Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel

User-Generated Content

User-generated content promotions create brand loyalty in a community environment. Additionally, these promotions allow fans to express their ideas and enthusiasm about products. For these reasons, many companies are conducting contests and promotions in which consumers develop software applications, commercials, slogans, and other marketing materials for the companies’ use. Our attorneys are well versed in the advertising, intellectual property, publicity, and privacy issues that arise with the use of user-generated content. We understand why you want to use it, and we look for ways to allow you to use it.


Google Dodges a Bullet: Plaintiffs Lack Standing to Sue Over Co-Mingled Data

According to the US District Court for the Northern District of California, Google’s co-mingling of the personal identification information (PII) it collects from users across multiple product platforms does not create an injury sufficient to grant standing to sue in federal court. Merely alleging that Google profited off users’ data is not enough. Rather, plaintiffs must allege some specific economic deprivation resulting from the use of the data.


Searching for Answers over Keyword Searches: CDA Blocks State Law IP Claims

By now, most consumers are familiar with those sponsored links that appear on Yahoo!, Google, or Bing after they search for something on the Internet. Those “keyword” advertisements are a significant source of revenue for the online search engines, appearing on consumers’ computer screens next to the “organic” search results when consumers type in relevant phrases or terms. The ads work because they are designed to mirror the consumer’s search and ideally to provide the consumer with exactly what they were looking for.


FTC Hosts Workshop on “Native Advertising”

The Federal Trade Commission hosted a day-long workshop on “native advertising” on December 4th in Washington, D.C. Native advertising, in which advertisements or sponsored content imitate the form and style of the editorial content in which they are featured, has been around for decades, but is drawing increasing scrutiny as it proliferates in digital media and on social networks, and takes on new and increasingly sophisticated forms.


Youthful Indiscretions? California Offers Minors a Clean Slate

Already one of the strictest states in the country when it comes to protecting online privacy, California recently passed another law that may require website operators to change their privacy policies. The new law would essentially be an insurance policy against youthful bad judgment, allowing minors to erase those embarrassing public comments or internet posts that could make for awkward conversation with a future admissions officer or employer.


CDA Provides Safe Harbor for Internet Service Providers, Leaves Businesses Up the Creek

Recent court decisions suggest that federal law may limit businesses’ legal options to hold an internet service provider liable for harmful or damaging content posted to the Web. Under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) – a 1996 law aimed at regulating obscene and indecent internet content – an internet service provider cannot be treated as the “publisher or speaker of any information” provided by a third party content provider, even when the service provider makes the information available to the public.


Recent Changes to Facebook Promotions Guidelines is Good News for Marketers

If you’re a business owner thinking about running a promotion on Facebook, your life just got a little bit easier. Facebook recently revised its Promotions Guidelines and is now allowing businesses to run promotions directly on their page timelines instead of requiring them to run promotions through Facebook applications (apps).


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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.