Whatz Gnu

Many thanks to the International Law Office (ILO) for publishing a derivative of our Legal Bytes article. You can download and read a personal copy of the ILO posting FTC Targets Ads That Target Kids, or you can read the original Legal Bytes blog posting at "Mom, is it OK for them to follow me?" FTC Targets Ads That Target Kids.

MMA Releases Mobile App Privacy Guidelines – Appy Days Are Here Again

A few days ago (October 17), the Mobile Marketing Association released its MMA Mobile Application Privacy Policy, which the MMA asserts is the first industry guideline to deal with data protection and privacy specifically related to mobile and wireless applications. The guideline being made available for comment is slated to be finalized sometime after November 18, 2011, when the MMA’s comment period is scheduled to close. The press release notes that there are currently more than 425,000 iPhone/iPad apps available from Apple’s App Store, and more than 200,000 available for Android.

The document is intended to deal with some of the basic privacy principles and text that developers should consider incorporating into mobile apps to let consumers know how their data is collected and used, as well as information regarding confidentiality and the security of information that becomes available when a consumer installs and uses a mobile app. Obviously, legal disclaimers and disclosures and issues related to privacy and data protection are quite jurisdiction-specific, and compliance will always require consultation with legal counsel to be sure mobile, and all other online and other applications and processes, conform to the legal requirements of each jurisdiction that applies to consumers for that application or process.

Rimon’s offices around the world are open, coordinating with our Advertising Technology & Media law practice group, ensuring that lawyers knowledgeable in data protection and privacy, as well as in mobile technology and marketing, are available to help you. As always, if you want to know more about how lawyers who understand can help your business, feel free to contact me, Joe Rosenbaum, or any of the Rimon attorneys with whom you regularly work.

Useless But Compelling Facts – October 2011

Well we just posted the answers for our July and August Useless But Compelling Facts, and as football season is underway, I thought we would switch gears and turn to some sports trivia.

This year’s Super Bowl (46), scheduled to be held February 5, 2012, is a first – the first to be played in Indianapolis (at Lucas Oil Stadium) and among the few (four) played in a cold weather city. So, anticipating a fiercely competitive season, let’s ask some historical Super Bowl questions.

Which team has scored the most points and which has allowed the most points against it in Super Bowl games (and how many points applicable to each)?

Which team never scored a touchdown in a Super Bowl game? And can you identify the game (which Super Bowl, which teams and where played)?

If you think you know the answers, send them directly to me at joseph.rosenbaum@rimonlaw.com, and if you are first with the complete, correct answer, you’ll win.

Useless But Compelling Facts – Answers For July & August

In July we asked you two questions – our regular trivia question and a bonus question.
First we asked why you might have considered staying indoors if you were visiting the village of Pueblito de Allende in the State of Chihuahua in Mexico, the night of February 7, 1969. Well, late that night (actually at about 1:05 a.m. February 8), the Allende fell over the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Often described as "the best-studied meteorite in history," the Allende meteorite is notable for possessing abundant, large calcium-aluminum-rich inclusions, which are among the oldest objects formed in the solar system. The bonus question, also in the astronomical vein, asked what’s special about July 12, 2011? Galileo, mistakenly believing it was a star, may have actually "discovered" it in 1613; but since its official discovery by German astronomer Johann Galle September 23, 1846, we have known that Neptune, 2.8 billion miles from the sun, moves through its huge orbit at a snail’s pace, slowly completing one revolution around the sun approximately every 164.8 (Earth) years. On July 12, 2011, Neptune completed it’s first full orbit around the sun since its discovery.

In August, we asked about different types of stars in the solar system. Motion picture stars. We asked you to identify both husbands, former and current, of Barbra Streisand, and to name the film – the only film in which both men appeared. The amazingly talented singer, actress, producer, etc., etc., was married to Elliott Gould from 1963 to 1971, and since 1998 has been married to James Brolin. In 1977, when Ms. Streisand was not married to either of them, both Mr. Gould and Mr. Brolin starred in the 1977 motion picture, Capricorn One, although they were actually ONLY on screen together in the final scene of the picture.

The first with the right answers to both July and August questions was none other than Sharri Gottesman, long-time Legal Bytes reader, who faithfully tries to answer almost every one of these and has done so correctly before. Thank you Sharri.

Lawyer Advertising – Manipulate This!

When it comes to advertising, lawyers are bound not only by laws and regulations that apply to all advertisers, but also by the rules set by the professional licensing authorities in each state in the United States, as well as by many “Bar” Associations (Bar as in Barrister, not barista or your local tavern). These authorities and associations often set more stringent advertising standards and rules, based on ethical guidelines and professional standards.

Florida has some of the most stringent restrictions on attorney advertising in the United States. For example, Florida’s rules prohibited ads that were “manipulative” (whatever that means) or that included “background sound other than instrumental music” – presumably to prevent the sounds of ambulance sirens or jail cell doors slamming.

The restrictiveness of attorney advertising, including Florida’s tough rules, has been the subject of criticism, as noted in a previous Wall Street Journal article.

Yesterday, a federal judge in Jacksonville, Fla., ruled that these restrictions are vague and violate the First Amendment rights of lawyers, and must go! The judge’s ruling noted that, “The term ‘manipulative’ is so vague that it fails to adequately put members of the Bar on notice of what types of advertisements are prohibited” – declaring the standard void. The judge also overturned the prohibition on background sounds, noting that such a rule violates the free speech rights of attorneys. Here is the entire Harrell v. Florida Bar decision [PDF] if you are interested.

In honor of the occasion, one clever individual decided to create a “lawyer ad” parody, which, by the way, has sounds previously banned by the Florida regulations. Enjoy.