Personal Data Collection Is Getting Trickier

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

October 7, 2015

On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“EU”) issued a judgment declaring that the United States Safe Harbor Decision is invalid. That Decision had been rendered by the EU Data Protection Commission (“Commission”) and permitted, among other things, personal information about European private citizens that was collected by an EU location of a social media site to be sent to servers in the United States. Continue reading

Crowdfunding Isn’t Charity

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

“How do I get backers for my project?”

You see this question asked frequently on social media sites. The projects are sometimes serious, but have often advanced little more than a dream. The person seeking funds may have heard of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and perhaps he or she has heard that people contributed to quirky projects like a person being willing to make potato salad; the site as of this writing reports 6,911 backers who have pledged a total of $55,492. Although this project began as a joke, the creator, having in fact made the potato salad, ended up using the proceeds for charity. Continue reading

Beware – Price Fixing by Algorithms

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

So, you’ve designed a great looking poster.  Posters are sold all over Twitter and other social media sites, and now you’ve been lucky enough to land a space in Amazon Marketplace. You’re not the only one selling posters, of course.  Some even resemble yours.  Great minds think alike, after all.  So, how do you know what price to advertise?  Prices are constantly changing and being discounted on Amazon. Overpricing on a sensitive item like posters can make you dead in the water.  Yet, you need to cover your costs and make a living.

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Crowdfunding Disclaimers Aren’t Adequate to Avoid Liability under U.S. Securities Laws

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

Warning to non-United States equity crowdfunding sites: it’s not enough to warn that offerings are not being made to United States residents.  Your procedures must verify that investors are not United States residents.  On November 10, 2014, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) entered a cease and desist order (the “Order”) against crowdfunding site Eureeca Capital SPC (Case No. 3-16265). Continue reading

Internet Startups: Beware of Being a Money Transmitter

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

So, you’ve got a great idea. Social media platforms are all about finding new solutions for old inefficiencies. And what’s more efficient than serving as a platform for an account holder to obtain a single cash payment in exchange for virtual currency he/she/it has received through interactions on numerous merchant sites? Or a platform aggregating other monetary remuneration due from a large number of vendors? Aggregation would be relatively easy with the right platform and software. Continue reading

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U.S. Copyright Office: Non-Humans Need Not Apply

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

British nature photographer David Slater reportedly took an expensive trip to Indonesia to snap nature pictures. He set up his equipment in the wild and left it for a while to see what it would pick up. And it did. A macaca nigra monkey became intrigued and snapped hundreds of pictures of itself, some of which were even in focus. (Among many reports: Who owns the copyright to monkey’s selfie?) Continue reading

Social Media Start-Up Capital: Don’t Try a Ponzi Scheme

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

You’ve got the perfect idea for a social media site, but how do you attract a critical mass of members to launch it? Your credit cards are maxed out and your friends and family are tapped too. Can you attract members by offering to pay cash incentives for recruiting other members, who in turn recruit other members and then others (known as “downline recruits”)? Continue reading

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Social Media and Digital Assets in M&A Transactions

Regina M. Joseph

Regina M. Joseph

Wait! Don’t skip these articles thinking that social media doesn’t affect you. Social media has invaded our lives, with only a Rip Van Winkle being immune (maybe). Some may scoff and others may cringe. The well initiated may laugh that the social media landscape,  Continue reading