Binders Presentation: Artists, Social Media & the Law, Sept 19, 2011

On Monday, September 19, 2011, Law2sm’s founder, Deborah Gonzalez, Esq. presented on “Artists, Social Media & the Law” at Binders Art School in Buckhead, Georgia ( The session looked at the legal and business considerations of putting art online using the newest social media platforms. This session was the latest in The Binder’s Art & Law Series Deborah offers every other month as part of her pro bono services to the creative community.

The presentation began with exploring the reasons why artists are online: so their art can be found, so art buyers can verify them, so their art can be purchased, and so they can engage with others in the artistic community.

But there are other non-traditional reasons to be online as well.  Some examples include:

And artists aren’t the only ones online.  Museums, seeking for a new generation to enjoy their exhibits are hosting “tweet-ups” ( and art galleries are going virtual (

In addition artists are using social media as a medium to create new kinds of art or as the message of the art work itself. —

The session concluded with a quick review of other legal concerns online

  • Intellectual property issues (copyrights and trademarks, including domain and social networking account names)
  • Defamation and artistic criticism/review
  • Censorship and obscenity laws
  • Social Art Collaboration and Crowdsourcing

Are you an artist using social media?  Are you an art buyer who reviews art online?  What are your thoughts about these issues?

For a free electronic copy of the PowerPoint of the session email your request to

NGBC: Social Media Workshop (September 12, 2011)

The North Georgia Business Connection ( along with Reformations Productions ( held a Social Media Workshop event on Monday, September 12, 2011 at Dave & Busters in Duluth, GA (  Law2sm’s founder, Deborah Gonzalez, was there presenting on Five Social Media Legal Myths every business person should know (

Deborah’s presentation laid out some key points regarding legal issues and social media including:

  • Make sure you have the right person with the right skills for the job – whether that is a social media management company or a social media lawyer;
  • Make sure to have a plan – what is your goal for using social media?  Is your use of social media in compliance with legal regulations or with industry standards and norms?
  • Make sure to invest the resources to protect your brand and your company’s reputation, online and off, through the use of trademarks, best practices , employee policies, and more.

Business professionals have a lot on their plates and they often wear more than just one hat (especially small business owners).  If you are going to use social media, get the right folks in place to help you, especially in the beginning.  It’s worth the investment.

Contact Law2sm now for a “Talk it Out Legal Chat Session”.  Only $225 for 60 minutes to go over your concerns about protecting your company’s brand and digital assets. We’ll go over your questions and look at recommended next steps to help you reach your goals legally and professionally.  Or request a Social Media Legal Audit ( – this comprehensive assessment reviews your current policies and social media presence to identify legal loopholes or gaps and what you can do to protect your business online.  Pricing is based on size and revenue of company.  Call now for more information 404-857-1331!

Rachel Bennet of Reformation Productions, Deborah Gonzalez of Law2sm, and Rob Donahue of NGBC.

Tweetup at the High Museum of Art, ATL

On Thursday, September 1, 2011, Law2sm’s founder, Deborah Gonzalez, participated in a fun-tweetiful event – the High Museum of Art, in Atlanta, GA, hosted a TweetUp. Twitter users were invited to tour the museum for free and share their thoughts about the museum’s exhibits with their followers.

As tweeters “tweeted’ their experience to their followers, their tweets were displayed on a full-length screen in the Museum’s lobby.  Tweeters shared thoughts, photos, and information about the various pieces of art and artifacts throughout the museum complex.  The evening was full of surprises as “Andy Warhol” was on hand to greet the tweeters and promote the upcoming Picasso and Warhol exhibit and certain tweeters won prizes such as museum t-shirts, free admission tickets to return to the museum and other High swag.

Organizers of the event did a lot of things right – they were prepared – including their admissions stickers that participants wore that had the twitter bird and the twitter hashtag for the event #hightweetup prominently displayed.  No one could forget the hashtag and its neon colors had other museum visitors inquiring about what did it mean?

However, as this is a legal blog relating to social media I wanted to focus on another thing the museum organizers did right – as each participant signed in (registration was requested online prior to the event) – they received a printed document entitled “Tweetup Gallery Photo Policies” from the hostesses.  Smartphones and iPads abounded at the Tweetup.  Tweeting pics was to be a big part of the Tweetup, but the museum did have some concerns.

This half sized piece of paper laid out the guidelines relating to photographing inside the museum.  The museum reminded the tweetup participants that it is “bound to certain contracts and restrictions that may not allow for every work of art to be photographed.”  Intellectual property rights, publicity rights, and other legal rights all play a part in protecting and conserving the value of art for today and many generations to come.  Lending works of art between museums is a common occurrence but is based on trust and contractual agreements of what is to be permitted with the art work, how it is to be exhibited, for how long, etc.  Reciprocity is important, and if one museum fails to adhere to the contract, other museums will find out and then not want to lend them their art in the future for security concerns.

