When it comes to smart phones, Lancaster’s technology lawyers Matt Landis and Brandon Harter rarely agree on anything. Brandon wisely chooses the superior flexibility offered by Google’s Android environment, while Matt continues to dogmatically do only what someone in a long-sleeved black T-shirt and jeans tells him.

 In this post and in Matt’s counterpart, we managed to find some common ground: we can’t stand distracted driving. These posts will outline how features on an iPhone or an Android phone can reduce distractions and make the road a little bit safer for everyone.

 With the release of Apple’s Do Not Disturb While Driving feature as part of iOS 11, it is worth taking the time to remind everyone that Android apps have been helping us manage this for years. In a nutshell, the app prevents distracted driving by: (1) silencing your phone so you cannot see new text messages until you arrive; and (2) gives you the option to automatically reply that you’re driving and will get back to them when you arrive. Continue Reading Public Service Announcement: How your Android phone can help prevent distracted driving

When it comes to smart phones, Lancaster’s technology lawyers Matt Landis and Brandon Harter rarely agree on anything. Matt’s an Apple fanboy, while for some reason Brandon uses an Android phone.

In this post and in Brandon’s counterpart, we managed to find some common ground: we can’t stand distracted driving. These posts will outline how features on an iPhone or an Android phone can reduce distractions and make the road a little bit safer for everyone.

We are constantly interrupted from the notification tones or vibrations from our mobile phones, and on the road, that’s an obvious problem. On my commute, I witness distracted driving nearly every day. As our own Charlee Sweigart astutely observed in a lunchroom conversation on the issue: “Nobody looks down that much and smiles.”

With the release of iOS 11 last week, Apple announced a feature to help reduce distracted driving: Do Not Disturb While Driving. Basically, text and other notifications are limited while driving to reduce distractions. Calls may come through depending on your setup and settings – for example, if you’re connected to the vehicle’s Bluetooth system, the call will come through. For a full explanation of the feature’s impact on various notifications, you can learn more on Apple’s support website or by clicking “Learn More…” in the Do Not Disturb menu on the iPhone. Continue Reading Public Service Announcement: How your iPhone can help prevent distracted driving

Last December my colleague Matt Landis wrote about how 2016 was a big year for Lancaster’s tech community. Not satisfied with that success, 2017 has continued to highlight Lancaster’s tech sector. Here are a few examples making the front page this year:

We are excited to continue being a part of the technology explosion here in Lancaster County. You use technology to make your business more efficient. Does your lawyer do the same for you? Call us learn more about how we use technology to improve our clients’ results while decreasing their costs.

Brandon Harter is an attorney and technology guru at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from William & Mary Law School and advises clients on issues of Business LawCivil Litigation & Dispute ResolutionMunicipal Law, and Information Technology & Internet Law.

Earlier this month my wife and I traveled to Barcelona, Spain and I posted some of the highlights from our trip on Instagram. On the last day of our trip, we traveled just outside the city to Montserrat, which features a monastery and some incredible views.

After I returned to the US, I received a notification that I’d been tagged in a photo from an account I didn’t recognize. I opened the notification, and here’s what I found:

Montserrat in Catalonia

Another account had copied my photo, and in the description included a copyright symbol next to my username. I quickly reviewed the other posts from the account, and every other image was accompanied by a similar description.

This practice is called “content curation”, and while relatively common on Instagram and other social media sites, it doesn’t eliminate the risks of running afoul of the individual site’s terms of service, or subjecting the curator to liability for intellectual property infringement. Consequences for these types of violations include removal of the content, getting your account temporarily or permanently suspended, to an intellectual property infringement lawsuit with the potential for significant financial penalties.

So what’s the problem? The other account gave attribution, that makes it ok right? Continue Reading Protecting Your Intellectual Property on Instagram

Last week, the finalists for The Great Social Enterprise Pitch were announced. In case you haven’t been following along, The Great Social Enterprise Pitch is a Central Pennsylvania-focused business plan competition organized by the Lancaster Community Foundation and ASSETS.

