Facebook’s “sponsored stories”

Here’s an interesting legal question: Facebook has so-called sponsored stories, which advertise to your friends when you list an advertiser’s products among your likes, check into an advertiser’s location, and so on. So what’s the problem?

Under California’s Right of Publicity Statute, it’s a no-no for advertisers to use a person’s name, voice, signature, photograph or likeness without consent.

But Facebook says it doesn’t need consent because it claims these ads fall under the law’s “newsworthiness” exemption since Facebook users are public figures to those in their group of friends (supposedly the only ones who see such ads) and expressions of consumer opinion are generally newsworthy.

More from The Consumerist.


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