible harm.” This seems like obvious advice, but during just the first quarter of the most recent Super […]

UK Gov’t to Intercept Social Networking Communications, Too

March 24th 2009

According to the EU Data Retention Directive, ISPs in the EU are required to store customer internet traffic for up to 12 months. Predictably, the UK government wants to go even further with its “Interception Modernisation Programme” or IMP. IMP will monitor all web communications of UK citizens using deep-packet inspection. The information will be […]

Gold Farming: 400,000 Asian Workers Play “Dull” Video Games to Pad Americans’ Scores

March 23rd 2009

It’s called gold farming: video-game players perform routine tasks to gain points or abilities for other players. Such games often require the sacrifice of time to performing repetitive actions necessary to advance levels. So, what’s a time-strapped player to do?  Outsource part of playing the game. Here’s a link to such a service. Rowenna Davis […]

“Medical Justice” Gags Prospective Patients from Posting

March 20th 2009

Imagine if everything you discussed with your physician was required to be kept private. Not just information about you, the patient, but that information about your treatment by the physician had to be kept private too. The blog e-patients describes how the firm Medical Justice is helping doctors avoid consumer ratings, and the prospect of defamatory […]

1st Circuit Denies Rehearing Staples v. Noonan, Truthful Defamation Stands in Massachusetts

March 19th 2009

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has denied a petition to rehear the case that found that truthful statements in email can constitute defamation if they are made with malice. See our earlier post on Noonan v. Staples. The appeals court held that Staples failed to adequately raise the constitutional issue: Staples now […]