Kraig Baker Discusses the Legal Risks of Social Media at SMB Seattle

Kraig Baker, who heads Technology, E-Business and Digital Media practice at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP in Seattle, spoke this week at the monthly Seattle Social Media Breakfast about legal issues that arise when using social media in the corporate space.

A lack of privacy

From the onset Baker stressed the fact that times have changed and privacy has become a popular topic of concern amongst social media practitioners. We’ve become more than just content consumers, we’ve also become content creators and much of what happens online is open to the public. In other words, we’ve all become personal brands and have a public life and thus should be aware of what we’re saying online and how it may reflect the employer we work for.

Social media liability isn’t as scary as most people think

The biggest concern for liability falls under the category of first party liability and can include:

*defaming the name of a company
*violating the FTC blogging rules
*invasion of privacy

Be careful of copyright infringement

Pay attention to copyright and trademark law, especially as far as photos and videos are concerned. Be aware of creative commons licenses when using photos and be sure that there is clearance for everyone captured on video. Be careful of publicity rights for content created on behalf of your company by employees and be mindful that there must be precise clearance of use.

Key Takeaways:

*Bloggers must reveal any benefits or gifts received for posting content.
*Not every brand views viral activity as a good thing.
*The data collector is the one who owns the data (as opposed to the subject).
*International law can be and often is different than laws in the states.
*Different states have different laws for contests and giveaways.

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