October 28, 2016 nº 1,806 - Vol. 13

"Life is not fair; get used to it."

Bill Gates

In today's Law Firm Marketing, Why context can kill your marketing


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  • Top News

Is Facebook's facial-scanning technology invading your privacy rights?

Facebook Inc.'s software knows your face almost as well as your mother does. And like mom, it isn't asking your permission to do what it wants with old photos. While millions of internet users embrace the tagging of family and friends in photos, others worried there's something devious afoot are trying block Facebook as well as Google from amassing such data. As advances in facial recognition technology give companies the potential to profit from biometric data, privacy advocates see a pattern in how the world's largest social network and search engine have sold users' viewing histories for advertising. The companies insist that gathering data on what you look like isn't against the law, even without your permission. If judges agree with Facebook and Google, they may be able to kill off lawsuits filed under a unique Illinois law that carries fines of $1,000 to $5,000 each time a person's image is used without permission -- big enough for a liability headache if claims on behalf of millions of consumers proceed as class actions. A loss by the companies could lead to new restrictions on using biometrics in the US, similar to those in Europe and Canada. Facebook declined to comment on its court fight. Google declined to comment on pending litigation. Courts have struggled over what qualifies as an injury to pursue a privacy case in lawsuits accusing Facebook and Google of siphoning users' personal information from e-mails and monitoring their web browsing habits. Suits over selling the data to advertisers have often failed. (Click here)

Federal lawsuit alleges gang injunctions violate due process

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), along with the Urban Peace Institute and Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP filed a lawsuit on Thursday alleging gang injunctions conducted by the Los Angeles officials violate due process rights of community members. The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, alleges that city officials serve individuals with gang injunction orders that prohibit legal behaviors, such as drinking in a restaurant, under the guise of being a nuisance. Violations of the injunctions could lead to fines and incarceration. Plaintiffs claim the gang injunctions allow for probation style conditions without a hearing.

Federal appeals court permits music companies to pursue copyright infringement claims

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday ruled that music companies that previously composed EMI Group, Ltd. can pursue copyright infringement claims against an old online music storage company and its CEO, Michael Robertson. The companies were appealing from a US district judge's reduction of a $48.1 million jury award, asserting that the judge applied too narrow of a definition for safe harbor protection under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The Second Circuit agreed with the companies. Part of the original award was reinstated, although the Second Circuit affirmed the reduction of punitive damages. Additionally, the Second Circuit reversed and permitted further claims pursuant to the proper definition of "repeat infringer" for the safe harbor protection. (Click here)

  • Crumbs

1 - Vodafone fined £4.6m for serious breaches of consumer protection rules - click here.

2 - China orders lawyers to support Communist Party - click here.

3 - Romania: man asks court to recognize his same-sex marriage - click here.


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  • MiMIC Journal

US probes aluminum firms over Chinese imports

Federal investigators have launched a probe into whether US companies linked to a Chinese billionaire illegally avoided punitive import tariffs on Chinese aluminum.

China's forbidden babies

The age of the one-child family is officially over, but the state is still in charge. One year ago this week, China announced that what had become perhaps the most widely recognized symbol of Communist Party rule - the one-child policy - was to be scrapped. It has been replaced instead with a new, universal two-child policy that took effect on 1 January this year. The old policy - introduced in 1979 to tackle what policymakers saw as the impending crisis of overpopulation - is estimated by the government to have prevented up to 400 million births, in part through the now well-documented use of forced abortions and sterilizations. So it is little wonder that the mere relaxing of the limit on family size, from one child to two, has done little to assuage the fears of those who fall foul of the new rule. A senior official in charge whether operating theatres used to carry out forced abortions said: "Very few," before going on to insist that none have taken place for "at least 10 years." Where else in the world would you find a government official admitting that his colleagues have kidnapped, drugged and forcibly operated on women, no matter how long ago? Where else would the qualifier "very few" be considered an acceptable alternative to an outright denial? It is an illustration of how the one-child policy has bent and blurred the moral lines and made such state-sponsored violence seem unexceptional.

  • Law Firm Marketing

Why context can kill your marketing
By Tom Trush

If you want your marketing to trigger strong appeal, here's a concept you can't overlook:

Prospects decide whether your marketing message is worthy of attention by assessing quality and context.

Let me give you an example that explains what I mean ...

Imagine you sit down on your couch tonight, turn on your TV and see Paul McCartney playing his guitar on stage at New York City's Madison Square Garden.

Even if you didn't recognize the former Beatle or were familiar with his music, would you view him as someone with a high level of musical talent?

