Wednesday, November 23, 2011

MLB CBA 2012

Buster Olney breaks down the MLB's new 5 year CBA.

MLB Gets NEW 5 Yr CBA, What About the NBA?

MLB and the MLBPA Tuesday formally announced a new five-year CBA, saying it was "a proud day for baseball." MLBPA Exec Dir Michael Weiner said, "This is a good day for not only baseball, but also a good day for collective bargaining.

Friday, November 18, 2011

1st Amndt

Hyperlinks and the First Amendment (MLPB, 3 Nov 2011) - Anjali Dala, Yale University, Yale Information Society Project, has published Protecting Hyperlinks and Preserving First Amendment Values on the Internet in volume 13 of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law (May 2011). Here is the abstract: Hyperlinks are critical to communication in part because they facilitate access to information. They provide visitors on one website a way to navigate to internally referenced words, phrases, arguments, and ideas. In addition to being vehicles for communication, this article contends that hyperlinks are communicative in and of themselves. They signal user preferences, democratize the national dialogue, indicate credibility, function as a signature on a virtual petition and help establish virtual associations. This Article presents the first comprehensive examination of First Amendment concerns related to hyperlinks and argues that any judicial or legislative regulation of hyperlinks should be reviewed under a strict scrutiny standard. Nearly 50 years ago, the Supreme Court recognized a constitutional privilege to disseminate information in New York Times v. Sullivan. In Sullivan, the Court extended a constitutional privilege to newspapers because of their role as an incredibly important, unique medium of communication. The same sentiment should extend to protect new media as they emerge. This Article concludes by discussing how a strict scrutiny standard should be applied to claims alleging trademark infringement, e-trespass, copyright infringement, contributory infringement, and contract violation as a result of hyperlink use. Article here.

Facebook & the Courts

Facebook: Monitoring Juror Social Media Networking Sites; “Friending” Employees of Adverse Parties (ABA Journal, Nov 2011) - You are representing a client in a personal injury matter. During pre trial voir dire proceedings and during the trial itself, can you search for and monitor jurors’ and potential jurors’ Twitter accounts and social network Internet postings? What are your obligations should you uncover evidence of juror misconduct? You represent a client in a wrongful discharge matter against the client’s former employer. You have reason to believe that certain high-level employees of the employer are dissatisfied and may be likely to post unfavorable comments about the employer on their private social networking pages. Can you send a “friend” request to these employees to gain access to their private social media pages? Since the publication of the last Eye on Ethics column on Facebook, November of 2010, “Facebook: State Bar Opinions Address Information Gathering,” there have been some new state bar opinions that have addressed various issues that relate to social networking. The topics covered include monitoring jurors’ social network and Internet postings, and whether a lawyer can “friend” high-level employees of an adverse represented party. [Editor: usefully parses recent NY County Opinion, and another by the San Diego County Bar.]

Case of Fake Facebook Profile Can Proceed, Judge Rules (, 3 Nov 2011) - A woman accused of impersonating her boyfriend on a fake Facebook page and posting inflammatory comments can be prosecuted for identity theft, a judge ruled Wednesday in a case that could have wider implications for cyber-speech. Dana Thornton was indicted last year on one count of fourth-degree identity theft, a crime punishable by a maximum 18-month prison term upon conviction. Assistant Prosecutor Robert Schwartz said she created the Facebook page using photos and personal information about her ex-boyfriend, a police detective in northern New Jersey, and posted comments purported to be from him. According to grand jury testimony recited in court Wednesday, among the comments posted on the page were that the ex-boyfriend, a narcotics detective, was “high all the time,” had herpes and frequented prostitutes and escort services. At issue is a New Jersey law that makes it illegal to impersonate someone “for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another.” Bradley Shear, a Bethesda, Md., lawyer who works on online issues, said he expects to see more cases like this one in the near future. The New Jersey case could be a difficult prosecution, he said, because of the way the state’s law is written. “This specific situation sounds like it may be better handled in civil rather than criminal court,” he said. “It’s very tough to say this is a violation of the law.” It is, however, a violation of Facebook’s terms of service, he said. So far, only California and New York have laws specifically banning online identity theft. Shear said those states are leading the way largely because of the large number of celebrities who live in them. But he said such laws can get tricky to enforce because it’s legally thorny when the alleged offender is out of state.

Judge Orders Exchange of Facebook and Dating Website Passwords in Custody Fight (ABA Journal, 8 Nov 2011) - A Connecticut judge has ordered lawyers representing a divorcing couple to exchange passwords to their clients’ Facebook and dating websites. Judge Kenneth Schluger ordered the password exchange in the divorce of Stephen and Courtney Gallion, according to the Forbes blog The Not-So Private Parts. The judge cautioned in a Sept. 30 order that the exchange should be carried out by the lawyers, and neither spouse may post messages purporting to be the other. Stephen Gallion’s lawyer, Gary Traystman, told the blog his client believes the social networking accounts will provide evidence about Courtney Gallion’s ability to take care of their children. Stephen Gallion is arguing for full custody. According to the story, other judges have issued similar orders. “In ‘normal’ discovery, a litigant is usually asked to turn over ‘responsive material,’ not the keys to access all that material and more,” the story says, “but it seems that judges are applying different standards to social networking accounts.”

