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Periscope Piracy Sets Up Grudge Match: Hollywood vs. Twitter

Shawn E. Tuma:

This is a prime example of the challenges that the law has when trying to keep up with evolving technology. The technology wins everytime and then we are left to clean up the mess later.

Originally posted on Variety:

Forget Mayweather-Pacquiao. There’s a more interesting fight brewing between Twitter and Hollywood.

The piracy of Saturday’s welterweight boxing championship enabled by Periscope, a livestreaming app recently acquired by Twitter, is setting up a conflict that could be just as brutal.

HBO and Showtime, which partnered on what will likely be the most popular boxing pay-per-view event ever, took a one-two punch of their own Saturday. First, they watched multiple pay-TV distributors experience technical problems transmitting the fight, which probably cut into their sales total.

But what made matters even worse is that countless people who did pay for the fight used their smartphones to re-transmit the fight to users of Periscope and, to a lesser extent, rival app Meerkat. Each stream reached hundreds or thousands of non-paying fans with a picture quality that was shaky and pixilated, yet still quite adequate.

If Twitter CEO Dick Costolo understood the implications…

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Why Hackers Love Companies Who Use Social Media – The Point

I read an interesting article that discusses the intersection between social media and cybersecurity. The gist is that the bad guys use information they learn on social media (recall my lessons on business situational awareness) to engage in social engineering / spear phishing attacks based upon that intel. Read more: Why Hackers Love Companies Who Use Social Media.


New York Court Permits Service of Divorce Papers via Facebook

Social Media SwirlJustice Matthew Cooper, of the Manhatten Supreme Court, made a landmark ruling that permits a woman to serve divorce papers on her estranged husband via Facebook messenger. In this case, it only makes sense to permit this:

  • The husband has deserted the wife
  • The husband has no fixed address or place employment
  • The husband’s only contact with the wife has been via telephone and Facebook
  • The wife has been diligent in trying to serve the husband but he has refused to make arrangements to accept service

Read more: EXCLUSIVE: Judge says Brooklyn woman can use Facebook to serve divorce papers

This is an interesting development in the law. Just a couple of years ago, a Federal judge in New York refused to allow service via Facebook — and I blogged about that case as well as the then-ongoing debate in Texas about a legislative proposal to allow service of legal documents via social media. I am sure we will see more of it as this is the natural trend for the law to take.


Part 3 of Series: Simple Ways to Use Social Media to Build Your Practice in One Hour

cordellHere is the third and final post in my 3 part series on Cordell Parvin’s blog: Lawyers: Simple Ways to Use Social Media Marketing in One Hour: Part 3 | Cordell Parvin Blog.

If you missed them, here are the first two posts:

I also have several other posts where I discuss my coaching experience with Cordell — check them out and give him a call, he doesn’t bite! Here is his website and his blog.

Do you have a reasonable expectation of privacy in social network posts? No, here is why …

Social Media SwirlThere is no reasonable expectation of privacy in information you post on social networking sites, regardless of what privacy setting you use.  

That is the rule that can be taken from Nucci v. Target Corp., a recent opinion from an appellate court in Florida. The court’s rationale is set out below, with citations omitted:

We agree with those cases concluding that, generally, the photographs posted on a social networking site are neither privileged nor protected by any right of privacy, regardless of any privacy settings that the user may have established. Such posted photographs are unlike medical records or communications with one’s attorney, where disclosure is confined to narrow, confidential relationships. Facebook itself does not guarantee privacy. By creating a Facebook account, a user acknowledges that her personal information would be shared with others. “Indeed, that is the very nature and purpose of these social networking sites else they would cease to exist.” 

Because “information that an individual shares through social networking web-sites like Facebook may be copied and disseminated by another,” the expectation that such information is private, in the traditional sense of the word, is not a reasonable one.
As one federal judge has observed,

Even had plaintiff used privacy settings that allowed only her “friends” on Facebook to see postings, she “had no justifiable expectation that h[er] ‘friends’ would keep h[er] profile private. . . . ” In fact, “the wider h[er] circle of ‘friends,’ the more likely [her] posts would be viewed by someone [s]he never expected to see them.” Id. Thus, as the Second Circuit has recognized, legitimate expectations of privacy may be lower in e-mails or other Internet transmissions.

