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Category: Uncategorized

Importance Of Marketing For IP Law Firms

Posted on October 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

“Marketing is the art of telling a story that resonates with your audience and then spreads.” – Seth Godin

On a daily basis, hundreds and thousands of brands are launched in the market. While many of them succeed in capturing the interest of customers, there are a few that remain unnoticed. Many times, we blame the quality of a brand’s products or services for its failure, but forget to emphasize a prime factor that plays an essential role in either making or breaking the brand image. Somehow, we fail to notice that it is also marketing which portrays a crucial part in introducing a brand to its potential customers.

Marketing has a big hand in creating the audience for the launched brand, product or service. Moreover, it is only because of effective marketing that customers trust that their valuable money is not getting wasted after they invest it in a product or service of a particular brand. So, the importance of marketing should never be under-estimated by any company, be it small-sized or huge. Marketing is one of the most prominent tools with which a company can inform its potential customers about the stuff it deals in. To attain the same, there is a good number of marketing strategies that companies use to escalate their name and image on a higher level.

Do you belong to the intellectual property market? Are you the owner of a law firm and need some help in marketing your name in the best possible manner? If that’s the case, you can rely upon a global law marketing agency that assists law firms with strategic or operational level marketing. Be it email webinar production, websites, website video production, or social media / linked in, law marketing agencies make use of different online marketing concepts so that the law firm can become a great success. If you want to improve your firm’s rankings, implement CRM systems, build websites, and much more, contacting a global law firm popular for providing online marketing for law firms would be of great help.

So, what are you waiting for? Search online for a leading IP Legal Marketing Agency in New York without any delay. During your online hunt, you will come across a long list of companies that deal in the same, however, make sure you select the one that has many years of experience in the IP market. This way, taking help from a marketing agency will assist you in captivating the attention of your potential clients on a regular basis. All the best!

Legal Music Downloads

Posted on September 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

On July 28, 2004, French Internet access providers and music copyright owners signed a joint national charter aimed at cracking down on illegal downloads and expanding the amount of legal music tracks available online (AFP). This is the latest in a series of moves taken across the world to combat music piracy as production labels see more and more of their profits being lost to illegal downloads of music files.

The music industry has been saying the same thing for several years now: peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing networks are exponentially distributing pirated music across the world through the Internet, and this constitutes a copyright infringement. In English, this means that the fact that I downloaded a Tori Amos track through Kazaa yesterday and am listening to it right now makes me a criminal. So far, so good. Quite true as well.

But the real problem is not that people do not want to pay for music. Often I sample new music off the Internet before buying the CDs. Chances are that if I like most of the album, I’m going to buy it. On the surface this is what radio stations do when they play music. The difference, however, is that it has become insanely easy for me to acquire almost-as-good-as-original quality mp3s of any track that I want to listen to, and even if I don’t pay a dime, no one is there to catch me.

The principle of accountability has vanished. When one sees that there are two ways to acquire the same product, but by sacrificing a ‘little’ bit of quality you can get it for free without being penalized for it, what would most rational people do? P2P networks have made finding music off the Internet ridiculously easy, and most of us tend to ‘forget’ our social responsibility when it comes to such ‘trivial’ matters. To contribute to this, copy-protection techniques used on CDs by major production houses are always a step behind the latest cracking algorithms, and steps taken to prevent ‘ripping’ of CDs and DVDs have proven fruitless so far.

Enter music downloads of the legal kind. Disregarding the small number of ‘free’ legal music available for promotional purposes, more and more artists and labels have begun to provide a pay-per-download music service. In essence, you can purchase individual tracks or complete albums through a secure online transaction and then download your ‘purchase’ and, with variable limits to personal use, pretty much do whatever you want to do with it (Several providers digitally encode the files to prevent them from being played on other computers, or to be burned onto CD-Rs)
This is both a move to encourage free-riders such as me to start acquiring ‘legal’ music and an economic adjustment to the digital music revolution. Developing technologies are changing the way people perceive and use music. The advent of iPod and other mp3 players has meant that more and more people are becoming accustomed to carrying around their complete music collections with the latest players offering space for around 10,000 songs. This holds frightening possibilities for record companies. There is a very real concern within the industry that the CD format is fast going out of style, and as technology evolves, consumer demands for the best ‘medium’ will change as well. Till a few years ago audio CDs offered unparalleled music quality, a factor record companies used to encourage people to ‘buy instead of steal (download)’. However, today’s high-quality digital formats mean that audio quality is comparable, and in some cases equal to, CDs. Some experts are even starting to predict that within a decade CDs will become history as digital music will evolve to a point where we will be have access to our entire music collection (hopefully paid for) wherever we want it: in our car, at work, anywhere in the house, even on the beach. Matched with promises (and the reality) of audio quality, this is a serious threat to traditional business.

