“4 Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make”

I first saw Stephanie Christensen’s brief list of mistakes that small businesses make in late 2013, but it’s evergreen.

Numbers One and Two (‘Misunderstanding ownership of creative assets’ & ‘Misunderstanding copyright laws’) are related: they often concern smart, well-educated non-lawyers who mistakenly think the law protects more or less than it actually does.

Very few business people are wholly mistaken or wholly unaware of laws affecting their businesses.  It’s in understanding the scope of applicable law that even skillful non-lawyers go wrong.

Sometimes they don’t go wrong by much, so to speak.  Still, as with building a bridge, even a few inches of misalignment brings considerable risk.

See, 4 Common Legal Mistakes Small Businesses Make @ QuickBooks.

The Big Picture on IP

David Post, writing at the Volokh Conspiracy, recommends a recent paper from Mark Lemley (“IP in a World Without Scarcity“) that summarizes the state of intellectual property law. It’s a sound recommendation, and well worth following to Prof. Lemley’s paper. Here’s Post’s assessment: If I were still teaching a class on IP law, or Law…

Answering an Objection to the Language of Reddit’s Expanded Ban

In last week’s post, defending Reddit’s decision to expand its content ban, I promised that I’d answer an objection to that expanded content-restriction policy.  The objection to that content policy comes from Gizmodo, in a post from Annalee Newitz entitled, Reddit Bans /r/Coontown For All the Wrong Reasons.  Ms. Newitz, sensibly, isn’t opposed to a…

Reddit Wisely Expands Ban on Offensive Content

On July 16th, Reddit announced a ban on some offensive content, and a policy of concealing other content to prevent easy access of display to readers. This two-tiered approach to offensive content was novel, and a response to conflicting demands for an open forum and for a site free of racist posts, for example. A…

(Some) Startups Can Lawfully Tweet to Test Investor Interest

Startups are now able to post a Twitter message about their stock or debt offering to gauge interest among potential investors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said this week. The announcement continues the SEC’s trend of warming up to social media, which began two years ago when it approved the use of posts on…

Others have tried, and now Facebook enters the workplace (formally) with Facebook@Work

At TechCrunch, Ingrid Lundgren reports on Facebook’s platform for businesses to create their own social networks.  She offers lots of useful detail, and correctly notes that some competing offerings in this space have failed (or just haven’t taken off): About six months ago, we reported that Facebook was working on a new product aimed squarely at…


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