Central Florida BlogCon & Social Media Law
As anticipated, 2012 is continuing to be an active and interesting year in entertainment and intellectual property law. The big news this week has been the verdict in the patent infringement lawsuit between Apple and Samsung over the alleged infringement of mobile phone patents, which awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages. As these companies also have a number of lawsuits pending in other countries, this will likely hardly be the end of this patent battle.
There was also news this week on the social media front, as a Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcolm Harris filed a motion challenging the judge’s previous ruling allowing prosecutors to subpoena his tweets. Harris was arrested in October, and his case is among several similar cases for which prosecutors are seeking social media posts as part of prosecuting the case. This case has brought some interesting issues to light, such as the question of who owns a user’s tweets, as well as the issue of whether one has any expectation of privacy in regard to his or her social media posts. The judge has previously ruled on attempts to quash the subpoena by both Harris and Twitter. In the case of Twitter, the company’s attorneys had argued that the subpoena violated Harris’ freedom of speech and right to privacy. The judge rejected this argument, ruling that the posts were made publicly, and with no expectation of privacy. Twitter is appealing this ruling, so it will be interesting to see how that action turns out. Harris’ filing also asks that the judge recognize his standing to challenge the subpoena on first amendment grounds, as well as on the ground that it violates fourth amendment protections against warrantless searches. This is definitely a social media case to keep an eye on, as the interplay between social media and the law will likely produce some interesting legal rulings.
Speaking of social media, I also wanted to mention an upcoming event at which I will be speaking, the Central Florida Bloggers’ Conference. CFL BlogCon is being held Saturday, September 15th at the Orlando Science Center. My presentation is titled “Copyrights, Trademarks and Social Media, Oh My!,” and will explore the legal issues that bloggers may run into, and how to avoid legal problems when blogging and using social media. It’s coming up soon, and seats are filling up quickly, so if you’re interested in attending, register and start planning your schedule over at the Central Florida BlogCon website.