Legally Speaking – Legal Stuff for SEMs – SMX West

A session on the legal aspects of search and domains was an interesting addition to this years’ agenda. Moderated by Sarah Bird and featuring a selection of legal experts, a range of topics relating to search and affiliate marketing were placed under scrutiny.

Travis Crabtree – Looper Reed & McGraw, P.C

First up was Travis Crabtree. Travis outlined the 2 key criteria that must exist for a case to exist in respect to ‘misuse of Trademarks’. Those two things were either a use in commerce must occur, or that there must be consumer confusion. However differences did exist between California courts and those of New York.

Social Networking Up 93% Since 2006

Market research firm Netpop has released a new study today that suggests that social media is expanding at a fast pace. According to their findings social networking has increased 93% since 2006. This comes to no surprise to most of us that have followed sites like Twitter and Facebook that have seen unprecedented growth over the last couple of years.

However, one interesting statistic is that 54% of micro-bloggers post or “tweet” daily. Also 74% of the daily micro-bloggers are under the age of 18.

Apparently, 105 million Americans contribute to social media, but only 7 million are “heavy” social media users who connect with 248 people on a typical week.

Hilarious Video: Jon Stewart Tries to Explain Twitter

Any words I type would not do justice to the awesomeness of this video. If you’re a Twitter user–or don’t understand what the fuss is about–grab a coffee and enjoy the next 5 minutes!

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Anonymity, the Courts and Protection

The Maryland Court of Appeals has overturned a previous ruling that would have required a website that was beingrestroom-sign charged with defamation due to comments from anonymous ‘users’ to turn over their identities immediately.

All of this stems from a case where a Dunkin Donuts franchise received some non-complimentary anonymous comments about its bathroom cleanliness on the online forum NewsZap.com run by Independent Newspapers. The store is in Centreville, MD and having never been there I, Frank Reed, have no comment as to the cleanliness of their facilities. I will say though that I have encountered a few Dunkin’ Donut restrooms that could be introduced to some disinfectant and air freshener for sure but I digress.

Copyrights and the Internet Make for a Very Odd Couple

The Internet content economy is like the candy rack when you were a kid. You know what I mean. You content-thiefcovet that bag of Skittles but you’re caught a little short on funds that day. So to feed your candy habit you sneak a bag out of the store. You know you broke the law but it seemed so innocent and what the heck, every kid deserves a bag of Skittles now and then right?

Well, for all of the folks out there looking through the content that exists out on the Internet and then ‘borrow’ it for their own sites or blogs there may be more retribution than you are used to. The NY Times does a great job of sorting through this increasingly complex subject. Seems like one of the interesting offshoots of a crappy economy is that everyone suddenly gets protective and starts to clamp down so nothing can be done for free anymore. I believe this is good thing for people to protect their efforts but the reality it is also near impossible to do.

Marketing News Roundup, March 2

It’s Monday (okay, well, Tuesday by the time you’re reading this), there’s a lot of news out there. To keep you on top of it all, we’re rounding up all those loose bits and putting them here.

  • Have you heard of this little thing called “Twitter”? Yeah, this link isn’t about that. But if you were on Twitter today, you couldn’t have missed the chatter about Skittles’s latest move—turning its site into a gateway to its content on Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia and . . . okay, Twitter. I lied.
  • Poor YouTube. After all the hype of the “YouTube presidency,” President Obama is moving on: embedding cookie privacy complaints from watchdogs precipitated a switch to Akamai to host the president’s weekly videos.

Microsoft Leaked Memo Suggests Live Search Rebranding as Kumo.com

kumo-logoUPDATE: Is this a re-brand of Live Search to Kumo or is Kumo just being used as a staging site? It seems that if Microsoft just wanted to test a new interface, it could do that without using the Kumo brand. Still, we’ve put in a request for an official response from Microsoft and will let you know what we hear back.

UPDATE 2: We’ve received an official response from Microsoft:

Microsoft is using the Kumo.com URL for internal testing purposes only. Given the depth and breadth of our current online service offering, we recognize a need to sharply define and align our online brands. However, we have nothing new to announce at this time