Tag Archives: Social Networking

For Sale: Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pet Rocks

Originally posted 2005-01-04 11:01:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Aha! See, the Blog Herald is asking the same question I did: Is 2005 the “Year of the Blog Backlash”?

Yaakov Menken of Cross-Currents – and my [former law firm]’s Web host – asked me why I said that I was finally going to jump on the blogging bandwagon just as the wheels were beginning to wobble sickeningly. Well, this is the first time I’ve seen anyone validate that at all. (And Lord knows how terribly hard it is to validate whatever pops into your head on the Internet.)

Of course, I also said that about real estate 15 years ago…. ten years ago… five years ago…. Nonetheless, as I said below, if you think of it as a medium — and not a trend — I think you can’t go wrong.

I guess sooner or later we’ll know if we’re early adopters, Johnnies-come-lately or whatever it is that comes in the middle.

Best of 2008: No Social Networking Privilege

On Point reports that a New Jersey federal magistrate has, to the surprise of no actual attorney I could imagine, ruled that MySpace and Facebook postings and other social networking communications are discoverable in civil litigation.

A New Jersey judge has allowed an insurance company being sued for denying benefits to children with eating disorders to conduct a “cyber-investigation” into the children’s postings on social networking websites.

Such investigations are becoming more common in lawsuits and U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz’s decision isn’t likely to calm the fears of privacy advocates. The potential injury to the children from disclosure of their postings, she ruled, did not outweigh Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s need for the information.

Shwartz is handling discovery issues in two insurance coverage cases brought against Horizon by the parents of children suffering from anorexia or bulimia. The cases are Beye v. Horizon and Foley v. Horizon.



“The Court will require production of entries on webpages such as ‘MySpace’ or ‘Facebook’ that the beneficiaries shared with others,” Shwartz said in a Dec. 14 order.

According to a Seattle TV station, Chrysler has taken a similarly intrusive approach by requesting access to the MySpace account of a woman who is suing the auto giant over injuries suffered in an auto accident. Marissa Schneider’s MySpace page includes an admission that she smoked pot in the past.

“To say that anything posted on MySpace is gospel is ludicrous and it really paves the way for you to say, ‘I can never post anything on this site because it’s going to be used against me,'” her attorney told KING 5 News.

I’d consider sanctioning that attorney if he admitted making such a stupid and, really, contumaceous remark.

Read More…

A post by any other name would smell as Tweet

Having said that, here are some of the fragrant little nothings from all over been told by the little birdy, and which I’ve passed along via Twitter @roncoleman in the last week or so:

Read those and get back to me.

Twisn’t it rich

Here is the latest roundup of topical re-tweets that were tweeted to followers @roncoleman in the last week or so:

OK, gotta fly!

Likelihood of enthusiasm

Here’s a notice regarding our lust for life from C.C. Holland at Law.com:

The litmus test for whether you should start a blog boils down to passion, says Kevin O’Keefe, CEO of professional blog service LexBlog and a blogger himself. “I think every attorney should consider blogging, [but] if you don’t have a passion for the subject, that shines through.”

Your enthusiasm might align with your area of practice or be completely tangential. For example, Ronald D. Coleman, a commercial litigator with Goetz Fitzpatrick who focuses on copyright, trademark and unfair competition, blogs about those topics on Likelihood of Confusion.

Nice to be mentioned in connection with enthusiasm.  A man becomes preeminent, he’s expected to have enthusiasms.

Preeminent man

Two centuries of Blawg Review

Blawg Review: #200 went up earlier last week, and, contemplating its bicentennial edition, it got a little philosophical. “Ed” (as in “Ed.,” the nom de keyboard of Blawg Review’s maestro) hosted last week’s edition himself in honor of this milestone.

I particular appreciate this bit, going off on a topic I first had the opportunity to become aware of, and comment on, in the second half of this post, i.e., the transparently commercial blog-as-billboard:

Last week’s host, Mark Bennett, suggested that lawyers who enter the legal blogosphere looking to profit by it are headed for public ridicule; instead, he recommends that “the practical blawgosphere wants you to succeed. Write worth a damn, join in the conversation, link to posts on the blawgs you like reading, and we’ll find your blog and spread the word.” Scott Greenfield applauded Bennett taking a similar position in his Blawg Review last week. Whereas Bennett said that profiteers were welcome in but not well-suited to the blawgosphere, Greenfield put it more bluntly: “This Blawgosphere Ain’t Big Enough for the Two of Us”: “So why can’t we all get along? Because the marketers don’t care about the blawgosphere. They care about the quick buck and scheme.” Austin Criminal Defense Attorney Jamie Spencer blogged about an attorney in Dallas, whose blog is so transparently marketing-oriented that it concludes a post about a bizarre case where a drunk driver ended up with her truck in someone’s pool with “If you too have driven a car into a pool and are in need of an experienced DWI lawyer….”