You probably would. After all, he's on TV and performing at a venue billed as "The World's Most Famous Arena."


Okay, now let's imagine you saw him playing the same guitar. However, this time he was singing alone on a street corner, dressed in casual clothes and seeking donations.

How would you view his talent? Would you still consider him a world-class performer?

A similar scenario played out in 1984. McCartney was filming a movie called Give My Regards to Broad Street. During production, producers put him in front of a London railway station and asked him to perform his song "Yesterday," one of the most covered songs in recorded music history.

Much to McCartney's surprise, not one person recognized him. Passing people viewed the singer as just another street performer. So they saw little reason to pay much attention.

Crazy, isn't it?

An entertainer described by Guinness World Records as the "most successful composer and recording artist of all time" was instantly transformed into an ordinary musician because of a change in environment.

You likely experience this phenomenon, too. For example, how often do give greater trust to published material? After someone writes a book or gets published in a high-profile publication, credibility follows.

You could post identical information on a pile of napkins (or even a flyer, e-mail or website) and it wouldn't carry a fraction of the credibility offered by a published piece.

How and where you use your marketing materials determines the importance prospects place on them.

So write for industry publications ... establish yourself as an author ... speak in front of audiences ... create and lead industry groups ... form your own networks ... distribute information worth sharing ... interview your field's most famous faces ... and, above all, use your marketing to show compassion and a desire for helping people.

Tom Trush is available at https://www.writewaysolutions.com.


© Trey Ryder
FREE LAWYER MARKETING ALERT: If you'd like to receive Trey Ryder's weekly Lawyer Marketing Alert, send an e-mail to Trey@TreyRyder.com. Write "Subscribe LMA" in the subject line and write your name and e-mail address in the body of the message.


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  • Historia Verdadera


General Electric obtuvo un contrato de US$ 900 mlls. para construir una central de ciclo combinado de 1,500 megavatios en el estado brasileño de Sergipe, que será la instalación más grande de su tipo en Latinoamérica. El contrato con Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe SA marca la primera venta de este tipo de generadores que reúnen el mecanismo de reconversión de calor y la tecnología de transmisión de sistema que GE adquirió de Alstom en 2015.


La aerolínea mexicana Interjet está en conversaciones para asociarse con las estadounidenses United Continental y American Airlines, informó su presidente de consejo, Miguel Alemán. Interjet, una empresa de capital cerrado, es uno de los tres principales jugadores del mercado aeronáutico local, donde también participan sus rivales Aeroméxico y Volaris.

Made in China

Allibaba, la mayor tienda en Internet del mundo, con 485.000 millones de facturación bruta, 10 millones de vendedores, 434 millones de compradores, una oferta de un billón de productos y un movimiento de 42 millones de paquetes, abre una oficina en España. El gigante chino empezará con una oficina en Madrid en febrero y, si se cumplen las expectativas, ampliará a Barcelona en un año. Su aliado para la distribución en China será Correos, según ha anunciado Albert Antonini Mangia, director de desarrollo de negocio y márketing de Alibaba, en el congreso de la Asociación de Empresas de Gran Consumo (AECOC) que se ha celebrado en Sevilla.


Gobierno de Boliviay la española Repsol amplían hasta 2046 contrato de operaciones en el bloque Caipipendi. La empresa comprometió una inversión de US$ 980 mlls. hasta 2021 para la exploración y desarrollo de los pozos.

  • Brief News

Legal skirmishes erupt over voting rules as election day nears

As residents in many states begin voting, tussles are emerging over rules for casting ballots, a potential harbinger of disputes to come. This year has already seen legal showdowns in several potentially important states on issues such as voter-identification requirements, early voting days, registration deadlines and the restoration of voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. It is possible more cases could arise as Election Day approaches, given this year’s highly charged presidential contest.

Spain court orders Volkswagen to pay car owner over emissions scandal

A Spanish court ordered automobile manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) and its subsidiary in Valladolid to pay $5,006 euros in a lawsuit regarding its emissions scandal. VW has been accused of implementing software in its vehicles that could cheat emissions tests. The plaintiff was an owner of an Audi Q5 purchased in 2013 for about $50,000 euros. Although the plaintiff sued for the entire value of the car, the judge estimated that the altered software has caused a 10 percent decrease in the value of the car. This is the first of six VW lawsuits in Spain that have resulted in a loss for the car company.

