Posts by: Robert Laplaca

Poetry in Motion: High School Student/Immigrant Allowed to Participate in Contest Even When Excluded from Eligibility

On April 20, 2018, Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. of the US District Court of Maine issued a well-reasoned 39 page decision granting an injunction against the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) from prohibiting a high school student from Zambia, seeking asylum in the US, from participating in a national poetry recital contest.  The decision in Monga v. National Endowment for the Arts, 2:18-cv-00156-JAW, USDC ME can be found online here.

First, kudos to Judge Woodcock.  He decided the case while the contest was still going on!  The case was filed April 11; briefing was completed April 17; argument was heard April 18 and a comprehensive decision was filed two days later, with just three days to spare before the national finals for the poetry recital contest.  (more…)

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How Will The General Data Protection Regulation Affect Your Sweepstakes Across the Pond

As was made pretty clear last week from the 1,400 hours of Congressional testimony by Mark Zuckerberg, the USA may want to follow the lead of the EU and adopt laws similar to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). For now, if you are running a sweepstakes or contest open to EU residents, here are some things you need to know about the GDPR.

What is the GDPR? The GDPR is a comprehensive regulation concerning the collection and use of online personal data.

When does it come into effect? The GDPR becomes effective May 25, 2018.

Who is protected? The GDPR protects data collection from residents of the European Union. In a sweepstakes or contest, this is the entrant.

Who is covered? Any person or entity that holds or uses personal data. For a sweepstakes or contest, this could be the Sponsor or an entity collecting entry or other information from the entrants.

What is covered? Personal data, which includes anything that can be used directly or indirectly to identify a person, such as a name, photo, email or street address, posts on websites, and computer IP addresses.

What to do for Sweepstakes and Contests? (more…)

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Opening Day Edition: Beer Advertising and Sports

Today (March 29) is baseball’s opening day and beer and baseball are in the news.  The New York Yankees appear to be in trouble for their new “Pinstripe Pilsner” which has an image of your favorite Yankee player in the foam.  But those of you wanting to take a sip of Aaron Judge’s mug may have to wait, since MLB does not allow current players on beer advertising.

Beer has been linked with baseball for as long as baseball has existed.  In fact, the original Cincinnati Redstockings left the National League in 1881 when its brewer-owner refused to sign a “no beer at the ballpark” pledge.  Today, there are still calls to take the suds out of sports.  But knowing the current do’s and don’ts of sports advertising will help you stay a-head of the game. (more…)

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Win Tickets to Opening Day, But How Do I Get There?

Today (March 29th) is baseball’s opening day – the earliest opening day in history.  If you’re going to the Yankees’ opener in Toronto, wear your ski caps it’s going to be 9 degrees Celsius – which sounds cold.

I bring up baseball because I noticed on mlb.com that there are sweepstakes that have been running for the opportunity to win tickets to different opening day games.  Note: tickets only.  As stated in the Official Rules: “TRANSPORTATION TO/FROM THE GAME AND LODGING NOT INCLUDED.”  Eligibility: Legal U.S. and Canadian residents (of course, excluding Quebec), 18 or older. (more…)

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New New York Federal Court Ruling Not in Bed with Ninth Circuit on Embedding Issue

Alert to Businesses Who Link or Embed Copyrighted Content on their Website or Social Media

Embedding or “on-line linking” has been considered an accepted method of posting others’ copyrighted material.  Get the content directly from the third-party server, skip putting it on your server, and all’s good.  In fact, in 2007, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals seemed to have provided a blessing for this practice.  But Caveat Webitor.  Online publishers (and conceivably everyone else who posts content on social media) cannot feel so comfortable with this position. (more…)

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Are We Saying Goodbye to the Beer Babe?

The #MeToo movement has produced constant headlines and has helped positively change corporate culture. Is it possible for its breadth to include beer ads? Sexist beer ads have traditionally been the norm. Give a scantily clad gal a beer bottle, have her hold it to the camera, give a seductive wink, and voilà, you’ve created a beer ad. You may laugh but take a look at the Miller “Service With a Smile” ad depicting a girl in a bathing suit working under a car.  Or the Schlitz ad featuring a Playboy Playmate and its new “Tall Boy” can with the line, “Here’s to Big Cans!” Or perhaps the raunchiest ever, the Falstaff Beer ad with a pic of the can next to the girl, “Beer v. Girl. At least the beer cannot change its mind once you get its top off.” (more…)

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