LAW & SOCIAL MEDIA Ryan M. Garcia University of Texas, Austin Spring 2013, Rm. 3.

124 Townes Hall Friday 10:30AM–12:30PM Office: 3.118G Townes Hall Office Hrs: 9:30-10:30 Friday Faculty. Asst: Jolyn Piercy, 3.118 Phone: 471-4327 Course Description Social media has revolutionized how we share, consume, and interact with all forms of digital content. As with any revolution, the changes brought by social media touch on all aspects of our life—including our legal system. This revolution is still in its infancy, but the growth spurt brought by the explosion of popular social networks and technologies has forced our legal system to adapt old rules to new methods and create new rules as needed. This course will discuss the spectrum of legal topics being impacted by social media: from marketing to intellectual property, employment to privacy. You will also explore the role that lawyers in law firms and within organizations face when addressing these changes and the emerging risks. From Facebook to Pinterest, Foursquare to Quora, we’ll explore how these platforms are changing our application of existing laws. And from the case of Honda Eddie to the decision involving BMW Hot Dogs, we’ll go over the early cases forging a path into this brave new world. By the end of the semester you will understand the social media legal issues and the methods being used by attorneys to address these risks and how to spot the next trouble area when it emerges. Course Materials All reading assignments will be posted on the @SoMeDellLawyer twitter account on Friday afternoons for class the following week. By Week 8 please watch the movie Catfish. It is available on Netflix (disc only) and Amazon Instant Video. Course Requirements 20% of your grade will be based on class participation in the form of group research on that week’s topic. 80% of your grade will be a final exam consisting of three essay questions. The exam will be conducted at the law school and you may use any materials you have prepared or assisted in preparing for the final exam.


Class Attendance and Preparation Class attendance is not required but each group is responsible for the weekly research regardless of attendance. Course Outline and Reading Assignments Barring any adjustments made during the term, the following topics will be discussed during these weeks: Week 1: Overview and Classifying Risks Week 2: Social Media Policies, Terms of Service Week 3: Marketing Week 4: Contests and Promotions Week 5: Copyright Week 6: Privacy Week 7: Employment Week 8: Corporate Social Media - Please watch the movie Catfish prior to this class Week 9: Rights of Publicity Week 10: Free Speech Week 11: Legal Ethics Week 12: Brand Damage Week 13: The Law of the Crowd Week 14: Recent Developments, Review


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