Oregon wildlife refuge occupiers in shock acquittal

Seven leaders of an armed militia who led a 41-day stand-off at a US federal wildlife refuge in Oregon have been cleared of the charges against them. The surprise verdict acquitted them of conspiracy and firearms offences. A lawyer for one of the leaders, Ammon Bundy, was tackled to the ground by US marshals after shouting at the judge. The militia occupied the refuge in early January, accusing the government of unlawful interference in the affairs of ranchers. The stand-off highlighted the simmering resentment among rural communities in the US West over federal control of land.

High Court in Belfast due to rule on Brexit legal challenges

A judgement on two legal challenges to Brexit is due to be delivered by the High Court in Belfast later. The separate proceedings, one brought by a cross-party group of MLAs and another from a victims' campaigner, were heard earlier this month. One barrister said the UK's departure from the EU would be "catastrophic" for Northern Ireland's peace process. While the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU, 56% of Northern Ireland voters wanted to remain in the union. A challenge by politicians from Sinn Féin, the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP), the Alliance Party and the Green Party suggested that the government could not trigger Article 50 - the formal legal process for leaving the EU - without a parliamentary vote. They believe the Brexit decision should be examined and voted on by parliament, or, failing that, by the Northern Ireland Assembly. (Click here)

Duterte: God told me to stop swearing

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has promised God he will clean up his famously vulgar language. Arriving in his home city of Davao after a trip to Japan, Duterte said God gave him an ultimatum on the plane. "I heard a voice telling me to stop swearing or the plane will crash in mid-air, and so I promised to stop," he told reporters at the airport. Duterte's blunt speaking, often directed at the West, has contributed to his popularity at home.

Obama urges a boost in IT spending to secure Federal computers

Protecting decades-old systems from hackers is like "trying to put air bags into an old car," the government's chief information officer says. The administration proposes $3.1 billion in upgrades.

Pennsylvania Senate approves bill preventing public officials from identifying police officers who use force

The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday approved a contentious bill that allows public officials to be charged with a crime for identifying a police officer who used force against someone. The new statutory requirements would bar any public officials or employees from identifying police officers until 30 days after the use of force incident or after the investigation is complete. Anyone who violates the proposed law would face a second-degree misdemeanor charge. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania criticized the bill for diminishing transparency and suggested that the bill may increase distrust between communities and police officers.

Venezuelan lawmakers open criminal case against president

The Venezuelan Parliament on Tuesday voted to open criminal impeachment proceedings against sitting Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, alleging that he manipulated the constitution to remain in power. Arguing that Maduro staged a coup, the congress attempted to have Maduro accept a recall vote by listening to the testimony of accusers, some of whom claim that Maduro is responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians, including children and other serious social ills in the country. Maduro, however, remains steadfast. (Click here)

Nato 'does not want new Cold War'

Nato is not seeking confrontation with Russia and does not want another Cold War, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said. The planned deployment of 4,000 extra troops to eastern Europe aims to prevent, not provoke conflict, he said. Despite current tensions, the military alliance does not see Russia as a threat, he added. Relations between the west and Russia are at their lowest point since the Cold War. The US and European Union imposed sanctions on Russia following its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in 2014. The war in Syria has also been a flashpoint for tensions, with key Western powers accusing Russia of war crimes in its bombardment of opposition-held areas in support of the Syrian government.

Brazil's Supreme Court bars pension payouts rise

Brazil's Supreme Court on Wednesday spared the administration of President Michel Temer added fiscal trouble by ruling that tens of thousands of retirees can't seek an increase in their payouts.

Egypt's Sisi pledges reviews of protest law, detentions

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promised on Thursday to amend a law that human rights groups say has severely restricted protest rights and hinted at possible pardons for young people imprisoned without conviction.

Belgians break Ceta deadlock

Belgian political leaders have reached a consensus in support of the Ceta trade deal between the EU and Canada. He said they had agreed on an addendum to the deal which addressed regional concerns over the rights of farmers and governments. The changes will still have to be approved by the other 27 EU members. (Click here)

Hamburg gang rape teenagers' suspended sentences spark anger

Tens of thousands of Germans have signed a petition demanding a group of teenagers are jailed for a brutal rape. The teenagers were given suspended jail terms last week after the judge decided they had shown "remorse". The boys, aged 14, 16 and 17, sexually assaulted a girl, 14, in Hamburg in February while another girl filmed the attack. They then left the victim for dead in the freezing cold. Prosecutors have already launched an appeal against the sentences. While the judge said the gang had "thrown her away like garbage", only a 21-year-old was given an immediate sentence of four years in prison.

Former Odebrecht CEO close to signing plea deal in car wash probe

Marcelo Odebrecht, the former chief executive of Odebrecht SA, is close to signing a plea bargain with investigators in the sprawling Operation Car Wash probe into corruption at state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro.


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