Friday, September 21, 2012

By settling in Europe, did Apple and the e-book publishers admit liability in the USA?

I've written a fair bit about the Apple e-books litigation, but I've focused on the US mostly. But that's not been the only place they've been called to the carpet. The EU Competition Commission had its own concerns and launched its own inquiry.

On September 19, Apple and 4 e-book publishers reached a settlement to resolve the EU issues. Similarly to the USA, the EU has opened the proposal up to public comments. And the terms of that proposed settlement are telling for what will happen in the USA as well, for one very important reason:

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Four things app developers need to know about the new FTC mobile app marketing guide

On September 5, the FTC published its new guide to marketing mobile apps, and although it may not make any changes to the law, it will probably come as quite a surprise to many app developers.

The first points in the Guide deal with the general issue of misrepresentations. And although the language in the Guide is chatty, the points in there are all business. But they're also not hard to comply with, boiling down to one simple one: don't say things about your app that you can't prove to be true. This seems like common sense. Amazingly it's not. The FTC points to an app whose developers claimed it could cure acne. I'm not even sure how that could be possible. Apparently the FTC agreed, because they took action to shut it down.

But that much is easy. Where it gets a bit more involved is when the FTC turns its attention to privacy issues. The FTC is very concerned about privacy in the mobile app space. I'm even told they have mystery shoppers downloading apps and testing them out for privacy compliance issues. No surprise then that most of the Guide is dedicated to privacy. And the Guide contains three additional big points on privacy issues that app developers should consider:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Siri: is this lawsuit too clever by half? Maybe, but maybe not.

"Siri: Tell me whether you're in sales."

That may be a question that no one with an iPhone 4S has ever asked. But for at least one plaintiff in San Francisco, it's a question that Siri should answer honestly.

Three basic questions about using real people as inspirations for your characters

Authors, filmmakers, and other creatives have always built their stories from their own experiences. Being inspired by real events and real people is almost impossible to avoid. But sometimes people go a step further and build their creations directly from reality, including real people or real events that can be traced back to real people. And, when done right, this can lead to increased interest translating into increased sales. As a wise gnome once said, Step 3 is Profit!

But doing it wrong can lead to real problems.

Although there's more than just four things to consider when using real people in your creations, the questions I've gotten have revolved around three big issues.