On August 20, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the district court verdict in Moore v. Hoff. This was a strange case but ultimately the question turned on whether the First Amendment protects true statements that cause someone to be fired. We won at trial on the issue of defamation, but the jury returned aRead more about Free Speech Victory in Minnesota[…]
I missed this when it was originally published. I spoke to the IABC a couple of weeks ago about internet law for marketing and public relations professionals. In attendance was Jen Carlton of Priority Marketing who blogged about the copyright and fair use portion of my talk. Thank you Jen! I’m not surprised that theRead more about Fair Use – Priority Marketing Blog[…]
“Mark Twain famously said that a lie can go around the world while truth is still putting on its boots.” MinnPost has a great article with lessons businesses can learn from the Shirley Sherrod story. Cooler heads and actual evidence should have prevailed in the first place.
A group called the U.S. Copyright Group (USCG) has filed a lawsuit against thousands of as yet unknown people who may (or may not) have downloaded or uploaded movies on file sharing networks. The strategy, which has been employed by others in the past, is to file or threaten to file a lawsuit and thenRead more about Why I Volunteered for the EFF[…]
One of the several reasons your trademark might be refused registration by the USPTO is that your proposed mark is scandalous or immoral. Without too much further explanation you might guess that a certain word starting with “F” and rhyming with “duck” might be problematic as a trademark. You would be right. Trademarks can beRead more about F-bomb Trademarks[…]
The Twitter account @BPGlobalPR has more followers than the real BP Twitter account. Yes its fake and they use the BP name and logo. The tweets are both biting and funny, at least to people who don’t work at BP. But is it trademark infringement? If trademark law exists primarily prevent confusion in the marketplaceRead more about Trademarks and Oil Spills[…]
“Sunshine Week is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.” See more information at www.sunshineweek.org
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has filed suit to in the wake of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. At stake is to what extent the State of Minnesota can continue to regulate corporate expenditures on campaign advertising. Here is the article which includes a link to the complaint.
A post on Duets Blog got me thinking about parodies and trademarks. What is interesting about this area of law is that parodies of brands are commonplace, but on they are given only narrow exemptions within the law. Take for example the number of gripe websites. This guy rips on Wal-Mart with his “Wal-ocaust” andRead more about Trademark Parodies[…]
Texas based Lookout Services has accused a Minnesota Public Radio reporter with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The reporter was doing a story about how Lookout had exposed the private data of a number of Minnesota consumers. Apparently doing your job as a reporter carries with it the risk of being a “hacker.”Read more about MPR Reporter Accused of “Hacking”[…]