Tag Archives: internet law

Social Networking Legal Issues

social mediaSocial networking has provided new opportunities for businesses to reach customers and promote their products and services. However, social media tools can present tricky business law situations just like other types of correspondence. Social media is public and many people can view the statements on the company’s accounts. It’s important that these accounts reflect the company in a positive light.

Some businesses have dedicated social media employees. In other cases, a variety of people have access to the company’s social media accounts. The best way to prevent problems with social media is to have clear policies and train employees thoroughly on these policies. Many business law attorneys help companies draft appropriate policies to prevent problems in the future.

What kind of business law issues do social media accounts present? There are a variety of business issues to consider. The first is discrimination. If managers or other employees make discriminatory comments on social media, the company can be liable for these statements. Sexual harassment is another potential business law concern. There have been cases where managers or other company representatives harassed or appeared to harass workers through social media. The company has significant liability in these cases as well.

Insider trading is another potential business law issues. If your company is publicly traded or is part of a regulated industry, employees may create problematic posts without understanding the repercussions. If they disclose information that affects trading, such as leadership changes or product releases, this can expose your company to significant risk. In financial and banking companies, there are very strict federal regulations concerning what kind of information can be disclosed. An inappropriate post could create a serious legal situation.

It may seem like a good idea to have employees share positive reviews of the company on blogs and social media accounts. This actually presents business law issues. In these cases, the workers must disclose that they are being paid to write the reviews or that they are employed by the company.

What can you do to prevent these issues? Consult with a internet law attorney to gain an understanding of your company’s exposure to risk when it comes to social media. Carefully control the comments and posts that are issued on your company’s behalf. You should limit access to these accounts to workers that are reliable and conscientious.

When Bartering Agreements Go Wrong

Business bartering is a common practice among many companies. It’s especially frequent between small businesses, start-up companies and freelance workers. These agreements provide significant advantages. Each party receives a benefit in the situation, typically without investing money. These agreements can be an exchange of goods, an exchange of goods for services or services for services. Usually, money isn’t involved unless the value of one item is significantly greater than the value of the other item or service.

bartering agreementBartering is commonly used in e-commerce situations. One party may not have knowledge about how to set up websites, online transactions and social media accounts. The other party may have extensive knowledge about ecommerce issues but needs a type of support or product that the other party offers. This is a frequent modern scenario in bartering agreements.

What happens when these agreements go wrong and only one side fulfills the agreement? This is a common business law problem. In most cases, people are honest and follow through on their commitments, but there are instances when the other party deceitful or dishonest and puts you in a difficult position. Often, people don’t realize they have protection under business law in these situations. The agreement between the parties constitutes a contract and breaking a contract has legal repercussions.

Bartering is often informal. The two parties make an arrangement and often don’t write the agreement down. In other cases, they download contracts from the internet to solidify the agreement. However, if the agreement goes awry, a business law attorney can help you address the repercussions of the broken contract. If the bartering agreement involves significant amounts of time, products or services, it’s a good idea to consult with a business law attorney at the beginning of the process. This will help you ensure that your contract is thorough and protects you in problematic situations.

If you anticipate problems in the future with the agreement, it’s critical that you work with a business law attorney. The attorney can help you understand your liability and repercussions under your state’s business law regulations. The business law attorney can help you thoroughly document the transaction so that you have evidence in case of problems down the line.

Disputing Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting is a modern business law issues because it can cause serious problems for business owners. What does the term mean? It happens when a business owner has a trademark on a product or business name. A cybersquatter purchases the domain name associated with the product and refuses to release it unless the person pays a significant amount of money to purchase the domain name. This means the trademark holder does not have access to the appropriate domain name for his or her product.

Cybersquatting has a long business law history. It was most prevalent when businesses did not understand the importance of establishing an ecommerce presence. Some individuals purchased domains that represented well-known companies and attempted to sell the domain names back to the companies at a significant profit.

cybersquattingAn attorney can advise you about the steps you need to take if you think you are being victimized by cybersquatters. First, you should visit the site and see if is an actual website or a “this domain is for sale” site. You may also be the victim of cybersquatting if the website features products that are similar to those that your company offers. In other cases, the website may be legitimate and have a reasonable relationship to the domain name. According to internet law, this is not considered cybersquatting.

You have protection under federal law if you are the victim of cybersquatting. The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act is a U.S. federal law that bans cybersquatting. These types of disputes are generally resolved under the Uniform Domain Registration Policy which was developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. If you are dealing with a cybersquatting issue, you should work closely with a qualified business law attorney. There are many complex issues involved such as jurisdictions and the importance of proving the opposing party was acting in bad faith.

A business law attorney can help you sue the cybersquatter under the Anticybersquatting Protection Act. Your business law attorney may also advise you to work with an international arbitration system that was created by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers. Your business law attorney can advise you as to the best, most-cost effective option for your situation.