Tech Law: What the tobacco ad ban can teach the liquor industry

by Paul Jacobson (@pauljacobson) If restrictions imposed by the proposed Control of Marketing of Alcohol Products Bill resemble those in the Tobacco Products Control Act, we could see virtually every means of advertising or promoting alcohol beverages being prohibited.

Tech Law: Digital strategists’ glaring blindspot

by Paul Jacobson (@pauljacobson) Strategy in the digital marketing space fascinates me and what I’ve noticed is that digital marketing strategists have a glaring blindspot — they don’t factor structured legal and compliance risks into their planning and modelling. I imagine there are many reasons for this, which likely include strategists’ ignorance of what these risks are and that they may even find the frameworks designed to address them intimidating or downright inscrutable.

Tech Law: How POPI will change your direct marketing activities

by Paul Jacobson (@pauljacobson) The Protection of Personal Information Act has particular interest for direct marketers because of the likely substantial impact the legislation will have on consumer-facing initiatives when it goes into effect. POPI has a section that deals specifically with and introduces a consent model designed for direct marketing. It is an interesting model and I’ll explain why in a moment.

Tech Law: Yes, you can be sued for sharing a defamatory Facebook post or tweet

by Paul Jacobson (@pauljacobson) In the recent Isparta v Richter and Another case, Acting Judge Hiemstra found that the first defendant’s comments were defamatory. Reading the judgment, you may be forgiven for forgetting to ask whether the second defendant is also liable, particularly given that the second defendant was only tagged in the offending Facebook posts. Hiemstra’s finding on this question was very brief and, at the same time, pretty profound:

[35] The second defendant is not the author of the postings. However, he knew about them and allowed his name to be coupled with that of the first defendant He is as liable as the first defendant.

This is a pretty powerful finding. In the context of Facebook it means that, if you are tagged in defamatory content and you don’t do anything about being tagged (or perhaps even mentioned), you could be liable, too. This argument likely extends to other platforms such as LinkedIn, Google+ and perhaps even Twitter.

In the case of Facebook, you can control who can tag you (you can choose to approve any tags before the posts become public). As with Facebook, you can mention LinkedIn users, although it’s not clear whether you can control this and remove tags. It’s the same issue with Google+ mentions.

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