Hyperlocals and Fair Use: When Content Aggregation Becomes a Liability

Wholesale copying of other content without permission will lead to trouble for hyperlocals. Using short excerpts, as part of a news or commentary with proper attribution and a direct link to the original site, may be protected from infringement claims under the fair use doctrine…

New Mobile Privacy Requirements in Focus for App Summit

Operators of major mobile application stores may soon reveal the privacy requirements they will impose on developers. When and how this process will take effect and other privacy issues will be on the minds of app developers at an upcoming application developer privacy summit…

What Every Hyperlocal Publisher Needs to Know About Non-Competes

Hyperlocals need to study their advertising agreements closely, and determine whether they can honor — or live with — the restrictions that an ad representative, agency or ad network is imposing on them. Restrictions can influence the layout of a page, and whether publishers can work with other partners for display ads on their pages…

Court Weighs Dismissal of HuffPo Suit — Implications for Hyperlocals

A Federal Court in New York City is holding a hearing this afternoon to decide whether it will dismiss a lawsuit filed against the Huffington Post by unpaid writers and contributors who claim they’re entitled to a share of the proceeds from AOL’s 2011 purchase of the news site. The ruling may affect the future of hyperlocal publishers’ relationships with their contributors…

New ‘Consumer Bill of Rights’ for Mobile Apps — What It Means for LBS

Following new regulatory pressure over consumer privacy in mobile apps, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and TRUSTe have unveiled ta new “consumer bill of rights” and other products to help mobile app developers provide more transparency to consumers using mobile devices…

AP’s Meltwater Suit Illustrates Risks for Hyperlocal Aggregators

A new lawsuit filed by the Associated Press is a chilling reminder that hyperlocal publishers need to use discretion if they aggregate content created by other sites and publishers. When in doubt, hyperlocals should check with their counsel before using content of others…

California Requires App Makers to Post Privacy Policies

The California Attorney General’s office has struck a deal with Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Research in Motion in which the companies will require mobile app developers to post privacy policies. This means that many hyperlocal apps that use location data may be required to provide privacy information.

The Legal Implications of Turning Advertisers Into Content Makers

“Advertising is content — the only new content that really matters,” consultant Terry Heaton declared in a recent blog post. Incorporating content created by local merchants, perhaps in the form of advertorials or “guest columnists,” however, can be a fraught process…

When Syndicating Hyperlocal Content, Cover Your Assets

Publishers looking to syndicate content to other sites must make sure not to give up the keys to the house. Syndicating content to generate revenue is not a new idea, but contributors often overlook the rights they may be giving up by partnering with another media property.

Hyperlocals Need to Protect Their Social Media Branding

Customer lists, brand names, and social media accounts are valuable assets for hyperlocal news publishers, and they should be protected like money. Publishers should put agreements in place to stipulate that any online accounts provided in connection with site business remain with the publisher upon termination of any relationship…

Study Finds Local Online Ad Outlook Strong; Calls for Mobile Regulation

Marketers are becoming bullish about their current and future investment in local advertising, particularly in local online media, according to a study released this week by GMSLocal. However, members of Congress such as Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) believe that the mobile technology that could drive such growth may need stricter regulation…

How Should Hyperlocal Sites Handle User Information?

Publishers should be transparent on their information practices with their users. Such transparency should include what information publishers collect from their users, how the information may be used, whether publishers may share such information, what choices users have with their information, and keeping such data secure…

Lessons for Hyperlocal Publishers in Cheerleader’s Defamation Suit

Immunity for defamatory claims are limited only to circumstances in which a user has uploaded content without the knowledge or encouragement of the publisher. Immunity likely is lost once publishers become involved in selecting or editing user content, or if the publishers add their own negative comments.

Hyperlocal Publishers Join SOPA Protest

Online publishers large and small went dark yesterday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act currently pending in Congress. Declared the “Web Goes on Strike” day by Fight for the Future, sites such as Wikipedia and hyperlocal city directories like City View have gone entirely dark. Google placed a black banner over its logo and included a link “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web.”

IAB Counsel: Push to Regulate Online Ads May Lose Traction

Hyperlocal news publishers have a better chance to prosper with targeted display advertising that is self-regulated, according to Mike Zaneis, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s General Counsel and Senior Vice President of public policy. Industry groups like the IAB fear government regulations may slow growth for the online industry…

Media Companies Slam SOPA Alternative — What It Means for Hyperlocals

Representatives of large media companies are opposing a new anti-piracy bill introduced by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Representative Darell Issa (R-Calif.) that offers an alternative to another bill — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) — which critics say place to much burden on hyperlocal news publishers and other web sites…

Potential Danger in Hyperlocal Social Ads

Social promotions are becoming an important phenomenon in online advertising, but they could spell trouble for hyperlocal news publishers who run local ads suggesting that neighbors “like” a product without getting permission to use such endorsements…

Protecting Hyperlocal Sites From User Malfeasance

The socialization of news sites encourages users to post comments and content, but such postings may be peppered with plagiarized content that infringes copyrights. Surprisingly, many hyperlocal publishers fail to take simple steps that could insulate their liability for content provided by users…

Web Freedom Groups Call on Publishers to Oppose SOPA

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, The Mozilla Foundation, and other online groups are calling on hyperlocal news publishers and other online developers to oppose the “Stop Online Piracy Act” in advance of tomorrow’s markup session on the bill before the House Judiciary Committee…

Is New Anti-Piracy Bill Less of a Threat to Hyperlocals?

A new alternative anti-piracy bill being floated by two congressmen holds less risk for hyperlocal news publishers, because it does not give a rights owners an immediate, fast solution to blacklist a site…