We distinguish this case from Root v. Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC. That case involved a claim filed by a mother on behalf of her three-year-old son who was struck by a vehicle. Unlike this case, where the trial court ordered the production of photographs from the plaintiff’s Facebook account, the court in Balfour ordered the
production of a much broader swath of Facebook material without any temporal limitation—postings, statuses, photos, “likes,” or videos—that relate to the mother’s relationships with all of her children, not just the three year old, and with “other family members, boyfriends, husbands, and/or significant others, both prior to, and following the accident.” The second district determined that “social media evidence is discoverable,” but held that the ordered discovery was “overbroad” and compelled “the production of personal information . . . not relevant to” the mother’s claims. Id. at 868, 870. The court found that this was the type of “carte blanche” irrelevant discovery the Florida Supreme Court has sought to guard against. The discovery ordered in this case is narrower in scope and, as set forth above, is calculated to lead to evidence that is admissible in court.

Thanks to my friend Dale Rodriguez for bringing this case to my attention.

ISIS Selfies Demonstrate the Connection Between Social Media and Business Situational Awareness

What is Situational Awareness?

A Navy SEAL describes situational awareness in this way: “[i]n military-speak, situational awareness is defined as the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regard to a mission. More simply, it’s being aware of what is going on around you.” (SEAL Training Tips: Mental Preparation)

Situational awareness requires that you pay attention to the obvious but, of equal importance, that you pay attention to the subtle things around you. There is no better context to discuss this in than the world of the “selfie” — that is, a photograph that one takes of oneself — because the whole point of a selfie is that it is all about you, only you, and nothing else. It is the ultimate narcissistic action because the selfie-taker is broadcasting to the world that “it’s all about me.”

What does ISIS have to do with this?

Remember, “it’s all about me,” that is what the members of ISIS must have been thinking when they were recently taking selfies which they then broadcast all over social media. Indeed, they were so focused in on themselves — and how important they were and how the pictures were all about them — that they forgot to even consider the world around them. Literally.

Not good for ISIS. Why?

When they were taking their selfies, they were doing so from their “top secret” training camp and also included in their pictures were identifiable geographical features and landmarks that pinpointed exactly where this training camp was located in the Ninawa Province of Iraq. Take a look at a few of the images and you can see for yourself.

ISIS is going to feel the consequences of this lapse in judgment. You can read more about ISIS’ grand mistake here: ISIS Outsmarted: Exposing Top Secret Location Through Selfies

The real question is whether you and your business will also learn about the consequences of not having situational awareness when dealing with social media.


Do you understand business situational awareness and how your social media could be compromising it?

In 2012 I wrote a blog titled Business Situational Awareness & Social Media and explained how the use of social media by your employees — or, heaven forbid, yourself — could be compromising your business assets. Go review that (short) post as a little refresher. This is also a point I cover when I speak on social media law and you can hear that discussion here at the 15:00 mark of this presentation: Social Media Law: It is Real and, Yes, Really Can Impact Your Business (embedded below) as it too will only take you a couple of minutes to put it into perspective.

Now that you get the big picture of what I am talking about when I refer to business situational awareness, check out this fantastic post on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network by Martin Harrysson (@martinharryson), Estelle Metayer (@competia), and Hugo Sarrazin (@hugosarrazin) titled How Not to Unwittingly Reveal Company Secrets. Here is a teaser:

Here’s a quick quiz: Have you ever tweeted your business-travel plans? Does your LinkedIn profile describe what you do in great detail? Is localization enabled on your mobile device when you use social media?

If you answered yes to any of those, you and your company may have left footprints that your competitors can detect and analyze.

Does that sound familiar? Do you recall my story about my visit with the expert witness in the video presentation? Harrysson, Metayer and Sarrazin provide some more great examples of how companies’ assets can be compromised through the use of social media and, more importantly, provide 7 steps companies can take to help reduce their exposure. Go check out their article and, as you can see, the links are to their Twitter handles so why not say hello and let them know you appreciated their fine work!

You can click the following link for more posts on Social Media Law. Should you or anyone you know need assistance in dealing with these issues or just want to talk about the law in general, please feel free to give me a call (469.635.1335) or email me (stuma@brittontuma.com) or catch me on Twitter (@shawnetuma) and I will be more than happy to talk with you!