Social networking sites can raise publicity legal issues

June 14th, 2009 - 11:29 am ICT by ANI  

Washington, June 14 (ANI): Social networking tools like Twitter might offer a platform for people to make new friends, but it can also raise a variety of legal issues concerning the right of publicity, says an intellectual property attorney.

Citing the examples of Peyton Manning and La Russa incidents, Faber said Indianapolis Colts issued a statement on that a Twitter user posing as Peyton Manning was not the ‘real’ Peyton.

Similarly, Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa filed a lawsuit against Twitter for unauthorized and offensive content that was posted in his name.

The lawsuit filed by La Russa’s claims that an unauthorized page that used La Russa’s name to make light of drunken driving and two Cardinals pitchers who died, damaged La Russa’s reputation and caused emotional distress.

It also claimed that someone created a false account in La Russa’s name and posted “tweets” that appear to have come from La Russa.

“In addition to other potential legal issues like fraud and defamation, such activity also could drive attention and traffic to the fake site, creating various possible benefits to the impostor,” said Faber.

“Historically, user-driven websites have enjoyed a certain safe-harbour when users post content that violates some law.

“But it is conceivable that certain sites are so susceptible to abuse that those safe-harbours might be reduced, and an affirmative duty to regulate content and prevent infringements would apply,” Faber added. (ANI)

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