Addressing legal issues with the latest technological developments and social media trends.
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Sand in hand on a black backgroundInteractive online platforms have become an integral part of our daily lives. While user-generated content, free from traditional editorial constraints, has spurred vibrant online communications, improved business processes and expanded access to information, it has also raised complex questions regarding how to moderate harmful online content. As the volume of user-generated content continues to grow, it has become increasingly difficult for internet and social media companies to keep pace with the moderation needs of the information posted on their platforms. Content moderation measures supported by artificial intelligence (AI) have emerged as important tools to address this challenge.

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Friends drinking rooftop partyYour company wants to use a picture taken outside of your office at an event you are hosting or sponsoring. Perhaps the image shows someone wearing your clothing or other product or using something showing your brand. Possibly you participated in a parade and want some images showing your company’s float or views from the float along the parade route. Maybe the image shows the outside of your building or the immediately surrounding area. You may have hired a photographer to take the pictures, they may have been taken by an employee, or someone may have found them on a third-party website or social media posts. The pictures may depict people who were on the street or present at the event, and they may include images of one or more buildings or local landmarks.

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red heart balloonWe previously wrote on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that represent art and how that concept is starting to be embraced by the art world. Enter Banksy, a celebrated graffiti artist and political activist whose real name and identity remain unconfirmed. For the past couple of decades, Banksy’s popularity has grown, including a celebrity following, and some of his art pieces have fetched $500,000 or more. One of Banksy’s most famous stunts was having one of his pieces, Girl with Balloon, self-destruct right after being sold at a Sotheby auction. (A shredding mechanism was built into the golden frame holding the work and, as soon as the auctioneer’s gavel fell, selling the piece for about $1.4 million, the piece started passing through the frame which started shredding the canvas.) The winning bidder ultimately opted to keep the piece in its shredded form, and Sotheby’s described the event as “the first work in history ever created during a live auction.” The piece has since been on display at a prestigious German art gallery, and experts suspect the value has increased at least by 50 percent. Go figure.

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Kitchen with smart home icons overlaid“Hey Siri…” “Alexa…” “Okay Google…” These are just some of the buzzwords and phrases that have entered day-to-day vocabulary as a result of the explosion of smart technology. Internet of Things (IoT) devices are in our cars, in our workplaces and on our bodies. But nowhere is smart technology more prevalent than in our homes. The array of services that are available coupled with the growing number of companies and service providers eager to innovate, should only grow this technology’s market share in the coming years.

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abstract data into black hole

The last decade saw explosive growth in enterprise migration to the cloud, a trend driven by the promise of lower overhead costs and greater scalability. Given this, many have made the leap and moved both non-mission-critical workloads and mission-critical functionality into the cloud.

This is where “data gravity,” a phrase coined by Dave McCrory comes into play. Data gravity is the “effect that attracts large sets of data or highly active applications/services to other large sets of data or highly active applications/services, the same way gravity attracts planets or stars.” So, in the simplest terms, data gravity is the idea that increasing volumes of data can cause data to function like an anchor, making it increasingly difficult to move as the data in question continues to increase.

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digital art in a homeNon-fungible tokens (or NFTs) are unique blockchain-based tokens that can represent almost anything, including physical assets. NFTs have been growing significantly in popularity in recent years because of this potential to “tokenize” anything and provide a way to transfer ownership of digital assets to holders. An NFT can be described as a certificate of authenticity. Most NFTs today are based on the Ethereum blockchain, but some other blockchains like TRON and NEO also support NFTs.

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US Capitol Building and Dome (East Front)Social media has experienced an unprecedented growth in popularity and usage since its inception. This is owed in large part to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Unlike their print counterparts, internet publishers enjoy an increased level of freedom and immunity under Section 230 for the content they publish. It is Section 230 that gives social media companies, large and small, the ability to manage or host third-party content without fear of lawsuit. As intermediaries, Section 230 ensures these companies will not be liable for filtering decisions that allow them to establish their own standards and delete or modify content they consider obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable—regardless of constitutional protections. But Section 230 also protects them if they decide not to filter such content. However, recent events suggest that Section 230’s until now all-encompassing shield could soon be less so.

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A video play idonOn November 24, 2020, Dave Chappelle posted his “Unforgiven” stand-up set to Instagram and publicly called out Viacom and Comedy Central over the streaming rights and revenues from his early-2000s hit, Chappelle’s Show. As we previously explained, rather than litigating what seemed to be Viacom-friendly contract language, Chappelle was taking the issue to “his real boss”—his fans—by calling for a boycott of the show on two major streaming platforms: Netflix and HBO Max. By the end of 2020, both platforms had taken the show down. Chappelle hoped to use the boycott as leverage to renegotiate a better deal.

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Closeup of broken chainBuilding upon the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), on November 3, 2020, Californians voted to approve Proposition 24: the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). The CPRA does not replace the CCPA but rather adds to and modifies the language of the CCPA to strengthen consumer privacy rights and perhaps, in the future, form a basis for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data transfer adequacy. While the CPRA is a landmark legislative accomplishment for privacy rights, it creates new problems for blockchain-based technologies, particularly those provisions regarding the right of correction and principles of data minimization and storage limitation.

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marijuana plantsWith the inauguration of President Joseph Biden in January and the attaining of a narrow majority by Democratic party in Congress, there’s been some excitement in the cannabis space, as well as many questions revolving around one central unknown: How will the Biden administration and the swing in Congress leadership impact cannabis reform?

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