Thus, providing legal music online is a means of the industry trying to position itself to take advantage of the rising trend of portable music collections. A quick glance across major online music stores tells us exactly so. While offering free-riders affordable music (allowing them to purchase only the tracks they like instead of forcing them to buy the complete album) to ensure that they do not turn to music piracy, sites like eMusic and Apple’s iTunes are backing the new trend. iTunes, Apple’s online music store, has the added distinction of being supported by perhaps the best mp3 player in the business, the iPod. In this combination, Apple has found a very secure marketing brand and ensured that it takes full advantage of this cross between technology and music.

Legal music downloads appear to be the perfect answer to stopping music piracy, at least the downloading kind. Therefore there is no surprise when one sees major record labels pushing to expand such services. However, recent developments tend to make us question what the overall agenda really is. After a period of consolidation of the digital music market in the last two years, albums available for download online are being priced higher than they would normally be in retail stores. It used to be that you could download a song for $0.99 and a complete album for $9.99, but now stores are setting higher prices, with tracks going for $1.50 or even $2.49 and $11.50 albums being sold for $12.50 and $13.00 online. What is going on?
In positioning themselves to take advantage of changing market forces, the music industry has also hit upon another major factor in determining sales: consumer behavior. Legal music downloads offer people like me the comfort of never having to waste time in retail stores looking for my favorite track from high-school days or wondering when the latest album of Nickelback would hit the shelves. Instead, all the hassles are removed with everything easily searchable, previewable and downloadable from the comfort of my computer chair (and this baby is very, very, comfortable). Consumers may not be usually rational, but they are always looking to save the effort when it comes to making any sort of purchases. Online stores (or is it the major recording labels? Who knows…) are now cashing into this very aspect of human psychology and are beginning to charge extra for a service they are portraying now as a privilege. Having already consolidated their core target market, the time has now come to increase revenues.

Would this drive people back towards music piracy? Highly unlikely. People are not evil, or criminal, by nature. Appeals to their better nature usually work, and that is the strategy adopted by agencies like the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) who are actively involved in putting a stop to illegal music sharing. Media campaigns encouraging music lovers to pay a dollar or two for tracks instead of ‘committing a crime’ by downloading them for free are actually working as slowly but surely, more and more people flock to online music stores. And with existing customers sticking to this more ‘comfortable’ way of buying music, the industry is finally starting to win back ground it lost due to music piracy.

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Legal Issues Associated With Affiliate Marketing For Product Vendors

Posted on August 13, 2019 in Uncategorized

The contract which regulates the legal relationship between Affiliate Marketers and Product Vendors in the online marketing of goods is a critical document. The terms defining the rights and obligations of the parties should be very clear. Perhaps the most important clause to include in the contract is a termination clause, in the event that a Product Vendor needs to take decisive action to put an end to harmful practices engaged in by an Affiliate which are damaging to it’s interests and brand.

When an Affiliate promotes products online they often have a global presence and are doing business in a different jurisdiction than the Product Vendor. Whilst it is helpful to insert a jurisdictional clause stating what jurisdiction and law will govern any disputes which arise, such a clause will not always be conclusive. There may still be uncertainty as to where a relevant act or conduct has occurred which gives rise to a dispute and what law and forum a dispute should be determined in. Where legal action is commenced in the Affiliate’s home jurisdiction, on the basis that this is more convenient in order to facilitate enforcement of a Judgment against an Affiliate, there is a possibility an Affiliate could try to frustrate such proceedings by arguing that there is a clause in the Contract which nominates a jurisdiction to be applied for the resolution of disputes which arise. Therefore there is no clear answer as to whether jurisdiction or forum clause should be inserted into an Affiliate Marketing Agreement to protect your interests.

When a product vendor enters into a contract with a third party Affiliate Service Provider, it is customary for the provider to refer a network of Affiliates to the Product Vendor which may only have access to the physical address of the relevant Affiliate Website, but no information regarding the identity of the Affiliate Marketer. In the absence of reliable whois information, acquiring this information through the use of discovery procedures such as through the use of subpoenas may be difficult and impractical.

A successful Affiliate may invest significant time and effort in understanding the products they are promoting, but may not be familiar with the legal and regulatory landscape in a particular jurisdiction. A Product Vendor who discovers an Affiliate engaged in making misrepresentations regarding their Product may incur vicarious liability for their illegal actions. Careful consideration should be given to addressing these issues in the Affiliate Agreement. A Product Vendor may consider closely pre-screening Affiliates or subjecting them to an approval process prior to appointing them to ensure they are reputable and have the relevant knowledge of the regulatory framework where they will be operating.

