Talking Points From My “Legal” Presentation at Social Media Day San Diego 2017

We had over 400 people from around the world attend Social Media Day San Diego. The venue was on the sand at the beautiful Bahia Resort on Mission Bay. I shared a few pictures and videos in an album on Facebook and also on Twitter and Instagram using #SMDaySD

My afternoon presentation revolved around sharing 30 years of legal tips to help keep my social media friends safe when doing business on the digital platforms. Looking back, it’s clear my message was to be careful about what you say and do on social media. In today’s world, there are legal consequences.

I started things off by sharing the below Fyre Festival video from Mashable

Next, I showed everyone what a $100M lawsuit looks like and we talked about business, legal and social media promotion options to avoid being named a defendant in a similar claim.

I then discussed 7 specific tips to help everyone in the audience safely do business on the social media platforms. If you missed the event, no worries. Many of the approaches I mentioned can be found in a combination of my earlier blog posts, “Nine Legal and Entrepreneurial Tips To Help You Start and Build Your Online Business”,  “So You Want To Start a Business?” and “Influencer Marketing- Tips for Influencers, Social Media Agencies, Brands and Consumers.”

All of my fellow speakers shared major value during the conference. If you were not able to make it this year, you can stay connected and possibly eventually get access to some or all of the content by connecting with SocialMediaDaySanDiego, Casual Fridays or Tyler Anderson.

I believe social media is all about relationships. It was great seeing old friends and also beginning many new friendships. I’m looking forward to staying in touch with everyone and continuing the social media dance for many years to come!

Thanks everyone for a fantastic experience. Make today your masterpiece!

How to Remain Human in High Stakes Business Negotiations

During the #H2HChat (live video interview), I shared 30 years of trial lawyer negotiation approaches and techniques with friends and social media pros Bryan Kramer and Courtney Smith Kramer of Purematter.

You can watch the recorded interview above or here!

I believe the “insider secrets” I shared have helped me close numerous multi-million dollar cases for my clients. Regardless whether your next deal is small or large, these negotiation methods will work for you too.

I may share detailed “show notes” and bullet points in the near future. Follow me here at the blog or on social to get the link when it goes live.

If you enjoyed this post, please recommend and share to help others find it. Also, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks!

 

Facebook Live Audio Copyright Issues: Things You Need to Know!

The rollout of Facebook Live Audio is awesome. It offers a new way to communicate, in real time, with our clients, customers, and audiences, using our mobile devices. Click here or on the image above to listen to my first Facebook Live Audio.

Intellectual Property Rights

While Facebook Live Audio provides all of us with a new free audio based broadcasting tool, it also exposes uninformed users of Facebook Live Audio to place themselves in legal jeopardy for violations of Intellectual Property (IP) and specifically, copyright right laws. In this post, I share some of the issues I’m already watching and listening to and, others I anticipate in the future on the Facebook Live Audio platform.

For example, if you read or play original content created by someone else, for any reason and for any length of time, you may be in violation of the creators IP rights. This includes reading a book, blog post, or playing music in the background. The easy solution is as follows: If you didn’t create the content, don’t use it without the written permission of the owner or person with legal use rights.

Yes, there is the Fair Use Doctrine that permits the use of someone else’s copyrighted material, but the exceptions are narrow and the law is gray. Don’t count too much on this exception protecting you unless (1) your lawyer is better than the other side’s lawyer and (2) you have more money than the other side to win your case in court (sarcasm).

Terms of Service (TOS) Agreements

Facebook has a Terms of Service (TOS) Agreement that applies to Facebook Live Audio. It prohibits users from violating the copyright of others. It’s part of the DMCA Safe Harbor provisions that protect Facebook and not you.

If you go live and share copyrighted material, you may be liable to the creator of the content and, you may also be in violation of the TOS Agreement. Facebook can suspend your account or shut you down for a violation of its TOS Agreement.

