Appropriation of famous logo is trademark infringement? You be the judge.

Banksy on branding. The elusive street artist is seemingly frustrated with his own commercial success. To him great street artists need to remain criminal to keep their art pure. Most appropriation art could violate commercial law but is not criminal, unless it involves a violation of Copyright law’s DMCA. The image above is not a copyright infringement, but is potentially trademark infringement and dilution of (...) [Read More]

Can a celebrity’s post mortem right of publicity enter the public domain?

Banking on a dead celebrity’s right of publicity being public domain is an extremely dangerous advertising practice. Rights of publicity are a suite of legal rights that have developed from invasion of privacy and trademark law since the early 20th Century. There is a web of state and federal laws that can protect dead celebrities– even celebrities from (...) [Read More]

When is Advertising Invasive or Just “Creepy”?

Cookies are one of my favorite things.  Usually, this refers to the oatmeal raisin variety rather than those tiny bits of computer code that empower websites to remember a user’s login, keep items in a shopping cart and greet the user by name when she returns.  Warm and fuzzy, right? Sometimes, not so much.  I (...) [Read More]

What is Protected as “Private” Online?

Less than one might  think. Online privacy focuses on the use of personal information and how it is contributed, collected, shared and used by the user and other people and companies providing web services.  “Personally Identifiable Information” (a.k.a. “PII”) is protected by a web of laws – but non-personally identifiable information collected by many websites (...) [Read More]

Undressing Online: Managing User Privacy in an Interactive World

The evolution of digital and social marketing makes it easier than ever for agencies and marketers to target consumers. But there are gaping legal pitfalls. Because of lax or downright misleading privacy policies, some of the largest online players – including Facebook, Twitter and Google – have bull’s-eyes on their backs; and the Federal Trade (...) [Read More]

What is a Flash cookie and why should we worry?

Starting with the basics, what is a “Flash cookie” you ask?  They are files known as LSOs (local shared objects) installed on your browser by websites that use Adobe Flash. Similar to HTML cookies (hence the Flash cookie name), an LSO stores data such as graphics, usually for user convenience so graphics and video files load more rapidly upon a (...) [Read More]

Online Behavioral Advertising: Protecting Consumer Privacy

Does online behavioral advertising (OBA) invade consumer privacy? Federal regulators claim that it does and threaten to increase regulation of online advertising if the industry does not soon provide consumers with tools to understand and control what personal data is shared with OBA. “Do-not-track” tools will soon be available so consumers can opt-out of OBA (...) [Read More]