Legal Battles Erupt Over Hyperlocal Data Mining

On the one hand, pure facts, such as the address and telephone number of a business posted in a public area on the Internet, are not entitled to legal protection. On the other hand, the way such facts are expressed and organized may deserve copyright protection…

Hyperlocal Crowdfunding May Become a Reality — Here’s How to Prepare

Despite a recently missed deadline that would have given hyperlocal businesses an ability to raise capital through crowdfunding, backers of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) are optimistic that equity crowdfunding could become a reality by the end of the year. What can hyperlocal ventures do right now to get ready for equity crowdfunding?

Hyperlocal Sites Must Win Customers’ Hearts With Strong Brand Identity

Hyperlocal advertiser Papa Ads, Inc. launched “iShopStark.com” in 2007 in Canton, Ohio. It offers product reviews, price comparisons, and coupons in the Stark County metro area. In 2010, Gatehouse Media, owner of Copley Ohio Newspapers, launched ShopNStark.com in the same area, offering the same services as iShopStark. Papa Ads sued Copley, claiming that the new site infringes Papa Ads’ brand name and is causing confusion among the public…

What Hyperlocal Publishers Need to Know About Accepting Political Ads

As the fall elections approach, hyperlocal publishers must ensure they comply with federal regulations that govern political advertisements. Most political advertisements must include some form of a disclaimer explaining who paid for the ad and whether it was approved by a candidate…

U.S. Gov’t Seizure of Cloud Servers Puts Hyperlocal’s Content at Risk

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Ohio hyperlocal sports publisher Kyle Goodwin’s videos vaporized in the cloud. The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) seized the servers storing Goodwin’s videos as part of the DOJ’s criminal indictments against MegaUpload.com. Now Goodwin is suing to get his videos back, claiming his hyperlocal sports business depends on the content…

EFF: Claim That Not All Hyperlocal Journalists Are Equal ‘Simply Wrong’

The practice of denying hyperlocal publishers the full status of other journalists has caught the ire of organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has fought to level the playing field for public access on behalf of hyperlocal news media and bloggers. Many local officials have granted traditional media access to public records and meetings while denying the same privileges to hyperlocals…

Hyperlocal News Coverage of Classroom Violence Requires Caution

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News videos of classroom brawls and bullying in local schools are newsworthy, but the hyperlocal coverage may draw threats from some who don’t want the information published. This year, legal claims emerged in New York and Philadelphia that provide some guidance on what hyperlocals may expect if they cover such sensitive types of local stories…

Judge Suggests Some, But Not All, Bloggers Qualify as ‘Journalists’ Under Law

Perhaps hyperlocal bloggers are journalists after all. Federal Judge Marcos Hernandez in Oregon ruled last November that a self-proclaimed “investigative blogger” was not a journalist for purposes of Oregon’s shield law. But Hernandez has issued another opinion in the same case, responding to the criticism by explaining “I did not state that a person who ‘blogs’ could never be considered ‘media.'”

Privacy Experts: Consumer Trust Is Vital for Mobile Payments and Apps

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Building relationships with consumers is all about trust — and trust is exactly what consumers lack when it comes to most mobile transactions: “Without strong user privacy controls, mobile payments may turn your cell phone into a magnet for telemarketing, spam, and online behavioral advertising,” CDT’s Harley Geiger writes…