Who among us hasn’t wished he had that number handy, eh?

And, hey — there was plenty of praise to go around, too, even a little coming out this way:

Colin Samuels, at Infamy or Praise, will remember Blawg Review for the annual award that recognizes the best Blawg Review of the Year. This annual competition is open to all law blogs that have hosted Blawg Review, and the same blogger wins every year. Congratulations, Colin, for getting the most nominations for Blawg Review #189, based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, which has earned the award for Blawg Review of the Year 2008. Ron Coleman’s Blawg Review #191, a Chanukah special at Likelihood of Confusion, is this year’s runner-up. In third place in the voting, there was a tie between Rush Nigut’s Blawg Review #147 based on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, and David Gulbransen’s Blawg Review #182, a special bar exam edition. Twenty-four issues of Blawg Review received nominations this year, which shows the quality and variety of presentations is appreciated.

Colin is very much the man, even if his spelling is a little weak.  His pumping of LOC for notice this year was worth every penny, it seems!

Congratulations to Colin and Blawg Review!

Tweets for the sweet

It’s been a couple of weeks, but then again no one was really out there anyway — here are the recent topical tweets I’ve shared with the vast subscribership of @roncoleman:

Storming over from Jersey

Random photo. I like pictures.

All good stuff, and this is easier than blogging, right?

Keeping it in reserve

Writer's blog?

Writer's blog?

This week’s Blawg Review is from The Inspired Solo, who, tacitly acknowledging that all the good jokes have been taken — having taken quite a few of them herself — wisely advises saving the inspiration for more important things, after all.  Kind of the Blawg Review version of “the show about nothing”:

As with my last BR, I am once again eschewing the problematic notion of “themes.” The problem with themed blawg reviews is mainly one of oneupsmanship — somebody gets clever with the Shakespeare, then the next guy has to go all Dante on you, and the next thing you know, we’re struggling to get through an irreverently witty translation of Innocent the III’s De miseria conditionis humanae and, really, who needs that? Right. We just want the good stuff from the blawgs.

So that’s my “theme” — such as it is: a simple message from The Inspired Solo to tap your inspiration when you really need it, and don’t let the pressure to be creative, funny, clever, or — well, hell, anything, really — distract you from your true goal. That’s real inspiration.

Feeling inspired?  Me too!  So click through!

Likelihood of occlusion (or, Dragged down by the stone)

Despite being unduly influenced virtually the whole time by narsty opoid medications so they could shut up my gallbladder till they yanked it out (warning — link not safe for lunch) — or, perhaps, precisely by virtue of that influence?* — these are the terrifickest tweets t’at was via @roncoleman last week:

Why on these retweets alone that’s plenty to crow about!  And my very own:

I never, never, never tire of John Welch’s @TTABlog though I never laugh at the TTAB. Thanks to this , I did, though:http://bit.ly/1oWcpN

So Twitter kept me with fowl of a feather for the week, but let’s face it, hospitals are for the birds.  Anyway, I’m back on my perch and will be getting those early worms, or whatever those people do who get up too fast, as usual!

* See, @GuyKawasaki: How sleep deprivation hurts your brain http://om.ly/Zdif.

1600 tweets, and whaddya get?

Here’s what I’ve got the last couple of weeks, in terms of tweety things.  This is as good a way to focus on and round up topical developments as any, I say–short of Blawg Review, which, by the way, is hosted by the IP Kat this week and is a must-read.

But here’s my selection, lightly annotated, of my recent 140-character expression via @roncoleman:

That should be plenty for now.  Gotta fly.

How many points is INFRINGEMENT?

We had been wondering who had the “Z.” Now the other tile drops, and probably right onto a triple word score — Hasbro, owner of the SCRABBLE trademark, has sued Scrabulous (complaint here; exhibits here):

The general manager for digital media and gaming at Hasbro said yesterday that the company had waited until there was a “legal” version of Scrabble on Facebook before it took action against the Scrabulous creators.

