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Legal Ramifications

Like My Facebook Page? You’re Mine. #OWNED

by · December 13, 2013

I imagine you’d ruffle a few feathers among your Twitter audience if you were to tweet that you “own” them, but the fact is that a platform—access to an audience—has value, whether or not the antiquated laws relating to property can or should apply to social media.

“You don’t ‘own’ any audience,” as Jeffrey K. Rohrs, author of the recent book Audience, observed in a recent interview for the MarketingProfs podcast. “In this era of permission marketing, no audience is owned.”

True, and yet even short-lived access to a valuable constituency does have monetary value. (In fact, there’s a formula that purports to calculate how much money Twitter “owes you” based on your following.)

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Facebook’s Photo Fiasco: Protecting Your Personal Images

by · September 10, 2013

Once again, Facebook has proposed changes to its governing documents, stating the social network’s right to incorporate users’ images into advertising. [Check out the redlined versions of the “Data Use Policy” and “Rights and Responsibilities” for details on the proposed changes.] Understandably, site users became upset and privacy groups raised a ruckus, prompting Facebook’s top brass to put the pending changes on hold (for now).

The basics of intellectual property haven’t changed: you still own copyright in your photos. Moreover, you already gave Facebook “a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post,” even prior to the controversial changes being proposed.

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“Sorry” Indeed: Why Most Company Apologies Suck

by · August 1, 2013

J.C. Penney made a colossal mistake when they changed their pricing structure, alienating their bargain-hunting base. The bungled strategy led to the departure of Penney’s CEO, Ron Johnson, but before he left, he did one thing right: apologized.

Mistakes are part of doing business. Some mistakes result in annoyance (Apple Maps), others outrage (Instagram’s terms of service change). In some cases, a mistake becomes an international incident, like the Asiana airline crash in San Francisco that killed three people and injured dozens.

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Google Glass is Watching You: Are You Protected?

by · April 15, 2013

Google is about to augment your reality. Google Glass adds an overlay of rich data to your real-time sensory experience. You can visually index your surroundings, conduct Google searches, capture and share pictures and videos, and even translate your voice into another language.

Amazing? Absolutely. Dangerous? Potentially.

Consider this: you have no right to privacy in terms of where you travel on the public streets. Would you want someone wearing one of these headsets snapping a photo of you entering an adult store? What if someone captures a couple’s romantic moment on a bridge, and it turns out they’re engaged in an extramarital affair?

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