The following five social enterprises will compete at the Live Pitch event on October 6, 2017 at the Ware Center:

  1. Bridge – connecting communities through shared experiences.
  2. Green Matters Natural Dye Company – bringing pollution free color to the textile industry.
  3. Lancaster Fellow Foodies – making​ ​healthy​ ​dinners​ ​easy​ ​while​ ​creating​ ​meaningful​ ​jobs​ ​and​ ​advancing​ ​eco-friendly​ ​farming.
  4. Language Beyond Borders – building communication, bridging cultures, creating jobs.
  5. Meraki Mocha – empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through a farm-to-table café.

Tickets for the Live Pitch event can be obtained for $10 here. Doors open at 5:00 pm for a business expo, pitches begin at 7:00 pm. The pitches are followed by keynote speaker Tyler Gage, the cofounder of RUNA, a social enterprise company that makes beverages with guayusa from the Amazon rainforest. I hope to see you there!

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs.

Roald Dahl

In celebration of Roald Dahl Day  last Wednesday, someone posted the above quote from the multi-talented British novelist (and short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot) on r/GetMotivated on Reddit.

This quote describes an approach to life that some have naturally, but most pursue through self-reflection, hard work, trial and error. I’m part of the latter category, but what I love about my job is working hard to help my clients achieve their goal.

I’m fortunate to witness the pursuit of this lifestyle in various ways (I’m looking at you, members of CrossFit Hershey), but I see it most often in the entrepreneurs and small business owners that I have the privilege of working with. They have an interest, which turns into a hobby and at some point, they decide to take it to the next level. Continue Reading Lukewarm Is No Good – Turning Your Hobby into a Business

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued an updated version of its Endorsement Guides, which includes important information about the FTC’s current thoughts on when and how material connections between brands and endorsers should be disclosed.

In yesterday’s post, I discussed some background information about the theory behind FTC rules and endorsements and summarized some of the key points from the FTC’s guidance on when disclosures should be made. Below is a discussion of a few key points from the Endorsement Guides about how disclosures should be made online. Continue Reading Marketers and Influencers: How Should You Make Disclosures Online?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued an updated version of its Endorsement Guides, which includes important information about the FTC’s current thoughts on when and how material connections between brands and endorsers should be disclosed. In this post, I’ll summarize some of the key points from the FTC’s guidance on when disclosures should be made. Check back tomorrow for more information about how an appropriate disclosure should be made online and whether the FTC is paying attention to influencers (hint – the answer is yes).

But first, here’s some background information to help frame the discussion: Continue Reading Marketers and Influencers: When Should You Make Disclosures Online?

Last Thursday, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that ASSETS, a Lancaster-based nonprofit organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity and cultivating entrepreneurial leadership, was awarded a grant of $102,598 through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME) program. PRIME grants aim to help small businesses gain access to capital. This makes ASSETS an ideal candidate for assistance through PRIME, as ASSETS provides access to capital through its Lending Circles program.

ASSETS also provides additional valuable small business services to Central Pennsylvania small business owners, including seminars, business consulting, and Women’s Business Accelerator program, to name a few. ASSETS also sponsors the ongoing business plan competition, The Great Social Enterprise Pitch, which is currently in the crowdfunding campaign portion of the competition. You can learn more and donate here: The Great Social Enterprise Pitch Crowdfunding Portal.

You can learn more about the great work that ASSETS does in Lancaster County and how you can get involved at the ASSETS website, located at www.assetspa.org.

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs.

A federal court case involving who has the exclusive rights to a selfie taken by a monkey has settled. As mentioned in Part 4 of my series on Intellectual Property Law Basics, at the trial court level, a federal judge determined that animals cannot own copyrights. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but reached an agreement with the photographer, David Slater to settle the lawsuit prior to a ruling on the appeal.

The basis for the photographer’s claim to the rights associated with the photo is that he engineered the photo using his camera and that since copyright law does not recognize ownership rights by an animal, the exclusive rights associated with the image are owned by the photographer’s company. The settlement reportedly requires that the photographer agrees to donate 25% of any future revenue of the images to charities that protect crested macaques (the species of monkey that took the selfie). Continue Reading Copyright Update: Monkey See, Monkey Settle