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SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS: Legal implications of social media revealed


 Reed and Smith warn of legal
implications of social media



Law firm Reed Smith has launched a social and digital media task force to educate businesses about the legal pitfalls in using social media.

The task force is made up of lawyers from the firm's different offices who have been responding to requests from business and non-profit organisations over legal problems they are encountering on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The law firm claims businesses across all sectors are being affected. It says laws are changing in regards to social media usage and many companies are unaware of the risks. To coincide with the launch of the task force an online resource, called Network Interference: A Legal Guide to the Commercial Risks and Rewards of the Social Media Phenomenon, was created to focus on laws relating mainly to trademarks and brand integrity for businesses in 10 key sectors including advertising and marketing.

The firm is targeting existing clients and contacts via its site and sites affiliated with it. Gregor Pryor, partner and head of digital media at Reed Smith claims there is a lot of uncertainty and curiosity about social media and as the law is constantly changing and developing so must the guide.

Amy Greer, a New York partner, comments on the difficulties companies in the securities market face. Many use social media for advertising or promotional purposes when such activity is regulated under securities laws, she says, "Companies need to be vigilant against the use of social media to manipulate market holdings."

The task force chair, Douglas Wood, comments on the increase of social media use yet lack of understanding from many companies, "They typically don't know what they're getting in to, until they're in over their heads."

For more social media information, take a look at the Social Media Marketing Knowledge Bank