Saturday, August 28, 2021

Puffery And Prevention

Puffery is like a fig leaf for writers. A vague or highly subjective assertion does not expose you, legally. Whether or not it is good writing is another matter entirely.

Here's an example of non-actionable puffery. "Alien Romances is the most interesting, reader-friendly, quick-read blog that has been active for more than 10 years."

The Frankfurt Kurnitz Klein + Selz PC advertising law blog article, 'Does "Tested" Actually Mean That You've Conducted Testing?' discusses a recent legal dispute over truth in advertising plumbing equipment.

Legal blogger Jeff Greenbaum expertly runs through three separate claims that a rival purveyor of plumbing supplies found offensive, and why --on appeal-- two of the claims did not stick (legally speaking), but one did.

For UK law firm Burges Salmon LLP, legal expert Helen Scott-Lawler and Amanda Leiu examine two stories of social media influences who fell foul of the law (the Advertising Standards Authority), one for allegedly using her Instagram presence to promote products for profit without --allegedly-- properly disclosing that her posts were advertisements, and the other for running a social media "contest" and allegedly failing to deliver the prize to the contest winner.

We writers like stories, we advertise, we promote, we try to use social media for visibility and profit... so these cautionary tales are good to know.

Most scandalous of all (for today)  Elizabeth Tuttle Newman, writing for the FKKS IP and Media Law blog discusses the slander of a public figure in No Slander, No Case...

Lexology link:

The bottom line is that aggrieved public figures have to be able to prove actual and deliberate malice, and moreover,  mild inaccuracies or fanciful speculation are not necessarily defamatory. For any writer considering articles or biographies of interesting subjects, this is edifying reading.

Also precautionary....

For writers who own blogs or websites where other people may add comments, you should register a copyright agent and keep your account active by changing your password when prompted, which is usually every couple of months.

The designated copyright agent for this blog is Rowena Cherry.

The purpose of designating a copyright agent and registering with the DMCA Designated Agent Directory is to qualify for safe harbor protection. For an explanation, see here.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry  


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