February 2010

Bad Advertising Part 5: Kellogg’s Cereal Killers

February 28th 2010

Bad advertising is the fun pause that refreshes here on UsefulArts. On our previous bad advertising safaris, we’ve: Found the the worst law firm ad ever, and helped get it pulled down. Treated the airport as a museum of misfit ads. Pointed out that UPS has a pretty bad tagline. Chronicled the offensive or silly […]

Social Media in Legal Marketing: Yelp Faces Class Action Lawsuit for “Extortion Scheme”

February 26th 2010

Section 230 Isn’t for Bullies Online communities such as Yelp are usually protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This online law protects publishers; without it, social media would likely never have been.  It’s such a valuable protection that I think even lawyers in South Carolina deserve it. However, Section 230 has limits. […]

Boston’s WHDH and ADM Make Bogus Copyright Claims to Silence Critics and Clowns

February 24th 2010

Do you remember conservative radio talk-show host Michael Savage? He sued a Muslim advocacy group for copyright infringement because it dared to quote what he said on the radio as part of an advertiser boycott. A U.S. District judge tossed the suit, and supported the doctrine of Fair Use, saying that anyone who listens to […]

Pennsylvania “Blake Robbins” Webcam Privacy Suit Discussed: What Good is Suing A School?

February 23rd 2010

As the case of the Pennsylvania school system that allegedly spied on their students gains broader attention, the Lazy Man and Money blog raises a provocative question…why sue a school? Lawyers and lawsuits are controversial, especially as we debate health care and malpractice reform.  I’d like to hear what you think about this. The more […]

Boston Police Charge Those Who Videotape Arrests as “Wire Tappers”

February 22nd 2010

This week the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Boston Police Department for using “wiretapping” laws to prevent citizens from taking video footage of police arrests.  Some would naively think such laws were passed to protect the people from the authorities, not vice versa. (details in Law.com) Following Training? Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll rejected […]

Legal Advertising & Bar Regulation Are a Mess: No §230 for Lawyers?

February 20th 2010

The uniformly wonderful Georgetown Law prof, Rebecca Tushnet, notes in her 43(b)log a recent opinion of the South Carolina Ethics Bar that is somewhat dismissive of  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. State bars are struggling to figure out how to regulate everything from keyword advertising to chat-room participation to marketing done by intermediaries. There […]

Surveilling Kids: It’s Still Spying and Full of Trouble

February 19th 2010

According to a class action lawsuit, a Pennsylvania school district used laptops it issued to high school students to regularly spy on them at home via the built-in webcams. In a court filing (Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District), the parents of student Blake Robbins are suing the school district for: invasion of […]

Protecting Kids Will Legitimize Surveillance and Censorship: 2010 Online Law Trend

February 17th 2010

Your Digital Papers, Please? Last week at the Davos World Economic Forum, Microsoft’s chief research and technology officer floated what to date has been an obviously bad idea: that Internet users should be licensed. The suggestion is covered and advanced in a Time Magazine article that takes the familiar dystopic theme of the Net as the […]

Digital Marketing Investment & Threats of Foreign Ownership

February 16th 2010

Hungry investors stake their claim in digital marketing IPOs. Back in December I suggested that 2010 will be a big year for digital IPOs. We’ve already seen this playing out in the FriendFinder IPO. New theme: concern over foreign ownership of social networks. As social networks become investment targets, international ownership may fuel new concerns […]

Obama + Google: A Love Story

February 15th 2010

Presidents Day and Valentine’s Day came together in Fortune Magazine’s feature story. This cover featured an inspired visual melding of brands, and the title promises something juicy along with tech policy. The article chronicles Google’s shift, like much of Silicon Valley, from being blind to government policy to building a lobbying arm to participate in politics […]