New association to tackle social media legal issues launches

International Social Media Association is the brainchild of Australian lawyer and aims to harmonise global approaches to law in the digital age

A new international association aimed at tackling legal, privacy and intellectual property issues around social media and digital platforms has officially launched.

The International Social Media Association (ISMA) is the brainchild of Axis Legal principal and lawyer, Sara Delpopolo, and was brought about by her work navigating the tortuous legal and intellectual property issues resulting from the rise of social media channels.

Having penned a legal guide to help other legal professionals, along with social media and digital marketing practitioners and brand owners mitigate risk, she took up the task of launching a global association that could work on guidelines, information and a global framework harmonising approaches to social media usage as well as provide legal advice.

At a launch event in Sydney this week, Delpopolo said the association is about bringing together expert lawyers and digital industry advisors globally to try and deal with the huge amount of confusion around social media activity, privacy and intellectual property in a digital age. The objective is to protect and balance the rights of businesses and individuals.

ISMA has already attracted a board of legal experts from the US, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Singapore, China, Israel, Thailand and India and hopes to bring on further individuals from Brazil, Malta and the UK in the next month. It’s also attracted 12 experts in the digital field including BizTech Enterprise Solutions NSW general manager, Dale Cohen; Zuni co-owner, Valentina Borbone; and IAG’s senior manager of digital sales and service, Christopher Rolik.

“The laws are not serviceable around this and no one is looking at it,” Delpopolo said at the launch event. “We need to make sure we close the gap on the laws governing the digital community.”

Whether it’s sole businesses and listed companies to in-house counsel, senior management and HR, media and marketing practitioners, education and government institutions, celebrities and influencers, everyone is facing increased risk from social media, Delpopolo said.

The first major task for ISMA is converting Delpopolo’s guide into an interactive digital offering. It’s also launched the 2016 Social Media Terms of Service whitepaper to illustrate shortcomings throughout terms of service across key social platforms including Snapchat, Facebook , LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, and those that are not potentially not enforceable in Australia. These include things like ownership of IP content, entry into agreement, termination, minimum age and disclaimers.

“As a result of the power held by these platforms, they are burdened with a far greater level of corporate responsibility,” ISMA stated in a release. “Perhaps this is the reason for their overly complicated terms of service, which they know hardly anyone reads, but which everyone accepts anyway. However, most Australians do not realise that some terms are completely unenforceable. In short, accepting the platforms’ terms does not mean throwing your rights away.”

Delpopolo noted the top 10 major social media platforms have gone through at least three major overhauls to terms and conditions in just the last six months. She also pointed out that in 2014, Google dealt with 352 million copyright complaints. In the first half of 2015, Twitter was faced with 38,000 takedown notices.

“Complaints are on the rise and social media is expected to deal with these complaints in 24 hours or all hell breaks loose,” Delpopolo commented, adding that in some instances, responses are automated and raise issues of law infringement.

The association’s second and wider priority is to seek harmonisation globally around how to approach the legal rights of companies and users in a social media situation and more widely, in cyberspace.

“We have international treaties about intellectual property and global treaties that facilitate global commerce, why can’t we do this for social media?” Delpopolo asked. “We’re going to find areas in the law we can harmonise. There are no borders in cyberspace.”

A breakdown of how social media channel terms of service compare
A breakdown of how social media channel terms of service compare


Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

The great unlearning: How brands can assist with the adoption of voice

Mainstream adoption of voice technology will be all about what consumers are learning not to do.

Ash Mustchin

Director, digital and experiences, Principals

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience

According to CMO’s State of the CMO 2017 research, 83 per cent of CMOs believe customer experience to be central to their role. An interesting stat considering few of us experience great brand experiences.

Pip Stocks

CEO and founder, BrandHook

Creating the ultimate customer-centric environment in 2018

All businesses today that are serious about being successful have adopted a customer-centric environment.

Katja Forbes

Founder and chief, sfyte

'to lesson screen time'LOL someone needs a lesson on how to lessen typos.

Andrew Ward

Golden Circles invests in content play to drive brand purpose

Read more

Hey Nadia, interesting read. We have all read about what your chatbots should offer or have but haven't came across with anything about w...

Ashish K Jain

What not to do when building chatbots and voice-based brand interactions

Read more

There are some many other great solutions compared to the ones you listed here. Our clients left some of those and switched to MARA (getM...

Alexandru Rada

CMO's top 10 martech stories for the week - 9 June

Read more

Charming Shane. You know this is a public forum, right ?

Peter Strohkorb

​CMO Interview: Why aligning sales and marketing drives innovation at Konica Minolta

Read more

I agree customer intimacy is a great way of creating better customer experience. Especially in the Insurance and Financial industry. Her...

Jessicalopez1989

Why getting intimate is key to creating a great customer experience and optimising customer value

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in