The High-touch Legal Services® Blog…for Startups!

© 2009-2014 Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law

SVForum East Bay Series: Improving Fundability with Social Media

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The evening of Wednesday, April 18, I will moderate SVForum’s East Bay Series program “Improving Fundability with Social Media”.

Program description:

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ have clearly woven themselves into the very fabric of our personal and professional lives. Their simple and intuitive user experience, and the effective and efficient means they provide to connect people, brands, and consumers are transforming the very way business is conducted. It’s natural that so much of the innovation funded by the venture community is connected in some way with Social Media, whether it’s to reach customers, respond to service issues, or build buzz about new products and services. Our panel will discuss how companies are adopting–and adapting these platforms to increase traffic, conversions, and profit as they extend relationships and make every interaction part of their experience -? and how entrepreneurs can take advantage of this trend to build successful new products and ventures. Join us and learn how having a Social Media platform can impact or improve your start-up’s potential for raising critical funding.

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Facebook Ads can be Electronic Mail for CAN-SPAM Purposes

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When I wrote about the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 and the effort to limit unsolicited commercial e-mail (Commercial E-mail and CAN-SPAM: What You Need to Know), I noted that “One of the greatest challenges in complying with CAN-SPAM is figuring out exactly which communications are covered.” Much to my surprise, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently held that that certain Facebook ads were electronic mail for the purposes of CAN-SPAM!

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Don’t Use Social Media if You Have Something to Hide

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A client sells high-quality collectibles manufactured from authentic sports-related materials (game-used balls, uniforms, arena flooring, stadium seats, etc.). The company ensures that all materials are licensed by the applicable university or professional sports organizations so it can use the organizations’ names and trademarks in promotional activities. Some competitors do not pay for the required licenses, however – and one of these recently was caught as the result of a Groupon promotion.

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Leveraging Social Media Platforms – Why Big Business Cares

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This follow-up to Leveraging Social Media Platforms ? Finding the ?White Space? discusses why big business cares about social media – and, thus, why there are lots of opportunities for social-media startups.

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Leveraging Social Media Platforms – Finding the “White Space”

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Last evening I moderated “Leveraging Social Media Platforms”, a panel discussion in the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE) East Bay Series. An audience member asked where the “white space” is, i.e., which? business opportunities for corporate use of social media currently are not being addressed. The following is a summary of the panel members’ answers.

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SVASE East Bay Series 4/20/11 – Leveraging Social Media Platforms

Logo of the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs

The evening of Wednesday, April 20, I will moderate “Leveraging Social Media Platforms”, a program in the East Bay Series offered by the Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs (SVASE). Program description:

Are you aware of how big business is utilizing social media? The massive consumer adoption of social media has migrated to the enterprise. From internally built corporate communities to leveraging Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others, our panel will discuss how companies are adopting these platforms to increase traffic, conversions, and profit ? and how entrepreneurs can take advantage of this trend to build successful businesses.

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WSJ: Lots of Money for Social Startups

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In an article published yesterday (“Money Rushes Into Social Start-Ups”), the Wall Street Journal reported that VCs are investing in companies that are taking social networking from computers to mobile phones. The rationale, according to the article (emphasis added):

Behind the spurt of new services is also the idea that the phone, carried by people at all times, can reinvent the notion of a social network by sharing more real-time information about where people are, what they’re seeing and even who they’re around.

Other points made in the article:

  • Phones allow social experiences that are more personal in nature.
  • Smartphones and tablets now are numerous enough that users can share experiences widely.
  • At least one app completely dispenses with the idea of privacy – whatever you have in that app is shared automatically with everyone nearby who also has that app.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law? +1 510 547-0545? dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

WSJ: Web Start-Ups Get Upper Hand Over Investors

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In an article published today (“Web Start-Ups Get Upper Hand Over Investors”), the Wall Street Journal reported (emphasis added) that “As venture capitalists scramble to get a piece of Silicon Valley’s new Web boom, entrepreneurs … are finding they have the upper hand.

Here are some of the points the article makes about the latest Web boom:

  • As VCs search for the next Facebook or Twitter, some entrepreneurs are positioned to have a greater say about how much they raise and deal terms.
  • Bidding among VCs is driving up the price of many deals.
  • Angel investors are driving up the prices of the tiniest early-stage companies.
  • Some entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the situation by seeking the best advisors rather than the greatest amount of money.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law? +1 510 547-0545? dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

Wikileaks and Apple – an Opinion

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The following is taken almost verbatim from my answer to a Quora question and the comments that followed. Q. Was the WikiLeaks iPhone app really violating the Apple App Store “Terms of Service”? Apple spokesperson stated that ?Apps must comply with local laws and may not put an individual or group in harm?s way.? Is that actually the case?

A. Yes (in my opinion). Section 3.2(b) of the iPhone Developer Program License Agreement says:

You will not use the Apple Software or any services for any unlawful or illegal activity, nor to develop any Application which would commit or facilitate the commission of a crime, or other tortious, unlawful or illegal act[.]

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What Lawyers Want from Social Media

As previewed in last Friday’s post, over the weekend I presented “Social Media for Lawyers” with colleagues Mark Ressa and Brett Burlison at the State Bar of California Annual Meeting.

I estimate that we had approximately 60 attendees. (Pretty good, considering that there were prior presentations on social media at the four-day conference!)

Attendees’ area of greatest interest was search engine optimization (SEO) - how to show up on the first page (preferably, high on the first page) of relevant Google searches.

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