Court Says Blogger Isn’t a ‘Journalist’ — Implications for Hyperlocal

A federal judge in Portland, Oregon has declared that a local “investigative blogger,” doesn’t qualify as a journalist — calling into question whether online hyperlocal news publishers should be treated differently than traditional media.

Topix Legal Win Bodes Well for Hyperlocals

News community site Topix scored a big victory — not only for itself but other hyperlocal news publishers — when a court in Georgia ruled that Federal law protected the company from a defamation claim over user-generated content…

Facebook’s Privacy Settlement Is a Warning for Hyperlocals

The Federal Trade Commission deal with Mark Zuckerberg’s social network sends a strong warning to hyperlocal news publishers, location-based services, and other sites that they must be completely transparent on how they use personal information of their users…

Court Drops Facebook Ad Targeting Suit — What It Means for Hyperlocals

Hyperlocal news publishers that depend on a targeted advertising may find some comfort this week after a Federal Court in San Jose, Calif., threw out a series of class action claims against Facebook relating to its advertising practices.

The Legal Battle Brewing Over LBS and Privacy

Anxiety is rising over the use of location-based services as tools for advertising to consumers. Surveys suggest that consumers see value in LBS, but they are concerned about their privacy. This means LBS providers must walk a tightrope in providing both privacy options and value to consumers…

Aggregation and Attribution: Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

Threats by large media companies over aggregation of their content and this month’s highly profiled spat at the Poynter Institute over attribution highlight the perils that publishers face when they rely on third party content.

Paid Content – Income Source or Booby Trap? 5 Tips for Getting it Right

Last week, we alerted our readers that the Federal Trade Commission was cracking down paid endorsements and advertorials that appear as if they are objective news content. This week, we review some steps hyperlocal publishers can take to provide transparency between editorial content, and content paid for by advertisers…

Pending IP Laws Could Squeeze Hyperlocal News Sites

Two new bills in Congress designed to combat rogue sites selling counterfeit goods or distributing copyright-infringing content (like movies) may put a squeeze on hyperlocal news sites, strangle innovation, and impede free speech and investment in start-ups, according to experts at Stanford University and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Drawing the Line on Advertorial Content for Hyperlocals

One way to boost revenue for a hyperlocal news site may be to supplement editorial content with paid content — such as advertorials, sponsored reviews, or endorsements. But a hyperlocal publisher who takes this path may walk into a legal landmine unless they’re completely transparent in distinguishing its editorial content from its paid content…