Paul Jacobson is a web and digital media lawyer working in Johannesburg and is the principal attorney and founder of the new media law firm, Jacobson Attorneys ( Paul speaks at universities and conferences about new media and the law and writes about these issues (and others) on his firm's website. Follow him at or
Businesses should think twice about using Facebook

Facebook amended its terms of use a couple weeks ago and the changes have profound implications for its users, including its business users, none of them positive. So what is all the fuss about? When you post content to Facebook, you grant it a broad licence to not only manipulate your content but also the right to make commercial use of that content. [audio]

By Paul Jacobson 17 Feb 2009

Facebook, defamation and the law

It is tempting to think that using Facebook will land you in prison, especially with all the media attention on the Duane Brady case in the Kliptown Magistrates Court. The simple truth is that sticking to a few simple rules should help you avoid that unpleasant experience of receiving a strongly worded letter from an attorney or, worse, an unwelcome visit from an unsympathetic police officer keen on dragging you off to a holding cell for the weekend.

By Paul Jacobson 20 Jan 2009

Common creativity at work, part 3

In this third and final part my series, I expand upon the introduction to Creative Commons licences in my previous article and present you with a few examples of where Creative Commons licences have been used in successful commercial endeavours and why you may want to consider using them in your business.

By Paul Jacobson 11 Sep 2008

Common creativity at work, part 2

In the first part of this series of articles about copyright and Creative Commons licences, I wrote about copyright and how its original purpose has been distorted to stifle creativity and innovation, certainly customers' ability to manipulate and consume these creative works. In this second part of the three part series, I will introduce you to content licensing and its pitfalls as well as to Creative Commons licences, both of which are misunderstood and rarely appreciated in the commercial world.

By Paul Jacobson 9 Sep 2008

Common creativity at work

A recent comment by a friend about the music industry's reluctance to publish and distribute music under Creative Commons licence because it can't exactly give the music away free, may not be entirely unexpected, but it does bother me somewhat because his comment typifies a perception of Creative Commons that is both inaccurate and hampers adoption of Creative Commons licences in the commercial world.

By Paul Jacobson 8 Sep 2008

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