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How do I publish phonecalls legally?
August 24, 2010 7:57 AM   Subscribe

How can I go about legally posting phone calls made to businesses on the internet without getting into "invasion of privacy" issues?

I live in Minnesota, which allows for one-party permission for taping phone calls. And while that is legal, the publishing of recorded content on the internet is defined as "broadcasting" and can enter into "invasion of privacy" issues.

These calls are specifically being made to people who post singles ads, we buy houses, and make big money signs by the side of the road. It's basically me asking them what I should do with their signs I found. No harassment. Simply playing dumb.

Anywho, that's about it. Thanks!
posted by a47danger to Law & Government (16 answers total)
 
...being made to people who post singles ads, we buy houses, and make big money signs by the side of the road. It's basically me asking them what I should do with their signs I found.

I have no idea what those sentences mean. Can you re-phrase?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:59 AM on August 24, 2010


IANAL, but I think the fact that you're entering into the conversation to publish with the intent of making the other party look bad does not bode well.

(FWIW, your blog seems really childish)
posted by mkultra at 8:16 AM on August 24, 2010


What do you mean ask them what you should do with their signs? Like, throw them away? Do you just want to get recorded phone calls of them getting pissed off and yelling at you for throwing their signs away?

I think a more interesting idea would be "hey, I found your sign and I'm interested in working from home/erasing my debt/selling you my house" and then following through to see what the next step is. You should note, however, that Rob Cockerham did it first (and probably better). (No offense.)

But, of course, that wasn't your question. I can't vouch for the legality of posting the conversations online, but personally I would go for it. I say post them until you get a cease and desist letter, and then worry about it.
posted by phunniemee at 8:20 AM on August 24, 2010


[few comments removed - put the link in your profile if you want people to look at it.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:23 AM on August 24, 2010


I don't see what the big deal is....
It seems like it would be less effort to simply throw the signs away. Keep throwing them away when they show up.

If I was placing those signs and new that in a particular neighborhood the signs would disappear within 24 hours of placement, I wouldn't even bother.
posted by GoodPuppy at 8:24 AM on August 24, 2010


Sheesh. "Knew" instead of "New"
posted by GoodPuppy at 8:25 AM on August 24, 2010


I have no idea what those sentences mean. Can you re-phrase?

Since the explanation was deleted, what he meant was:
...being made to people who post singles ads, "we buy houses", and "make big money" signs by the side of the road. It's basically me asking them what I should do with the signs of theirs, which I found and took home with me.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:26 AM on August 24, 2010


Speak to a lawyer in your jurisdiction.
posted by Solomon at 8:29 AM on August 24, 2010


Could be a fun premise. I would read the blog.

How about posting a transcript of the call without identifying details? You get the humor (I assume that humor is a goal here?) but less likelihood of privacy issues as the individual/company is not indentifiable.
posted by SantosLHalper at 8:36 AM on August 24, 2010


Really, to be safe you should call a lawyer.

Beware, he may intentionally frustrate you and post the conversation on his blog.
posted by Menthol at 8:38 AM on August 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


How are singles ads like the other two? This seems unnecessarily malicious.
posted by proj at 8:39 AM on August 24, 2010


Sorry, not "singles ads" but signs advertising dating services.
posted by a47danger at 8:40 AM on August 24, 2010


Most likely you'll need to talk to a lawyer, but when I see this stuff on the internet or on the radio, typically the producer goes out of his way to bleep any identifying information such as names (even just first names), business names, phone numbers, etc. Nothing can prevent you from getting sued, but if you do some due dillagence you may be able to have a better defense. Considering most "real estate riches, ask me how" signs are the work of con men I'd be very careful.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:49 AM on August 24, 2010


There was an FPP about the dating sign marketing schemes.
posted by odinsdream at 8:49 AM on August 24, 2010


ask a lawyer. You are asking for legal advice here. I once had a copyright question:the lawyer was able to answer it in the initial telephone consultation, saved me major headaches and possibly trouble. I mailed him off a check for $100 and slept better. was well worth it.

if you're playing dumb, then this might fall into the parody category. Certainly no lawyer, my understanding is that parity gets a bit more protection seen as an expression of thought.
posted by chinabound at 10:26 AM on August 24, 2010


Not a lawyer.

Anyone advertising a business that you have to call to get their services has no expectation of privacy. If you're doing this as a journalist to investigate these services and you're in a 1-party state, your use is protected.

If you're doing this as a one-person crusade, I think your use is protected, like the prank call guys, but I think you're shooting fish in a barrel, not that you asked for my opinion.

If you're going to blog about what dummies they were, you'd be better off not publishing the name and phone number.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:44 AM on August 24, 2010


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