Why Parents Help Their Children Lie to Facebook About Age: Unintended Consequences of the ‘Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act’ (Berkman’s community members danah boyd, Eszter Hargittai, Jason Schultz, and John Palfrey; 1 Nov 2011) - Facebook, like many communication services and social media sites, uses its Terms of Service (ToS) to forbid children under the age of 13 from creating an account. Such prohibitions are not uncommon in response to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which seeks to empower parents by requiring commercial Web site operators to obtain parental consent before collecting data from children under 13. Given economic costs, social concerns, and technical issues, most general–purpose sites opt to restrict underage access through their ToS. Yet in spite of such restrictions, research suggests that millions of underage users circumvent this rule and sign up for accounts on Facebook. Given strong evidence of parental concern about children’s online activity, this raises questions of whether or not parents understand ToS restrictions for children, how they view children’s practices of circumventing age restrictions, and how they feel about children’s access being regulated. In this paper, we provide survey data that show that many parents know that their underage children are on Facebook in violation of the site’s restrictions and that they are often complicit in helping their children join the site. Our data suggest that, by creating a context in which companies choose to restrict access to children, COPPA inadvertently undermines parents’ ability to make choices and protect their children’s data. Our data have significant implications for policy–makers, particularly in light of ongoing discussions surrounding COPPA and other age–based privacy laws.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

TWITTER For Athletes

Great link by the Twitter team meant for Athletes. This link tells the proper use of hashtags and how to tweet. Specifically focused on Athletes and how they should use the platform the best.

Soccer Cleats With A Chip

New Adidas Soccer Cleat Lets Users Compare Performance To Stars

adidas today begins selling new soccer cleats that "allow the wearer to compare speed and movement with stars" such as FC Barcelona F Lionel Messi. The shoe, which uses an "embedded chip to record and analyze a player's performance," goes on sale today in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and will hit U.S. stores Dec. 1. The product was worn by Messi in Argentina's Sept. 6 friendly against Nigeria. It is part of an attempt by adidas to "help fend off larger rival Nike and extend its leadership in soccer" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14).

NBAPA Decertifies

Monday, November 14, 2011

NIKE Sticks with JOEPA

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Penn State and Campus Safety

Great article by the New York Times discussing campus safety and police in light of the Penn State scandal....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Social Media and eDiscovery

Small excerpt from an ABA Journal article about Social Media and eDiscovery:

As both Crispin v. Audigier and Romano v. Steelcase Inc. demonstrate, the courts look to the privacy policies, and user privacy settings, of social media networks to help determine what information, and whether or not that information is admissible.

Both cases demonstrate that the relationship between social media and eDiscovery is both old and new, and that it is evolving as the law gains an understanding of how social media networks operate.

The relationship is old in that, like phone records and email, it is discoverable. It is new in that information contained on social media networks can be both public and private. In other words, social media networks are a hybrid of an open network and a “walled garden.” Some information is readily accessible by the public, including lawyers, judges and potential jurors, while other information is accessible only to parties who have been given permission. Knowing the difference, and how social media networks separate their “public” information from more “private” information, is increasingly important.

In Crispin, for example, the court held that the Stored Communications Act (SCA) protected messages on Facebook and MySpace that were not publicly available. The court made the distinction between Facebook wall posts, and Facebook messages. It looked to the privacy settings of Facebook to help make the distinction because a user’s privacy settings dictate what is publicly viewable, and what is viewable only to those invited. Although information posted to a Facebook wall may be public, information sent through Facebook’s private messaging system is not necessarily public.

In Romano, the court held that private messages were admissible because contradictory information was posted in the public areas of Facebook and MySpace. Public posting of contradictory information, in the eyes of the court, meant there was a reasonable expectation of relevant information being included in private messages, too. Such a conclusion is reached with an understanding of how social media networks operate, and how “public” information is distinguished from “private” information.

Although it may seem obvious how social media networks like Facebook and MySpace distinguish between “public” and “private” information, it may not be as obvious with other networks, like Twitter or Google +.

Twitter, too has a private messaging system, called Direct Message. Unlike Facebook’s private messaging system, however, it is limited to 140 characters. Twitter also allows its users to make profiles public, or private. In the parlance of Twitter, private accounts are “protected” and only followers approved by the account creator can see tweets, send tweets and send Direct Messages. For many, Twitter is not as intuitive as Facebook, or LinkedIn, and as a result, may be overlooked or ignored all together. However, it shares similarities with other social media networks, such as email notifications when a private message is received.

Google + is organized around Circles, or groups of people separated into default categories, or categories created by the user. Information can be shared with all of a user’s Circles, some, one, or even publicly. And like Facebook, a user can choose what profile information is publicly viewable, and what information is viewable only to those in Circles. Comments are threaded, and a user can control email notifications for a variety of actions, like if the user has been added to a circle, mentioned in a comment or if another user has shared a post. All of those actions have some impact on eDiscovery, and knowing the various settings is beneficial.

If you’re an avid user of social media and know how it operates, it’s important to remember that not every court, nor every lawyer, has an understanding of how social media networks operate, and how, or if, “public” information is distinguished from “private” information. If you’re not using social media, then gaining such an understanding is increasingly important.

Attorney Fees

Great article on attorney fees

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Athletes and their $ MONEY

Good read on Mark Brunell losing $50 million in bad investments... athletes all over, look out!

Mark Brunell Bankrupt