Internet Law for Social Media Entrepreneurs

, General Counsel at Meetup

Technology, the Internet, and social media is truly wonderful - because of them, you can do lots of amazing things.  Laws and regulations suck – because of them, you can go to jail.  But if you understand the law, you can use it to your business advantage. 

This course, tailored for non-lawyers, will explore the legal issues that social web companies face when building their business, developing their site and product, and engaging with their users.   This course will empower business decision makers at companies of all stages, from start-ups to mature companies, with a practical understanding of the important legal issues they face and provide a roadmap to navigate real world legal issues and make informed business decisions in the face of legal risk. 

For each topic, we will discuss an overview of the law, review practical guidance on how to apply the law in the real world, and examine case studies drawn from real world current events and situations at Meetup.

Students will emerge from the class with:

  • a legal strategy to complement their broader social media strategy;
  • a checklist of must-dos, should-dos, and never-dos; and
  • the awareness of when to call a lawyer or risk going to jail. 
  • Internet Law 101: Building a Foundation for Your Business

    Meetup HQ

    632 Broadway
    New York, NY

    Terms of Service

    • What does all that stuff mean? What issues do I need to worry about?
    • Can I just copy from another site?
    • How can I get my users to agree? How can I avoid user backlash?

    Defamation and Liability for User Content

    • Defamation? Libel? Slander? Say what?
    • Users say (and do) the craziest things – am I on the hook for that?
    • Can a small change to my site or business model insulate me from risk?

    Copyright and Trademark Infringement

    • If it is on the web, I can copy it because it is open source or fair use or something, right?
    • What does “cease and desist” mean? Are they really going to sue me?
    • Do I own the content that my users post? How can I monetize it?
    Tue, October 2nd, 2012

    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

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  • Internet Law 102: Growing and Protecting Your Business

    Meetup HQ

    632 Broadway
    New York, NY

    Marketing and Advertising

    • Free “get out of jail free” card to the first 50 callers! Act now, limited time offer!
    • Lottery! Sweepstakes! Contests!  Everyone is a winner, except the losers.
    • Can I really say that? What happens if I cant, but I do?


    • Right to privacy? Says who?
    • What information about my users can I collect? How can I use it? 
    • Uhm . . . the private data didn’t remain so private . . . now what?

    Data Security

    • Knock knock. Who’s there? The FBI, and we have a search warrant, so open up because we don’t knock twice! 
    Mon, November 5th, 2012

    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm EST

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David Pashman

General Counsel at Meetup

David Pashman is General Counsel at Meetup, based in New York.  Meetup is the world's largest network of local groups, with over 10 million members and 100,000 local groups meeting face-to-face.  David’s specializes in internet law issues and intellectual property.

Prior to joining Meetup, David was a senior corporate associate in the New York office of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, where he advised internet and technology companies in connection with operating issues, venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions and IPOs.  Before joining Wilson Sonsini, David was the Manager of Business Development at Menerva Technologies, a Silicon Valley start-up.  In between he wandered purposefully throughout India for 6 months. David received his J.D. from New York University School of Law.  When not lawyering, he likes to get lost and found in the mountains.

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