G'day and welcome back down under!
This is the fifth time I have hosted Blawg Review from Australia (I previously hosted Blawg Review #85, Blawg Review #136, Blawg Review #178 and Blawg Review #196). For those who don't know, the Blawg Review is a weekly round-up of posts from around the blawgosphere, and I am once again honoured to be able to host Blawg Review from the the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia.
Before we begin my whip around the blawgosphere, a little about me and my blog. As I've already indicated, I am a senior lecturer in law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, where I teach Intellectual Property, Constitutional Law and Cyberlaw, and research within the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. Accordingly, my blog began as a forum to discuss the legal regulation of the internet and the media. However, just as the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of my work at QUT has seen my teaching and research interests expand beyond traditional black-letter legal scholarship, my blog is in many ways not a proper "blawg". Most of my posts cover developments in new media - be they technological, social, political or legal - and you are just as likely to see me embed an interesting, popular or provocative viral video as you are to see me critique a significant legal case or piece of legislation.
Anyway, given my blawg's interest in media, it seemed appropriate that I am hosting Blawg Review #266 on Quit Facebook Day. Regular readers of this blog would be well aware of some of the privacy concerns that have dogged Facebook over the past few years, but it has really been only been in the last few months that these concerns have started to be taken seriously outside the tech blogosphere and hardcore privacy advocates. Quit Facebook Day is a further attempt to raise mainstream awareness of the need to protect your personal information on Facebook, and to encourage people to quit Facebook and consider some of the other alternatives.
Here are what some law bloggers have been saying about Quit Facebook Day this week:
Black Web 2.0: "I hope Facebook new policy will give users the option to opt-in to services or applications that threaten user’s privacy rather than opt-out. Although Facebook is not required by law to do so, it would ease user fears and threatening government oversight."
Yale Law & Technology: "Welcome to the new business model: infringe on your privacy first, ask questions later. "
Masters of Media: "Whether you quit Facebook, or not, it is great that more and more people are constructively working towards the realization of non-exploitative, interoperable open-source social network systems, that do give users proper options to control and manage their online data."
Nieman Journalism Lab: "But the new ubiquity of sharing on the web means that, increasingly, publication subsumes publicity. The two are now wrapped up in each other, implicatively; selflessness and selfishness coexist in the content we share. Which means that, for us, publishing our photos, or our updates, or our ‘likes,’ or whatever else on Facebook is not just a communal act, but also an individual one. And the content that sharing produces is not just personal, but proprietary. Something that we should be able to — yes, Mark Zuckerberg — control."
Delimiter: "In summary, Facebook doesn’t invest in Australia, won’t cooperate with our law enforcement authorities, censors online Australian political organisation at a whim and without advance notice, won’t talk to journalists, and isn’t a reliable long-term place for the Australian story to be hosted. Plus, it’s almost impossible to delete your account. Is this a company that Australia should be supporting? Not in my book."
But if you are going to quit Facebook and are looking around for alternative social networks, you need to be aware of fakes; at Internet Cases, Evan Brown warned that that bogus social networking profile can send you to jail. There is also the perspective, articulated at Law and Content, using Facebook as a case study, that privacy limits utility.
However, Facebook has been a bloggable topic this week for other reasons as well. The Invent Blog noted that the patent office is on Facebook, while the Law Firm Web Strategy Blog looked at Facebook for law firms.
From a criminal law angle, ConnectedCOPS.net considered Law Enforcement's Unfamiliar Territory, which is an analysis of social media's impact on law enforcement practices. While on law enforcement, the Chicago Criminal Law Blog noted that Suspected Cop-Killer Paris McGee Bragged On Facebook. Eric Goldman Technology & Marketing Law Blog also reported on the EFF Amicus Brief in Facebook v. Power Ventures.
However, not all law bloggers have been obsessing over privacy and Facebook over the past week.
At the Blog of Rights: Official Blog of the American Civil Liberties Union, there was a good post on
Reviving the Fourth Amendment and American Privacy.
Over at the Broadcast Law Blog, David Oxenford blogged about rewriting the Communications Act of 1934 to bring it into the 21st Century. And while we're speaking of the 21st Century, take a look at How to Deal with Scam Listings for Your Company's Name over at the California Defamation Law Blog.
The Complex Litigator created a video mash up of the collision between unfair competition law and federalist society viewpoints.
The Las Vegas Trademark Attorney also had a delicious post on a Utah cupcake maker suing a competitor for trade dress infringement.
And that is a wrap for Blawg Review #266. It has been a pleasure to host Blawg Review again this week. Blawg Review has information about next week's host, and instructions how to get your blawg posts reviewed in upcoming issues.