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Author Archives: Gordon Firemark

Firemark among Best Lawyers in America 8 years running.

For the eighth year in a row, Gordon Firemark has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Entertainment Law – Theater.

“I'm grateful that my colleagues have again voted for me to receive this recognition. Helping Entertainment Professionals Realize Their Dream is my mission, and I'm proud to have other lawyers say that I do it well. ” says Gordon.

Gordon Firemark's practice covers the fields of Theatre, Film, Television and New Media, and has become known as The Podcast Lawyer™ for his work representing creators and businesses in that medium. He also teaches media law and ethics and intellectual property law.

Why you’re getting so many Privacy Policy Update emails in June 2023

Why you’re getting so many Privacy Policy Update emails in June 2023

Have you noticed an influx of privacy policy update notices lately? Here's why it's happening now.

California Privacy Law

In November 2020, California passed the The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA), a significant piece of legislation that has sparked waves of these changed privacy policy notices.

What's the CPRA?

The CPRA builds upon the existing California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and further strengthens privacy rights for California residents by introducing new requirements and obligations for businesses operating in California.

Definition of “personal information” expands

One key reason is the Act's expanded definition of personal information. The CPRA broadens the scope of personal information to include additional categories such as precise geolocation data, sensitive personal information, and certain types of inferred data. This means that businesses must now update their privacy policies to reflect these expanded definitions and inform users of the types of data they collect and how it is used.

New Consumer Rights

Additionally, the CPRA introduces new rights for consumers, such as the right to limit the use of sensitive personal information and the right to correct inaccurate personal information. To comply with these new requirements, businesses must update their privacy policies to inform consumers of these rights and provide mechanisms for exercising them. This leads to a surge in privacy policy updates as businesses strive to ensure compliance with the CPRA and maintain transparency with their users.

So, Why the influx NOW?

The reason you're seeing a flurry of activity now? Well, the law included a deferred enforcement date: July 1, 2023.

“Notwithstanding any other law, civil and administrative enforcement of the provisions of law added or amended by this Act shall not commence until July 1, 2023, and shall only apply to violations occurring on or after that date.””

What to do if you run an online business?

So, if you're a business operating online, and having any measurable contact with consumers in California, you'll want to take steps to make sure you're complying with CPRA. To get started, do the following:

  1. Review and Update Existing Privacy Policies: . Make sure the updated privacy policy includes clear information about the types of data collected, the purposes for which it is used, and the rights available to consumers.
  2. Assess Data Collection and Processing Practices: At minimum, this will mean including a process for consumers to request the deletion or correction of their personal information, as well as the ability to opt out of the sale or sharing of their data. Implement procedures to verify and respond to consumer requests within the required timeframes.
  3. Enhance Data Security Measures: Strengthen your data security measures to protect the personal information you collect.
  4. Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with developments and guidance regarding the CPRA. The California Attorney General's office is responsible for enforcing the law and may issue regulations or guidelines to assist businesses with compliance.
  5. Consult your lawyer: Seek legal counsel to ensure that your business is fully compliant with the CPRA and to address any specific concerns or questions you may have.

Remember, the CPRA imposes additional obligations on businesses and expands the rights of consumers. Taking proactive steps to comply with the CPRA not only helps avoid potential penalties but also demonstrates a commitment to protecting consumer privacy and building trust with your customers.

Influencers: Could You Be Liable for Trademark Infringement? California Court Says “Yes”

Social media influencers have become a powerful force in the marketing world. With millions of followers, they can reach a large and targeted audience for brands of all sizes. However, this type of marketing comes with some risks, including potential liability for trademark infringement.

In a recent case, a California court ruled that model and actress Molly Sims could be liable for trademark infringement for promoting an eyebrow product called “Brow Defining Boost” created by Rodan & Fields. The plaintiff, Petunia Products, Inc., claimed that Sims' conduct infringed on its trademark, BROWBOOST.

To prove a trademark infringement claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant used the plaintiff's trademark in commerce, and the use was likely to confuse customers about the source of the product. In this case, the court found that Sims' post could be considered a paid advertisement because it contained a link to Rodan & Fields' website where customers could purchase “Brow Defining Boost.” Additionally, the court found that Rodan & Fields' eyebrow products were similar in name to BROWBOOST and marketed through similar channels.

As a result of the court's ruling, Sims could be held liable for damages caused by the trademark infringement. This could include lost profits, damages for customer confusion, and attorney's fees.

This case is a reminder that social media influencers can be held liable for trademark infringement. To avoid this risk, influencers should take steps to ensure that they are not using any trademarks without permission. This includes conducting due diligence on the brands they work with and verifying that the brands are not infringing on any other trademarks. Influencers should also be careful about the language they use when promoting products, and they should avoid making any claims that could be interpreted as false or misleading.

Brands that work with influencers also have a responsibility to protect their trademarks. This includes providing influencers with clear guidelines about how to use trademarks and monitoring influencers' social media posts for any potential infringement. If a brand becomes aware of a potential infringement, it should take steps to promptly address the issue.

By taking these steps, both influencers and brands can help to protect themselves from trademark infringement liability.

Tips for Avoiding Trademark Infringement

If you are a social media influencer, here are some tips for avoiding trademark infringement:

  • Do your research. Before you promote a product, be sure to do your research and make sure that the brand does not infringe on any trademarks. You can use a trademark search engine to help you with this.
  • Be careful about the language you use. When promoting a product, be careful about the language you use. Avoid using any trademarks without permission, and avoid making any claims that could be interpreted as false or misleading.
  • Get it in writing. If you are working with a brand, be sure to get everything in writing. This includes a contract that clearly outlines the terms of your relationship and the responsibilities of both parties.
  • Consult your lawyer! Before publishing, run things by a lawyer who understands intellectual property and influencer marketing law.

By following these tips, you can help to protect yourself from trademark infringement liability.

Jack Daniel’s Flushes Out Poop-Themed Dog Toy in Trademark Battle

JACK DANIEL’S PROPERTIES, INC. v. VIP PRODUCTS LLC USSC Case no. 22-148 Decided June 8, 2023 Jack Daniel’s has emerged victorious in its legal battle over a dog toy that parodied its iconic liquor bottle. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the liquor maker, allowing it to revive its trademark lawsuit against… Continue Reading

Free Workshop June 5th  – Business & Legal Fundamentals for Podcast Growth & Profit

Free Workshop June 5th – Business & Legal Fundamentals for Podcast Growth & Profit

Are you looking to take your podcast to the next level? Do you want to learn more about the business and legal fundamentals necessary for podcast growth and profit? Look no further! I am excited to announce my free online workshop on Monday, June 5th, at 4pm Pacific, titled “Business & Legal Fundamentals for Podcast… Continue Reading

Supreme Court refuses to consider filmmaker’s appeal leaves content creators at risk

CLIENT ALERT: Price v. Garland. 45 F.4th 1059 (1st Cir. 2022) (cert Denied USSC No. 22-665. (2023)) In Price v. Garland, a documentary filmmaker named Gordon Price was charged with a misdemeanor for filming parts of a feature film on land administered by the National Park Service (NPS) without obtaining a permit and paying the… Continue Reading

Libel, Slander and Privacy concerns for content creators

In this episode of Legit Podcast Pro, The Podcast Lawyer™ discusses the legal issues surrounding talking about real people on a podcast. In the United States, the first amendment protects freedom of speech, but defamation is illegal. Defamation can be either slander (oral) or libel (published), and is defined as false statements that harm a… Continue Reading

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