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Friday, February 15, 2013


Was "it's free!" the first signal it was a stolen creative work? Should users boycott unlicensed advertisers like Microsoft?

Contributing Writers | AMERICANS FOR INNOVATION | Updated Feb. 22, 2013 | PDF

Notice to Readers:
Facebook is censoring Leader v. Facebook discussions. Learn more.

Was "it's free!" the first signal that social media was a stolen creative work?
Should social media users boycott advertisers
until the industry fixes their licensing with Leader?

Image: From Crackovia TV, Barcelona, Spain

Bernie-Madoff-like Leader v. Facebook Cover-up in Wash. DC?

 (Update Feb. 22, 2013)—DC Bar Deputy Counsel Trish Harris again "declines to investigate"  the complaints of judicial misconduct in Leader v. Facebook (click here for AFI editorial and copy of Ms. Harris' letter PDF also HTML here). She refuses to take even a step toward the evident misconduct involving two of the three judges in the Leader v. Facebook case. Those judges actually held stock in Facebook while Facebook went public during the case. This does not even account for the court's refusal to disclose any family members who invested in the Facebook IPO. The Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges and Judicial Employees (ethics rules) say they are not allowed to do unless those judges and court employees disclose their conflict of interest and disqualify themselves from all involvement in the case. The more the Washington legal community tries to cover this up, the more this controversy grows.

Ms. Harris did not say she would not investigate, she just "declined to investigate." What's that? "Boss, I didn't say I wouldn't do my job, I just decline to do my job." Does any thinking person believe that NONE of the Federal Circuit judges and their extended family members invested in the Facebook IPO? Didn't think so. This fact alone, as a matter of law, discredits the Federal Circuit decision in Leader v. Facebook.

Ohio citizens demand action from their media

Update (Feb. 21, 2013)—Ohioans too are calling on their local media to start investigating the Leader v. Facebook misconduct and support their own. They highlight the hypocrisy of WBNS10TV (CBS) depending upon Facebook for their audience ratings, while ignoring the injustices being done to their own Ohio inventor and visionary. Here are  flyers now being distributed in Ohio: (1) WBNS10TV (Columbus), (2), (3) WSYX-ABC6 and (4) FOX-28. AFI recommends that readers send these links to other Ohio media and opinion makers, including Ohio Governor John Kasich, who just announced his Jobs Ohio initiative.

AT&T, AMEX, State Farm, P&G and Allstate shareholders asked to take a stand against Facebook piracy

Update (Feb. 19, 2013)—AT&T is the #1 advertiser on Facebook, AMEX (American Express) is 9th, P&G (Procter & Gamble) is 12th and State Farm is 15th. Their shareholders are being called upon to support innovation and take a stand against Facebook's piracy. The grassroots movement Responsible Shareholders United says boycotts are next if the social media industry doesn't do the right thing. Here are the flyers:

  1. AT&T (largest advertiser on Facebook) Investor relations
  2. American Express (AMEX) (9th largest) Investor releations
  3. Procter & Gamble (P&G) (12th largest) Investor contacts
  4. State Farm (15th largest) Contact State Farm Bank | Insurance | Mutual
  5. Allstate (29th largest) Contact Allstate
AFI readers are encouraged to download these flyers and distribute them widely to thought leaders. Readers are posting suggestions about where to send these flyers in the Comments. You are encouraged to keep up your efforts, which have been likened by some rights activists to Chinese water torture. Drip. Drip. Drip.


Albuquerque, New Mexico (Feb. 15, 2013)—Advertising executive Erik Lohmeier, past chair of the Council of Governors, and current chair of the Knowledge Center for the American Advertising Federation (AAF), says that advertisers and users of social media should start licensing from Leader Technologies their use of social networking. See his analysis below.

Lohmeier’s premise and questions are straightforward:
  1. Social networking had a beginning.
  2. If that beginning was intentional, it deserves proper credit.
  3. Leader Technologies holds multiple patents and copyrights on social media.
  4. A federal judgment says Facebook is “literally infringing” Leader’s patent.
  5. The entire “social” industry is probably infringing by inference.
  6. The advertising industry now meticulously credits creative works from artists, cartoonists, illustrators, musicians, producers, editors, etc.
  7. Big software companies like Microsoft and Adobe get licenses.
  8. Small business innovators deserve the same protections.
He posted a quick four-question “Licensing Equality Survey” in which anyone can participate. We encourage our readers to make their views known by participating.

Microsoft supports anti-piracy... only when their rights are abused?

AFI asked Lohmeier why the advertising industry has not investigated this elephant in the room, Lohmeier replied, "We make purchases based upon numbers of impressions that can be validated. That's it. We don't normally dig deeper. If the impressions are validated, we buy accordingly." AFI then asked why questions have not been asked about how Facebook acquires its impressions, he said, "We accept the representations of the provider in good faith. We wouldn't normally know if a provider has acquired their customer data improperly."