If you repurpose your Facebook Live Audio broadcast on other platforms like Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Snapchat, their TOS Agreements allow for the same action. Depending on how and why you use your social media platforms, this could be devastating to your reputation, success, or business.

Music

If you play music during your Facebook Live Audio and didn’t get permission from the creator of the music (writer, band, license holder, management company), you will in all likelihood be in violation of a copyright. This includes background music or using Facebook Live Audio to share an evening of live karaoke which I see all the time with livestreaming video. Keep in mind that just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right or legal.

Similar to the TOS Agreement mentioned above, if you go live from a concert or stadium and share protected music with your audience, you’ll probably be in violation of one or more intellectual property rights. While the venue may have secured a public-performance license through ASCAP or BMI (songwriters’ associations), and may have the legal right to record and play the music, you don’t.

In addition to copyright issues, there’s also a valuable “right of publicity” that an artist may be able to protect. Under this theory, Katy Perry may argue her voice or music played in the background during your Facebook Live Audio is part of her image or brand, and only she has the right to benefit from that image or brand. This is a relatively new and untested area of law. It appears to me that artists such as Katy Perry would be on strong legal grounds should they decide to hold offending Facebook Live Audio users liable.

Other legal arguments musicians and bands may assert for the unauthorized use of their music during a Facebook Live Audio include violations of the “Lanham Act” (confusion or dilution of a trademark through unauthorized use) and “False Endorsement” (implies that the artist supports a product or your broadcast).

Pro Tip: Create Your Own Brand Sound and Music

If you’re looking to compliment your Facebook Live Audio or business branding with music or sound, avoid all of the above hassles and create your own!

I recommend you take a close look at Signature Tones. It’s a sonic branding studio that works with organizations to create and use music and sound to establish a unique and memorable identity. Created by friend, marketing strategist, international sales and marketing speaker, and bestselling author David Meerman Scott and recording artist, live music performer, and music creative director Juanito Pascual, Signature Tones is your one stop solution to creating an audio brand you own and that your audience will never forget.

Conclusion

We tell our clients not to use any audio, including music, during their Facebook Live Audios that they did not create or, obtain permission from the creator or owner to use. When they claim that the Fair Use Doctrine will protect them, we remind them of the limited scope and protection this doctrine provides.

Best practices are to (1) get permission before using someone else’s audio content or (2) use licensed or royalty free audio (for example, services like Shutterstock).

Facebook Live Audio is a fantastic tool. Enjoy it and use it often. But when you do, respect the IP rights of all sounds, music or other material that you directly or indirectly share over the platform.

Related

What Rights Do Musicians Have When Politicians Use Their Music Without Permission? 

TheShow.live (my weekly live video show). Last week’s topic: “How to Use Facebook Live Audio” with Jennifer Quinn and Rachel Moore

My Take-A-Ways From Gary Vaynerchuk on TheShow.live

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

Gary Vaynerchuk was on our weekly live video talk show, TheShow.live, and we chatted about how our life experiences helped build our foundations for success. We shared examples about how what we learned, watched and experienced (good and bad), all helped shape who we are and what we’re doing today.

This is such an important concept that I want to dive into it in just a bit more detail. By the way, this was a popular episode with Jennifer Hoverstad, Gary Vaynerchuk and yours truly talking social media, VR, the NFL, Samsung phone battery fires, the presidential election and much more. If you missed it, here you go!

The Early Years

My early use of dial up modems, coding websites and eventually creating websites for my law firm in the late 1980s and early 1990s gave me the foundation and skills to incorporate tech into my business and relationship developing efforts today. I was and still am a full time trial lawyer, but my interest and passion for the tech side of life, especially social media, has allowed me to build the global brand I have today.

Now here’s the kicker. Even though almost all of the code, tools, and platforms I spent hours learning how to use no longer exist, the lessons and skills I developed help me stay relevant to this very day. From our discussion, I know Gary and Jennifer feel the same way.

