Online Business Defamation
Defamation is one of the most prevalent legal concerns facing online businesses. Defamation is any false statement of fact that is harmful to someone’s reputation and published “with fault,” meaning as a result of negligence or malice. Libel is generally classified as written defamation and slander is generally classified as oral defamation. Slander can be made via oral comments to another, or also by comments broadcast over the radio or television. Until the recent development of “podcasts” and other types of online videos, such as those featured on YouTube, defamation on the Internet was largely deemed to be Libel. As far as proving defamation is concerned, true statements and statements that are opinions are defenses. The problem for businesses is that nany negative statements are really only opinions. If a statement is incapable of being objectively proven true or false, it’s not defamation.
When defamation occurs online through […]
Protecting Company Trade Secrets
Protecting trade secrets is not usually the first thing that comes to mind when conceptualizing business intellectual property. But, employees often leave to work for competitors or themselves and may take invaluable company confidential information with them. The law allows companies to protect trade secrets, but only if employees understand the information is confidential and your business has shown the intent to keep it confidential.
In a 2006 Illinois case, Liebert Corp. v. Mazur, four employees resigned from a company to accept positions with a competitor, but downloaded huge quantities of company data before leaving. Those employees were sued by the business, but the court ruled that the downloaded customer lists and sales quotes were not trade secrets protected by law. This was because the company did not adequately protect them by their “failure to either require employees to sign confidentiality agreements, advise employees that its records […]
COPPA Rules Compliance
Websites that are targeted towards children under the age of 13 or that knowingly collect information from children under the age of 13 must comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) COPPA rules (technically, the “COPPA Rule”). I have posted a few prior articles explaining the basics behind COPPA compliance and the 2013 COPPA changes that affected the data collection practices of many website operators .
As a refresher, here are several steps website operators should follow to ensure they are following the basic COPPA rules established in the beginning.