Can you sue for libel and then keep your name a secret?

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People are saying mean things about you. You’d like to sue them to get them to stop. Can you do this and maintain your privacy — including keeping your name a secret? This principle is being tested right now in Cincinnati. Bloggers accused a police officer of flashing a white power sign at protestors and … Continued

Hey, Disney. #MayThe4th be with you, but nobody owns a hashtag

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Disney asserted that it has the rights to do whatever it wants with your content, just because you used the #MayThe4th hashtag. That’s not how hashtags work. Here’s what Disney tweeted: Here’s the thing about hashtags: Nobody owns them. If I want to use #MayThe4th in my tweet about Star Wars linked to porn, I … Continued

These are the stupidest contract terms I saw this year. Can you beat them?

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I recently got the opportunity to run a writing workshop for a huge social media company. That meant I also got the opportunity to see their standard supplier contract, which had some pretty outrageous stuff in it. Freelancers, I challenge you: have you seen contract terms worse than this? Let me be clear about what … Continued

I will quote you. I will cite you. I will not seek your approval.

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If you publish content, online or off, you are a publisher. I am an author. I will cite your content and quote what you said. That’s how it works, regardless of any imaginary restrictions you think up. Call it the fundamental principle of content. Every content marketer should know this. Maybe you published a blog … Continued

Barstool Sports tells Elika Sadeghi that they’re schmucks. Is this a problem?

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Barstool Sports offered reporter Elika Sadeghi a two-year contract that specified she’d be subject to offensive speech. Sort of. The whole incident falls apart upon close examination. As described in The Boston Globe, Sadeghi opted not to take the gig when she read the contract. It included a passage saying she understood that her colleagues … Continued

The clarity of Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court

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The New York Times described Donald Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court as “an Echo of [Antonin] Scalia in Philosophy and Style.” But where the late Justice Scalia’s writings were sarcastic and passive-aggressive, Gorsuch’s are straightforward, logical, and clear. Because he writes often in the first-person, his arguments come across as direct rather than snide or veiled. Let’s … Continued

Mossack Fonseca’s wimpy response to the Panama Papers

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Carlos Sousa is the PR Director for Mossack Fonseca & Co. This has to be the most thrilling week of his career, since someone leaked 11 million of his firm’s documents — the “Panama Papers” — implicating prominent world figures in corruption. But when you parse Sousa’s statements, you realize that his main message to clients is “don’t … Continued