Lohmeier was asked if the industry's good faith toward Facebook has been misplaced, he said, "Yes, having followed Leader v. Facebook closely, there's no question in my mind that social networking was invented by Michael McKibben and Leader Technologies and not Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook." Asked if this fact changes his view of social media buying, he said, "Most definitely. We're at great risk as an industry until we do right by Leader." He continued, "if we forced every idea creator to file a lawsuit to protect his or her creations, our creative industries would grind to a halt. We must choose to do the right thing regarding licensing, without waiting for lawyers and courts who often get it wrong anyway. Facebook knows what the right thing is. Sadly, it appears that they must be forced to do it."

AFI reached out to Facebook for comment, but they did not return the call as of press time.

Leader Technologies Chairman Michael McKibben said, "Microsoft made a huge push to stop software piracy years ago. I supported them in that effort. It's the height of hypocrisy for them to now support and encourage Facebook's infringement of Leader's creative works. They are one of Facebook's largest shareholders and advertisers."

Is "social media" a house that advertising built on shifting intellectual property sand?
Is "social media" a house that advertising built
on shifting intellectual property sand?
Huge investments in social media are at risk

Lohmeier emphasizes that the huge investments being made in social media are at risk until this important intellectual property licensing matter is resolved. Otherwise, app builders and advertisers are all investing in a social media house built on shifting sand.

Here’s Erik Lohmeier’s analysis:

Also download at GoogleDrive (click here).

Also download at LeaderDrive (click here).

Start thinking about alternatives to these brands

According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook's "Top 50" largest advertisers in order of amount of advertising were (Source: comScore, Nov. 2, 2011):
  1. AT&T
  2. Experian Interactive
  3. Google
  4. eBay
  5. Microsoft
  6. Verizon
  7. Walt Disney
  8. Netflix
  9. American Express
  10. Scottrade
  11. Progressive
  12. Procter & Gamble
  13. General Motors
  14. Weight Watchers
  15. State Farm
  16. Toyota
  17. InterActiveCorp
  18. Blizzard Entertainment
  19. JP Morgan Chase
  20. Capella University
  21. TransUnion Interactive
  22. Citigroup
  23. Capital One
  24. Apollo Group
  25. Privacy Matters 1-2-3
  26. Comcast
  27. Ford
  28. Sony
  29. Allstate
  30. Nissan
  32. Time Warner Cable
  33. Avis
  34. Kellogg
  35. Starwood Hotels & Resorts
  36. Chrysler
  37. GEICO/Bershire Hathaway
  38. CBS
  39. Lifelock
  40. JustFabulous
  41. General Mills
  42. Deutsche Telekom
  43. Full Sail
  44. Time Warner
  45. Guthy-Renker
  46. Radio Shack
  47. Unilever
  48. DeVry
  49. QuiBids
  50. Aetna
Start thinking about boycott of the Facebook advertising ecosystem in Leader v. Facebook
Start thinking about BOYCOTT

Start thinking about alternatives to the providers listed above, if we have to start boycotting to "encourage" the social media world to respect Leader Technologies, the creator of the very intellectual property upon which it depends.

Here are 15 opening suggestions to start thinking about what you, your friends and colleagues can do to put teeth into this boycott:

