This week’s E-Commerce Law Briefs focus on social-networking giant MySpace. Previous posts on E-Commerce Law have detailed the actual and perceived dangers associated with use of MySpace by minors and the resulting harm to MySpace’s reputation amongst potential advertisers. Months ago, we outlined the economic forces which would and have forced MySpace to develop more sophisticated safety measures so as to fully realize the revenue potential of the MySpace phenomenon.
In a microcosm, this week’s news demonstrates the evolution of the entire MySpace controversy, from danger through image repair to monetization:
"Four families have sued News Corp. and its MySpace social-networking site after their underage daughters were sexually abused by adults they met on the site . . . ." A lawyer for one of the families says that "MySpace waited entirely too long to attempt to institute meaningful security measures that effectively increase the safety of their underage users." The lawyer says that he hopes the suits will encourage the social-networking site to focus more on safety and prevent similar abuse in the future and the families are seeking millions of dollars in damages.
On the heels of those lawsuits, MySpace has announced that it will team with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to distribute Amber alerts.
As an aside, MySpace has also "sued a Colorado man once accused of being one of the world's top three spammers, saying the man gained access to MySpace profiles using stolen passwords and used the information to send spam bulletins."
MySpace has also inked a deal that will permit it to sell music from certain independent record labels.
E-Commerce Law Briefs is a weekly feature appearing each Friday afternoon on E-Commerce Law. Each week, E-Commerce Law Briefs will provide a brief summary and commentary on recent legal news affecting e-commerce businesses.
Technorati Tags: MySpace