User-Generated Content Concerns for Promotional Offerings

Karl Ruthledge - Promotional

Incorporating user-generated content (e.g., video and photo contests) into a promotion can be an effective way to not only build brand awareness but also develop ties with potential customers.  However, use of user-generated content can be risky. In particular, requiring participants to post photos or videos and share such content could not only potentially tarnish …

Congress Offers Cybersecurity Guidance for Small Businesses

Shane Olafson - Cyber Security

Earlier this week the House Small Business Committee published new cyber security and data privacy guidance for small businesses.  Those publications can be found at http://smallbusiness.house.gov/resources/committee-publications.htm, and come on the heels of a Committee hearing that highlighted cyber risks facing small businesses. According to the Committee, nearly 60 percent of small companies go out of …

Why Your “Mundane” Online Promotion May Have Not so Mundane Gambling Consequences (Part II)

My previous post provided an overview of gambling concerns associated with a promotion. This post is an extension of that topic and addresses the need for official rules, some of the necessary provisions to include in such rules, and state registration and bonding requirements. Quality official rules are critical for a promotion. At a minimum, …

Why Your “Mundane” Online Promotion May Have Not so Mundane Gambling Consequences

“Almost every company offers sweepstakes and contests, what is the concern?” This is the response I get on almost a daily basis when speaking with clients and their marketing departments about a proposed online promotion. Unequivocally, the Internet and social media have become the most efficient mediums operators use in order to disseminate information and …

Can an online retailer use brand name searches for products it doesn’t carry?

When a consumer is shopping online, online retailers (such as Amazon.com) sometimes receive search requests for brands of products the retailer doesn’t carry.  When receiving such a request, can the online retailer be held liable for trademark infringement when it displays the searched for brand name as part of “search results” that include competitors’ products …

Criminal or Civil Liability for Sharing Streaming Accounts?

We are at the beginning of a new era of media consumption.  Traditional content delivery systems such as satellite and cable television are hemorrhaging customers to a wave of “cord cutting” that has been facilitated by the availability of streaming services such as Hulu Plus, Netflix and HBO Go.[1]  Now that smart televisions are becoming …