  • Boycott #1 MOBILE ADS: Do not click on mobile ads.
  • Boycott #2 WEB ADS: Do not click on the ads that appear on a friend page, fan page, timeline, wall or news feed.
  • Boycott #3 BOOTLEG MICROSOFT AGAIN?: Start using bootlegged copies of Microsoft software again? (Microsoft is represented by Facebook's attorney Gibson Dunn LLP and is a very large Facebook shareholder. They are also a director of The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA). Unjust backroom "old boy" games were played at the FCBA in the Leader v. Facebook case?) (Revive Bootlegging Rationale: Microsoft is not supporting Leader Technologies intellectual property rights, so why should their rights be supported either? Apparently they don't care anymore?)
  • Boycott #4 AVOID BRANDS: When you have a choice, do not choose a Top 50 brand (above). Make sure you tell the vendor why you are not choosing these brands. That word will eventually bubble up to the offending brand executives who hate such uncertainty (so do their shareholders)?
  • Boycott #5 DELAY PAYMENTS: If you owe the brand money; delay payments; force them to spend money to collect it. This lowers their profits due to the extra collections costs? All quite legal. Be sure to tell the vendor why you are in "go slow" mode.
  • Boycott #6 ENGAGE FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES: Ask members of your church, synagogue, mosque, meeting hall to join the boycott?
  • Boycott #7 WRITE CONGRESS: Ask your state and federal congresspersons to introduce legislation in support of Leader Technologies' constitutional rights?
  • Boycott #8 STOP DONATING: Stop donating to causes that are endorsed by the brand. Tell the charity why you are stopping your donations?
  • Boycott #9 SIGN PETITIONS: Sign Leader Technologies' petition and get your friends to; complete Erik Lohmeier's Licensing Equality Survey.
  • Boycott #10 STOP USING FB, MS, LINKEDIN, ETC: Stop using Facebook, LinkedIn, Zynga, Instagram, Microsoft or any other apps running on these platforms for anything other than to publicize the Leader v. Facebook judicial corruption scandal. Tell them why you are logging off for good?
  • Boycott #11 STOP SHOPPING AT WAL-MART: Stop using products from companies funded by Facebook directors James W. Breyer and his venture capital company Accel Partners. Stop shopping at the likes of Wal-Mart where Facebook's director James W. Breyer is also a director during the Mexican bribery scandal? Tell Wal-Mart why you are stopping?
  • Boycott #12 PUBLICIZE MISCONDUCT OF LEADER V. FACEBOOK JUDGES: Publicize the misconduct of these judges at every opportunity?
  • Boycott #13 PUBLICIZE MISCONDUCT OF FACEBOOK STAKEHOLDERS: Publicize the misconduct of Facebook stakeholders at every opportunity?
  • Boycott #14 PROTEST SUMMERS, SANDBERG, MILNER, HOFFMAN, ANDREESSEN, THIEL, DAVIDSON (FENWICK), BREYER, GATES, BALMER (MICROSOFT): Take every opportunity, where these Facebook puppet masters appear in public, to mock and ridicule their malevolent conduct that is so destructive to our democracy and morality (Lawrence Summers, Sheryl Sandberg, Yuri Milner, Reid Hoffman, Marc Andreessen, Peter Thiel, Gordon Davidson, James Breyer, Bill Gates & Steve Balmer (Microsoft))?
  • Boycott #15 STOP USING CROOKED BROKERS & LAWYERS: Stop employing the likes of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, State Street Corporation, Fenwick & West LLP, Cooley Godward LLP and Gibson Dunn LLP who are destroying the underpinnings of our democracy?

* * *

Click "Comment" below to make a comment. Alternatively, send an email to AFI at Email a Comment to AFI and will post it for you.


  1. Comment by: ConstitutionalWatchDog

    Shareholder protests work too. I have been involved with three. The executives of a public absolutely hate having their pristine shareholder meetings disrupted by angry shareholders.

  2. Comment by: Surfer dude

    Hey folks, check this out. Another grassroots group is now calling for AT&T shareholders to protest. LOL. I love it.


  3. Comment by: Corrupting Democracy

    Suggest everyone send those flyers to the dissident shareholder groups in those various public companies. Those dissidents are some of the people who can best use this information against management that is turning a blind eye to these abuses of constitutional rights.

    Also, send these flyers to the Attorneys General in each state as well as the Commissioners of Securities in each state. Unlike the SEC that seems to be in Facebook's and Wall Street's pockets, these people have not all drunk the Kool-Aid.

    Also, send them to your brokers and send complaints to the compliance officers in each of the brokerage houses. Make sure you keep good records of when you sent it. While these people drank the FB Kool-Aid at the IPO, this is proof that they were put on notice and decided to do nothing. Could come in handy if you ever have a dispute with your brokers.

    I'll post more suggestions later

  4. Comment by: Corrupting Democracy

    Make sure you print out enough of these flyers and hire a couple of locals to DISTRIBUTE them to each shareholder who attends the annual shareholders meeting, for each of these public companies. Management hates these sorts of things at the meeting site, so it gets their attention.

    Also, when your annual stockholder ballot and proxy comes out, send in a request that this topic be placed on the agenda of the shareholder meeting. Do it right away. The Bylaws for each company are each a little different about the window of time you have to suggest discussion items as a shareholder (it is your right and privilege - they cannot ignore you), so do it right after you get your ballot to be safe. Otherwise, the board will ignore your request as being out of order.

    (If they do ignore an agenda request from a shareholder that is filed timely, you have a cause of action against the company. Such causes always come in handy in future negotiations. Be sure to keep good copies of your request and mailing receipts.)

  5. Comment by: Corrupting Democracy

    Start posting these flyers on online investor forums. The companies monitor these.

  6. Comment by: Cripps

    We have been successful with letter writing, emailing, faxing, telephone call campaigns to the public relations and stockholder relations people in public companies. Most of their executive hide behind these people, but these people are the public facing contact points who don't like getting pestered (they're human too).

  7. Comment by: Kramer

    Flyers are flying. Drip, drip, drip.


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