The Tweetup Photo Policies laid out in clear, simple English, what exhibits could be photographed during the event, but more importantly, what exhibits could not.  Most museums have a “No Photography” rule – if you like an exhibit more likely than not there is a postcard or catalogue book with the image in it, ready for you to purchase.  If photography is allowed it is usually limited to permanent collections and for private use and viewing – not for commercial activities – so you can’t take a photo, enlarge it to poster size and sell it on your eBay® account.  That’s a big no-no.

The policies also gave participants a contact or contacts – who to ask if you weren’t sure if you could take the photo or not – security officers!  Talk to them, they are not so scary and actually know something about the exhibits – at least the ones we spoke to.  They also had a few funny stories to share about the big silver-plated platter by Anish Kapoor on the third floor.  Born in India in 1954, Anish’s sculptures are meant to be interactive and they invite the viewer to do more than just look.  The platter stands against a wall.  If you stand in front of it, and someone stands on the other side of the room behind you, you can whisper and they would hear what you said.  It is quite eerie but a lot of fun and you need at least two to make it work – it’s invitation to engage make it a great symbol for the tweetup – art to be experienced, to be shared, to be social.

We look forward to the next one.  Stay tuned!

Deborah Gonzalez, founder of Law2sm, tweeting at the High Tweetup; Background image is Leda and the Sawn by Vik Muniz, 2009


DG in front of Anish Kappoor's silver resounding platter, 3rd Floor.

Lunch and Learn: Badvocacy (Sept. 1, 2011)

Law2sm’s second Lunch and Learn in Athens, explored the real-world business concern of badvocacy – when “someone” spreads negative comments about you or your company on social media platforms and networks.  Participants gathered at Buffalo’s Café in the Alps Shopping Center, and while munching on delicious appetizers learned about how to identify badvocacy, and steps they can take before, during, and after a social media crisis.

Deborah Gonzalez, founder of Law2sm, presented the informative session.  She first provided some examples of badvocacy, from well-renown “disasters” such as Go.daddy’s founder’s Zimbawe elephant hunt; the Red Cross beer tweet; and Johnson and Johnson’s Mommy Blogger Conference mishap.

The rest of the session focused on lessons businesses can learn from these social media mistakes, why does badvocacy happen and what the business can do.  The session concluded with the example of Dave Carrol’s viral YouTube video “United Breaks Guitars” and a special twist to that plot.

Participants left with great resources and a better understanding of badvoacy and how to deal with it – legally of course!  Congratulations to Peggy Polonus who won the door prize, a bag full of new Law2sm swag and a copy of the book Sales Motivation: Great Quotes to Find Your Passion by Todd Duncan and published by

The Law2sm Lunch and Learn series is an educational program fulfilling Law2sm’s second goal – to provide the business community and the public with resources to help them navigate the new digital and social media world.  The third in the series is coming up on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at 11:45 am when Cecilia Mercer will present on Cyber-bullying: Beyond the School Yard and the Workplace.

Check out our calendar for more information and a list of upcoming events.  Also, let us know of topics relating to social media and law that you would like us to talk about.  Email to  Meanwhile, enjoy the photos.

Peggy Polonus, Sunita Singh (Reddy Medical Group), and Hannah Smith (Athens Convention & Visitor’s Center) join Law2sm co-founder, Cecilia Mercer (TW&A);

Peggy proudly shows off her Law2sm swag.

If you would like a pdf of the powerpoint presented at the Lunch and Learn, please “Like” us on Facebook and email your request to 

Social Media Day the Law2sm Way!

On June 30, 2011

Law2sm took over ARTini’s on Broad Street, to celebrate Social Media Day 2011 with a lunch and learn on crowd sourcing. Deborah Gonzalez, Esq., the founder of Law2sm, gave an informative presentation on how business owners can use the power of Social Media to develop business projects and raise money for a cause. Over 22 attendees represented various local Athens business and not-for-profit organizations, including Carl House, Dealmobs, Jack Davis Foundation, Samaritan Counseling, UGA, Wells Fargo, Yuva Med Spa, and others. They left with full minds (handouts and lots to think about) and full bellies (the cupcakes were delicious! Thanks Cici.) BTW – Congratulations to Dr. Glenn Ames who won the door prize, a copy of the book Sales Motivation: Great Quotes to Find Your Passion by Todd Duncan and published by

The event was part of a day-long Tweetathon to raise funds for Chance for Children, a United Nations non-governmental organization whose goal is to provide an opportunity to the street children in Accra so they can take control of their lives through experiencing love and safety, and receiving an education and professional training. Emily Wancier represented the group at the luncheon. The Tweetathon was setup using a crowd funding website called Chipin. The event raised $1,071 – 53% of the $2,000 goal – not bad for the first one! Want to conduct your own Tweetathon – contact Law2sm to help you set it up.

This was the first in our series of Lunch and Learns. Many more to come – check out our calendar. Also, let us know of topics relating to social media and law that you would like us to talk about. Email to Meanwhile, enjoy the photos.

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Dr. Glenn Ames (in foreground) listening to Deborah Gonzalez’s presentation, Carly Shockley from Dealmobs shares with those at her table, and another view of the audience at Artini’s


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Killick (in hat) Athens graphic artist and musician, and more Social Media Day attendees