Many affiliates employ email marketing and it is important to ensure that an Affiliate promoting your product isn’t purchasing customer lists without ensuring that customers listed have given permission to be contacted in an affiliate email marketing campaign. The only legitimate way to use email marketing is to send offers to targets who have given permission to email them. List building is a challenge faced by Affiliates who are sometimes tempted to use purchased spam lists or email harvesting software which will generally result in them being banned from a marketing network. Illegal email marketing practices may not only incur liability but also tarnish the Product Vendor’s brand and attract significant penalties from regulators depending on the spam laws in the relevant jurisdiction.

Cookie stuffing is an illegal practice used by some Affiliates to gain credit for a sale from a user who has visited their website. The placement of cookies on a user’s computer is done without their knowledge and without any referral to the product vendor’s website. Affiliates have engaged in this practice to ensure they receive the credit for a sale even where there was no referral from them leading to the sale of the product. Adware companies have been prepared to act as Affiliates, resulting in the installation of software on an end user’s computer without their consent. Irritating pop-up ads to promote the vendor’s product not only cause disruption to the end user experience but cause end users to attribute blame to the Product Vendor. The practice may also breach anti-spyware laws, exposing a Product Vendor to legal liability for the Affiliate’s actions.

Affiliates who elicit fake product reviews and make misleading and deceptive claims about products or features are also likely to be in breach of consumer laws. As a matter of urgency, the most pragmatic course of action is to terminate the affiliate’s appointment upon discovery of such behaviour to mitigate damage and exposure to legal liability and sanctions

It is also important to monitor whether the Affiliate is implicated in unauthorised use of trademarks or the registration of domain names deceptively similar to your trademarks or brands. The best way to address this contingency is to ensure trademarks and domain names are registered in the most significant markets in which you trade. This contingency should be addressed in the Affiliate Agreement and if an Affiliate won’t respond to take down requests, Google’s complaint service may be used as a preliminary step to legal action.

Affiliates often promote competing products, placing them on comparison websites. It is advisable to monitor activities to ensure Affiliates aren’t using a Product Vendor’s product to sell a competing product which yields a higher commission. Some Affiliates have been known to use search engine strategies to direct users to advertising for a Vendor Product containing unfavourable reviews for one product they promote, coupled with favourable reviews for a competing product with a higher commission.

It is important to realise that whilst Affiliate Marketing is an excellent way of promoting sales of your product there are legal and practical considerations to be aware of. Most Affiliates are professional, knowledgeable and act with integrity.

However It is recommended that Product Vendors be aware of the dangers associated with Affiliate Marketing and also keep up to date with the latest marketing and advertising laws in the jurisdictions in which they trade. The Federal Trade Commission for instance has updated their Guidelines regarding advertising practices which both Internet Marketers and Product Vendors should familiarise themselves with.

This is the best way to ensure that Affiliate Marketing results in the promotion of both sales and brand and doesn’t expose the Product Vendor to unnecessary legal or commercial damage.


Online Gambling Laws in New Zealand

Posted on August 11, 2019 in Uncategorized

New Zealand is currently a burgeoning gambling market. Millions of residents take part in some form of gambling activity everyday, and the population of recreational gamblers has been growing rapidly over the course of the past few years. While the land-based gaming market is seeing a great deal of growth, so is the online casino market. However, the laws regulating online gambling in New Zealand can be quite complex, so here is a brief overview of legality of online gaming in the country

New Zealand’s online gambling laws are regulated under the Gambling Act 2003, along with all other forms of gambling in the country. Up until 2003, online gambling was not regulated by any laws, so the legislation is still quite new and residents believe there are still some kinks to work out.

According to the Act, remote interactive gambling is prohibited. This applies only to gambling that is organized or conducted within New Zealand. Offshore operators can face fines for offering their services to residents of the country, but few have been prosecuted by local authorities. Some local online gambling operators are able to offer their services online, including TabCorp, a gaming operator which has a near-monopoly on gambling in Australia and New Zealand.

The advertisement of offshore online casinos is also prohibited. Therefore, gambling companies which are not based in New Zealand may not advertise their services to residents. This includes sports sponsorships and television commercials, as well as in-print and online advertisements.

Recognizing that New Zealanders are keen to take part in online gambling, the government has decided to allow some forms of online wagering to take place. It has recently been decided that players would be allowed to play the local lottery online. NZ Lotto has launched its own online gambling website, so that players can purchase all sorts of lottery products online. The website also offers online bingo and keno, adding to the range of choices that players have when it comes to gambling legally online. NZ Lotto’s website is a huge step forward for the country’s online gambling market; however, residents would still like to have more choice when it comes to playing casino games online.

There are some exceptions to the rules, however. The New Zealand government has stated that some cases of online gambling that may be disputed. As such, the local gaming commission would have to assess these situations on a case-by-case basis to ensure that players and operators across the country are receiving fair and safe treatment in the online gaming world.