find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Vogued: the legal implications of Twitter

Vogued: the legal implications of Twitter

Twitter and other Web 2.0 applications have surged in popularity as businesses and the mainstream media tap into their capabilities. Of course, more users also create more opportunities for…

Twitter and other Web 2.0 applications have surged in popularity as businesses and the mainstream media tap into their capabilities.

Of course, more users also create more opportunities for bogus sites to be registered, as companies such as Vogue Australia are now discovering.

Despite the legal pitfalls, said Deacons Sydney chairman Nick Abrahams, the risks associated with Twitter and its ilk are far outweighed by the potential benefits, particularly the business opportunities it can create for clients.

"I think that Twitter, because of the instantaneous nature of the communication and the shortness of it, does lend itself better to business uses [than social networking websites]," he said.

Legal issues associated with Twitter were put in the spotlight last week, when Vogue stumbled across a rogue Twitter profile using its name. Abrahams said disputes such as these are relatively easy to resolve, because web 2.0 operators risk incurring liability if they don't remain vigilant and responsive to complaints.

"I would imagine Twitter would be generally quite responsive in the case of Australian Vogue (a bogus Twitter profile) who was quite clearly using the trademark that Australian Vogue would have. The area of law that you are looking at is trademark infringement and also passing off - whereby an entity seeks to gain benefit by passing itself off as another entity," he explained.

"We've had quite a lot of experience particularly with properties like MySpace where there have been bogus sites put up in the name of famous people. There is a standard process you can use to get that down, and all the big Web 2.0 properties will have that process published on their website."

However, Abrahams did recommend that lawyers become familiar with the legal teams behind the Web 2.0 applications to speed up the resolution process.

"Clients get very agitated when they find out about these sites, so they want action very quickly and it's good to be able to know precisely who to call in that regard to get things taken down."

Distinguishing between Web 2.0 and the internet is also crucial for practitioners and the courts, as a recent case in the ACT illustrated.

"We saw that in clear point in the ACT when there was a judge who allowed the service of a default judgment by facebook, and that's actually not allowed under the rules of facebook as it can not be regarded as private non-commercial purposes," Abrahams said.

Other potential legal issues associated with Twitter include the risk of defamation law suits, as US celebrity Courtney Love recently discovered when she twittered about her former costume designer.

"I think people need to keep an eye on how frankly they respond, or how frankly they engage in these Web 2.0 properties, because they do tend to have a degree of informality about them, so it would be best to remember that whatever you are saying can amount to defamation," said Abrahams.

- Laura MacIntyre

Twitter links to follow: Deacons, Lawyers Weekly

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Vogued: the legal implications of Twitter
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...