Using Hashtag #Disclosures in Social Media Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has been cracking down on brands for paying Instagram users to endorse their products or to share brand content without disclosing the relationship.  Indeed, the recent settlements entered between the FTC and several media and entertainment companies as well as a specialty retailer make it clear that the FTC is paying close attention to endorsements of all kinds – whether by celebrities, sponsors, or paid “influencers.”

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Don’t Lose Your DMCA Safe Harbor Protection!

The U.S. Copyright Office’s new electronic system for copyright-agent registration and maintenance goes into effect on December 1, 2016, and with it comes new rules. Beginning December 1, all online service providers must submit new designated-agent information to the Copyright Office through the online registration system. Electronic designations should be filed on December 1, 2016, or as soon as possible thereafter. Service providers who fail to timely submit electronic designations will be ineligible for the safe harbor from copyright-infringement liability provided by § 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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Fantasy Stock Picking Contest Deemed by SEC to be Illegal Security-based Swaps

The SEC shut down a “fantasy” stock picking game for allegedly violating securities laws. Forcerank LLC ran contests via mobile phone games where players paid a fee and predicted the order in which 10 securities would perform relative to each other. In each week-long game, players won points based on the accuracy of their prediction, and players with the most aggregate points received cash prizes at the end of the competition.

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Building a Kick-Ass Team: 5 Lessons

As published on Medium.

My fellow moderator, Stephanie Zeppa from Sheppard Mullin, sits with, from left, AdRoll’s Aaron Bell, Floodgate’s Arjun Chopra, Cisco’s David Ulevitch and Luxe’s Curtis Lee.

My fellow moderator, Stephanie Zeppa from Sheppard Mullin, sits with, from left, AdRoll’s Aaron Bell, Floodgate’s Arjun Chopra, Cisco’s David Ulevitch and Luxe’s Curtis Lee.

Silicon Valley Bank, along with Sheppard Mullin, recently co-hosted a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs at Runway on “Building and Motivating a Kick-Ass Team.”

The combined experience of these panelists was incredible, and we heard some great advice about how to build and manage teams, which sometimes requires ignoring conventional thinking. The following are five of those suggestions.

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New Challenge to Daily Fantasy Sports in New York

A group of New York citizens backed by the anti-gambling group Stop Predatory Gambling has filed a lawsuit against New York Governor Andrew Cuomo challenging the constitutionality of the bill that legalized daily fantasy sports in the state.  The lawsuit contends that the law violates the Constitution of the State of New York because a constitutional amendment is needed to legalize a new form of gambling.  This is the latest development in the ongoing legal battle over  daily fantasy sports in New York.

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Federal Circuit is In Sync with Patent’s Validity Under Section 101

The Federal Circuit overturned a District Court ruling that a patent directed to automated lip synchronization and manipulation of animated characters’ facial expressions was invalid under Section 101 as being an abstract idea. The patent disclosed that this automation is accomplished through rules that aim to produce more realistic speech by taking into consideration the differences in mouth positions for similar phonemes based on context.

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Massachusetts Becomes Ninth State to Legalize Daily Fantasy Sports

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed into law a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports in the Commonwealth.  Massachusetts is the ninth state to legalize daily fantasy sports, and the eighth to do so this year.  The legalization of daily fantasy sports, or “fantasy contests,” was included in a larger bill—H. 4569—related generally to job creation and workforce development.

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New York Daily Fantasy Law Passed – But Will it Stick?

As previously reported on our blog, New York enacted a law legalizing fantasy sports (subject to certain conditions and licensing). This undoubtedly makes DFS operators and players happy. But consistent with the notion that you cannot please everyone, some anti-gambling groups are not  happy. It has been reported that some are considering litigation to block implementation of the new law. Casinos are also debating potential action. As reported, critics of the new law allege the New York legislature needed to obtain a constitutional amendment process to legalize a new form of gambling, instead of making a statutory change that declared fantasy sports contests to be “games of skill.” Check back for updates as this saga continues to unfold.

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