For me, the “success” I’ve achieved (I define my success as being in a position to help my clients and comfortably balancing my professional and personal life) isn’t simply because of tech, social media or even the law. We need to go back even further in time and well before the Internet or law school for the initial and extremely important foundational building blocks. Here’s what I’m talking about.

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to obtain some very good jury trial verdicts for my clients. The skills, techniques, and approaches I used during each trial to help jurors see things my client’s way had more to do with the people skills I learned over the years as a waiter and bartender in college than what I was taught in law school. My results in court and online are from the “people skills” I picked up by watching, listening to, and talking to all of the amazing guest from around the world who stayed at our Arizona ranch during my high school and college years.

When it comes to jury selection, I believe picking the right twelve people to serve as jurors in all of my 66+ trials had more to do with the skills I developed chatting with and checking people in at the front desk of Caesars Tahoe than what I learned in my evidence class. The techniques I use to help cope with emergency issues during a trial came from my experiences as a manager at Caesars and other resort properties and not what I learned in my Civil Procedure class.

I didn’t realize back then that my experiences would help me today as a lawyer and entrepreneur, but they did and in a big way. The lessons I’ve learned from the highs and lows of my early life experiences are all now valuable assets I use each week in court and online.

Now let’s fast forward to today’s tech including social media and live streaming. I can comfortably report that my ability to quickly engage on these platforms comes from what I learned decades ago and because of the experiences I mentioned above. In court, I’ve also changed how I interact with witnesses and my jury.

Understanding the issues of time and attention, today I talk in 140 character soundbites (sort of) and do all that I can to deliver the type of message most of my young jurors hear 24/7 on social media. It’s about keeping things familiar and sharing concepts via metaphors that they understand, appreciate and respect. It’s also about giving an 18 minute dynamic TED Talk type of opening statement instead of delivering a two hour mind numbing “watch the paint dry on the wall” experience.

The World Is Your Classroom

We can all learn important lessons from everything we do. Our experiences are a foundation for progress and future success. Nothing you’ve done, good or bad, is wasted time. Everything you do is a building block for your long-term success.

As we chatted about on TheShow.live, it simply takes the right mindset to appreciate this approach to life’s journey. Once you figure this out, anyone can flip the switch and create positive change.

Things don’t always work out, and opportunities and experiences come and go. The important thing to remember is that the experiences you have during the process are unique and powerful assets for future growth and skill. Embrace everything that happens to you, learn from your wins and losses, and always keep moving forward.

Without exception, every single successful person I’ve met in my 30+ years of business has a clear understanding of the power of what we talked about in this episode and what I’ve highlighted in this post. Now, you do too.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill


Related: Join us on TheShow.live (Wednesday’s at 4 pm ET)

Don’t Look The Other Way On Social Media

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” -Oprah Winfrey

When you see something bad happen to someone else on social media, do you look the other way or do you do the right thing and help?

Most people pretend not to notice when others behave badly. They ignore the problem. They look the other way.

I see this a lot on social media.

When the digital fox is allowed inside the social media hen house, people get hurt. Wrongdoers are not held accountable. Ignoring the problem makes it worse for everyone.

Protecting each other is not always easy, but it is always necessary.

Have integrity, promote high standards, and act ethically in your online community. Stand tall and do the right thing.

Doing so will help make our online communities, and the world, safer and better places.

Mitch

Related: “Do The Right Thing In Your Social Media Community”

Social Media Day San Diego- June 30th!


Join us June 30th for “Social Media Day San Diego” at the beautiful Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay!

In addition to #SMDaySD taking place at one of the most stunning venues in Southern California, Tyler Anderson and his amazing team at Casual Fridays, have put together an outstanding lineup of social media experts who will be sharing the latest tools, tips and approaches.

As for me, I’ll be sharing 30 years of legal tips to show you exactly how to to use social media, livestreaming and the other digital platforms in a way that will help you, and your company, avoid unnecessary legal hassles.

Want more info? Ready to get your tickets? Visit SocialMediaDaySanDiego.com today!