Just Sayin’

A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Words – And Maybe A Lawsuit

What do Gigi Hadid, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Khloe Kardashian, and Victoria Beckham have in common? They’re just some of the celebrities, big and small, who’ve been sued for copyright infringement by photographers, often paparazzi, for posting photos on their own social the photographers took of them. Often, this was after…

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When It Comes To Posting Your Photos, Ask Permission, Not Forgiveness

There’s a theory to which my girlfriend subscribes: “Ask forgiveness, not permission”. While I generally agree, it doesn’t apply to posting photos of you someone else takes.   Recently, a federal court threw out a lawsuit against influencer and supermodel Gigi Hadid, for posting to Instagram a photo of herself that was taken by a…

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No Ifs, Ands or Bots. Bot Use Disclosure Now Mandatory In California.

As anyone who shops online knows, many sellers and service providers offer messaging options that allow visitors to ask questions and interact with the site. Often, the “person” they’re communicating with isn’t real (although it often seems human – “Hi! I’m Tina! Can I help you?”).   It’s a chatbot, a type of bot that…

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Authenticity – Influencers Should Never Have It Take A Vacation

I read a surprising article about a couple, the Smiths, who run the Instagram @The_greatescape.blog, which claims about 28,000 followers. The blog details their two year round-the-world trip. The article is about Ms. Smith admitting that she wasn’t honest in her blog about the couple’s experiences during their three months in the Dominican Republic.   She’s…

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Silence Isn’t Golden If You’re an Influencer

Most influencers are aware of their obligations to clearly disclose when they have a “material connection“ to a brand they’re endorsing. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Endorsement Guides’ disclosure requirements, you can check out a short blog or longer article I wrote that talks about them.   But, a…

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How Influencers Can Influence More Revenue and Stay Out of Trouble

Social media platforms such as YouTube and Instagram have become the go-to destination for video content consumption by teens and millennials. It far surpasses what they consume on television. These platforms (often referred to simply as “social”), collectively generate billions of views, and hundreds of millions of hours of watch time, every single day. Teens…

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Register Your Copyright Before You Register Your (Infringement) Complaint

There have been several high-profile copyright infringement lawsuits filed in the last few years. Two high profile ones were Marvin Gaye’s estate sued Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, for allegedly appropriating some of Gaye’s famous song “Got to Give It Up”, into their big hit, “Blurred Lines”. Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson were sued twice,…

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“Dilbert” On Contracts

As those of you who know me well, or have caught my article or presentations on it, I’m evangelical about writing and revising contracts in understandable, conversational English. To me, a contract’s primary objective is to be a clear set of instructions. This puts the parties on the same page about its subject matter, and…

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Influencers Need to Be Under the Influence – of the Laws Governing Endorsement Disclosures

Being a social media Influencer can be very lucrative. Brands are more willing than ever to pay popular Influencers lots of money to tap into their millions of followers, to promote their products to what has proven to be willing consumers. The Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC”) is paying attention. They’ve consequently ramped up enforcement…

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Got Rights? A Jenner or Kardashian Will Probably Infringe Them

I really thought I wouldn’t be writing about this again. I thought that Kylie Jenner and her sisters would hire and listen to knowledgeable and competent trademark and copyright attorneys for their future business endeavors, after: Kylie Jenner infringed several of multi-platinum singer Kylie Minogue’s trademarks; and, then she and her sister, Kendal Jenner, infringed…

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