The lawsuit, filed in a US district court in New York, accused Rajat and Jayant Agarwalla – two software developers based in Calcutta – of violating Hasbro’s copyright and trademarks. Facebook was not named as a defendant.

Neither brother nor any representative from their web design company, RJ Softwares, could immediately be reached for comment today.

More here. The complaint is not online yet.* We’ll try to keep you posted.

UPDATE:  For what it’s worth — maybe, someday, my descendants will read this — I just remembered that my first-ever trademark research project as a paid legal professional was as a summer associate at Kaye, Scholer, where I was assigned to research a question involving some aspect of the Scrabble trademarks on behalf of client Selchow & Righter, which had then recently been purchased by Coleco and owned the rights to Scrabble before Hasbro bought them out of bankruptcy.  Of course the nature of the research I did is still confidential… even to me.  But I can say confidently that in the summer of 1987, it did not involve Scrabulous.

UPDATE:  The offending “app” is now gone from Facebook, while a thousand utterly idiotic — but non-infringing — ones live on!

UPDATE:  Victoria Pynchon does the heavy lifting:

If Player 1 opens with “fringe” (double word) for 24 points; Player 2 follows by slapping an “i” on the triple word score followed by an “n” for “infringe” and 33 points; and, Player 1 responds with “ment” for 19 points, the combined score for “infringement” is 75 points. Our readers can do the math and moves on “trademark” and copyright.”

UPDATE:  And… what ever did happen to Scrabulous, you ask?

* Even though, like all District Courts, the Southern District of New York, which describes itself as the Mother of District Courts, has mandatory electronic filing, you have to file the initial pleading or case-opening document in person, then go back, scan the file and mail it back to the clerk. If t They filed on Thursday the 24th;  the complaint should be was online some time Monday or Tuesday.

Likelihood of Reciprocation

LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®’s “blogroll” policy has not really changed, even though LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® is bigger and better than ever, but it may be useful to clarify it, because I do get inquiries, and there have been some refinements.  Namely, ones that I just made up. And this blog is now “big” enough in our micro-sub-niche that it is reasonable to assume that some people might care to know what the rules are considering that, indeed, they ask us about linking.

  1. The basic rule is one of reciprocation: Any bona fide blog that puts LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® on its blogroll will be put on the blogroll here. You don’t have to be an IP blog, or even be very good. Non-bona-fide, of course, means pure spam blogs, commercial websites without real editorial content and those annoying link farms, whatever the heck they’re really called in webby lingo.
  2. There are exceptions to the bona-fide-reciprocation rule. If your blog uses a lot of four-letter words or other over-the-top NSFW content, I won’t link to you, no matter how brilliant you are. Also if your blog is clean as a whistle, but you’re a Nazi, or a particularly bad kind of Commie, no linkee. Hence your blog could come and go on the blogroll depending on how you’re behaving lately.
  3. I pretty much don’t respond to inquiries, whether from blog authors or their consultants or other hirelings, about “link exchanges,” in the blogroll or otherwise. If your blog is real and you link to LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® in your blogroll,* I will link to you in mine.  That doesn’t mean you can’t give me a head’s up that you’ve done so, however.
  4. On the other hand, if I add you but you show your utter lack of gratitude for the torrent of traffic that comes your way by going more than a month… or two… without adding content… goom-bye. The blogroll is for live websites. Luckily this is a forgiving policy because I don’t do as much maintenance as I ought to (or as certain people have promised they would help me do) and even then, if you reappear on the link radar screen, I welcome you back to your alphabetical space in the blogroll like the most prodigal of sons.
  5. Similarly, if you change your URL and the old one does not re-direct, obviously it’s up to you to let me know by sending an email to the-name-of-this-blog @ GMail. I know you care, after all, because you’ve read this far. Sometimes, after all, people get to your blog via my blog. Kind of thing.
  6. This is not a contract, for Heaven’s sake! This is my blog. It is mine. It is beautiful, and it is mine. I don’t have to link anybody and nobody has to link me. It’s all at my discretion. Mine, mine, mine! These are the rules I apply. In my discretion. Total, unfettered, arbitrary and capricious discretion.  No contract, no reliance, no jurisdiction, no NOTHING.  Talk to the hand.
  7. There is, of course, no seventh thing.

* Is it a “blogroll” if it’s not on the home page?  I am still thinking about that.  Let’s see if the one I just linked to results in any traffic this way.  That’s a scientific way to decide, isn’t it?