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Algorithms behave pretty much as they are programmed to (for good and ill); augmented reality continues to seep into the auto industry; humans strive for immortality; and more …

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Managing reputation is tough when every person with a social media account is a potential critic with global reach. Organizations must contend with the concern that one negative social media posting could destroy hard-earned goodwill built up through years of thoughtful investments and interactions. While social media platforms allow for organizations to efficiently engage with their target audience, they also allow users to easily become the targets of reputational attacks, such as unfounded complaints or smear campaigns. The potential for posts to go viral, the ability for posts to remain with seeming permanence on the internet and the capacity for social media users to mask their identities make it difficult for organizations to mitigate the consequences of an online reputational attack. The good news is that victims of such an attack are not without recourse. Generally, there are four options for responding to a negative social media post:

  • Do Not Respond to the Post
  • Respond Directly to the Author
  • Contact the Social Media Platform
  • Litigation

If, when and how to respond are decisions that must be made by each organization individually after considering several factors, including those discussed below.

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“AI will most likely lead to the end of the world, but in the meantime, there’ll be great companies.” –Sam Altman

 

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a controversial topic. It is easy to imagine a near future where AI solves some of our greatest problems and a relatively more distant future where AI becomes our greatest problem. For now, AI has yet to rebel against us and is proving to be a valuable tool in our everyday lives. AI is being deployed to help companies improve productivity, reduce costs, streamline processes, and unlock analytics and insights that weren’t previously available. Like past disruptive technologies, AI presents new issues under familiar areas of concern. Every company needs to know how their data is being used. AI technology adds a new layer of complexity to that all-too-familiar issue.

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ethereum-ballWith the World Series upon us, here in Los Angeles, all eyes are on the Dodgers, who are in the hunt for their first championship trophy since 1988, a year best remembered for its epic mustaches and Kirk Gibson’s cinematic, two-out, walk-off home run. What may have gotten lost in the excitement, though, is a unique Dodgers fan giveaway that might also be remembered years from now.

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social-media-employeesWe often write about the benefits and pitfalls of social media usage. As companies and big businesses employ social media as an advertising mainstay, one pitfall we frequently encounter is the failure to properly manage a company’s social media handles. Like most pitfalls, these issues can be avoided. At a minimum, companies should have in place a robust and effective social media policy that is up to date on the current relevant laws, including privacy, advertising and employment laws. The policy should also include training, policing and reporting mechanisms that include clear guidance on what can and cannot come through on the company’s social media.

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The journey by which the blockchain and its underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) becomes an everyday aspect of doing business is one of a thousand small steps, many of them legislative and regulatory. In “California’s New Law on Corporate Blockchain Use,” colleagues Sara J. O’Connell and Riaz A. Karamali examine California’s recently signed SB-838, which amends Cal. Corp. Code § 204 (General Corporation Law) and Cal. Corp. Code § 2603 (Social Purpose Corporation Act) to allow certain corporations to use blockchain technology for certain corporate records. (Legislation triggering the formation of a “blockchain working group” that will evaluate the risks and legal implications associated with the use of the technology by state government and California-based businesses was also signed into law.)

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Too often, a company with a new, promising product is caught by surprise when a competitor asserts an infringement claim against it on the technology underlying the product. Sometimes, the surprise isn’t that such a claim has been made, but rather that the company’s CGL insurance doesn’t have—or expressly excludes—patent coverage. Over at Policyholder Pulse, our colleague Sean Williams examines this all-too-common quandary and looks at some options for “Plugging the Patent Coverage Gap.”

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directive on copyrightDo you like getting your news online, sharing videos or tweeting memes? A little piece of legislation known as The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market may signal the end of some of the internet’s simple pleasures. On September 13, the European Parliament approved new legislation that would overhaul the region’s approach to copyright law. As with the EU’s privacy regulations, the legislation could have an impact far beyond Europe, redrawing the lines of liability that exist between poster, publisher and platforms. Not surprisingly, technology companies and publishers like Google, Amazon, and Wikipedia strongly opposed the legislative changes.

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human-resources-social-mediaIn the last decade, social media platforms have embedded themselves in the human resources function in companies worldwide. Companies like LinkedIn and Indeed have built empires based on clever deployment of social media to assist in the hiring and networking processes, even as human resource professionals use social media for more than finding the next great executive or software engineer to propel the business forward. Social media plays a key role in hiring, firing and all aspects of employee management and relations. Various studies and surveys have shown that up to 80% of all companies make some use of social media platforms in human resource decisions.

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Forming a legal entity is one of the first big steps for a startup, so if you have reached this stage, congratulations! Now comes the hard part: choosing which type of legal entity to form. Company founders often ask us for advice on the kind of entity they should form. For many startups, making the right decision on the type of entity makes it easier to attract investors and recruit and retain employees. The wrong decision can lead to unnecessary tax burdens, time-consuming legal formalities or roadblocks while trying to attract investors. So what are my options as a company founder? Let’s dive in:

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