Peter Hoppenfeld Counsel to Entrepreneurs, Marketers, Authors, Trainers & Thought Leaders Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:47:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Peter Hoppenfeld 32 32 The Power of the Alter Ego Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:46:47 +0000 Bring Forth Your Best Self Through Your Alter Ego
You must watch this awesome video on NBC News featuring my client and friend, Todd Herman, author of The Alter Ego Effect.” According to him, Alter Ego isn’t about ‘faking it until you make it’, but rather bringing out the “real you” so you can conquer any challenge life throws at you.”
From NBC News:
  • “Studies show that what you wear can affect your performance. Mental game coach Todd Herman shares how you can use a psychological phenomenon called enclothed cognition to become the person you most want to become. This technique helped Martin Luther King, Jr. and Beyonce. Now, it can help you, too.”
Create your own version of Sasha Fierce. Achieve your deepest desires and loftiest goals. Check out the video here
Highly Recommended Fri, 18 Sep 2020 16:44:47 +0000 Congratulations to Stanley Brickman on his book Extracted: Unmasking Rampant Anti-Semitism in America’s Higher Education, and this amazing article about his journey to expose Anti-Semitism at Emory University Dental School. It was an honor to work on his book deal and so rewarding to see his journey come to fruition.
Please take a few minutes to read the article that details his efforts to bring the bias to light, and help hundreds of Jewish students find peace in the fact that it wasn’t because they were not good enough.
Here’s what had happened:
In the 1940s, the American Dental Association established a council on dental education in an effort to bring about improvements in the field. Harlan H. Horner, a consultant working for the council, published a report suggesting all the ways dental schools could do better. One of the steps he mentioned was admitting fewer Jews.
This led to hush-hush action against Jews in many major dental schools. It was never openly admitted, but Jewish students were deliberately failed or refused admission, or harassed in other ways until they quit. Stanley Brickman has traveled across the country to speak with students who had to go through the ordeal. This book brings important issues to light, and has its heart in the right place. 
Check out the entire article here, and get the book here
Peloton Sued for Using Music Without License Mon, 14 Sep 2020 23:23:34 +0000 Infringed Works Allegedly Include Songs by Adele, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Others.
Peloton is facing a lawsuit for using music without proper licenses in its video fitness classes.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
  • Several members of the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) have collectively filed a lawsuit against fitness startup Peloton, seeking over $150 million in damages. The complaint, filed by Downtown Music Publishing, Ultra Music, and eight other publishing groups, says that Peloton has been using their musical works for years in its workout videos without proper licensing, resulting in income lost for songwriters.
  • The complaint says that Peloton does have some licenses in place with other labels and publishers, but not with the plaintiffs named in this suit. It alleges that Peloton has “used more than 1,000 musical works owned or administered by Plaintiffs over a period of years in the videos that it makes available to its hundreds of thousands of customers without a synchronization (or “sync”) license.” In one instance, the company allegedly “obtained a license for a limited time but then let that license expire, while continuing to use Ultra’s copyrighted works.”
  • Peloton’s workout videos are broadcast to Peloton bikes and treadmills across the world, usually accompanied by a playlist of songs to guide the workout. The company also offers a digital subscription to its video classes for those who want to exercise with their own non-Peloton equipment.
  • The effect is similar to an in-person gym class, but music heard in a video requires a different license. Playing music in the open for people to hear, like in a gym, requires a public performance license. But if you are watching that same class as a video from your Peloton at home, that music now requires what is called a sync license, because the music is synchronized with visual media output.
  • Some of the works the complaint says Peloton is using without proper licensing include “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, “Only Girl” by Rihanna, “Drip” by Migos and Cardi B, and “Bangarang” by Skrillex and Sirah, as listed in the complaint.
I tell my clients all the time that images and music are not FREE. Get your licenses in order. Composers are entitled to be paid for their work… and it’s a lot cheaper to get a license BEFORE you use music as opposed to facing this kind of lawsuit.
Better Health & Increased Focus Mon, 14 Sep 2020 23:22:55 +0000 Tips from Ryan Lee on the New York Post
Check out this article where my friend and client Ryan Lee shares how he maintains his health and focus… and there is no one more focused and determined than him. I can vouch for that. 
Eight years ago, Ryan was heading four companies and battling an autoimmune disease at the same time. Instead of taking chemo drugs recommended by his doctor, he decided to try alternative treatments. 
He went on to take reflexology sessions, including shoulder and scalp massages, and deep pressure point foot massages. They improved circulation and reduced stress, with an added bonus of better mental clarity. He added meditation to his routine, and went on to simplify his life by consolidating his businesses into one online media company – Freedym.
By focusing all my attention on one business, it’s now generating more income, giving me more free time and has greatly reduced my stress,” Lee says.
  • According to a study from Yale, mindfulness meditation decreases brain activity responsible for mind-wandering thoughts typically associated with being unhappy and worried. Meditation and other calming therapies simmer down the brain’s default mode network and dial up new connections that wipe out meandering.
Check out the entire article here
Mindfulness Challenge with Pedram Shojai Mon, 14 Sep 2020 23:22:11 +0000 Congrats to Pedram Shojai – “The Urban Monk” on The Today Show
I’ve been following Pedram Shojai, my friend, client, bestselling author of The Urban Monk and The Art of Stopping Time, and founder of, and his words have created tremendous impact on my life. His books, videos and lectures have helped me get more out of each day, shot my productivity to never before levels, and made me feel much better in the process.
I’ll particularly recommend this piece on Today where he put Jenna Bush Hager on a 30-day mindfulness challenge. We would all do well to try it out. 
Here are seven tips from the article to help you manage your time, energy, money and attention:
  1. Be careful of what you say “yes” to.
  2. Book time for yourself.
  3. Put the phone down.
  4. Keep moving all day.
  5. Cut out some TV time.
  6. Pick your priorities.
  7. Stress comes from time compression.
It’s our choice. We can choose to thrive happily, or crumble under the pressures of life. 
Importance of Trademark Protection Mon, 14 Sep 2020 23:18:39 +0000 Case Study of Z-Burger
I have been reiterating to my friends and clients to always register their trademarks, own their Intellectual Property, and make sure to have copyrights and patents in place. Too many people take these issues lightly, until the day they end up regretting it. 
This case study of Z-Burger underlines the importance of trademark protection.
Payam Tabibian, better known as Peter, registered the red, white and yellow Z-Burger logo in 2007. He went on to open his first fast-food restaurant in 2008, a lively, accessible store tied to the local community. It held contests, food giveaways, fund-raisers and happy hours. 
After the success of the first outlet, Mr. Tabibian began adding stores in other locations. He was in partnership with brothers Mohammad and Ebrahim Esfahani. Eventually they had a falling out, and ended up in court fighting over control of the Z-Burger name and trademarks.
This kind of clash over IP is common, and as important as it is, trademarking and copyrighting are often overlooked. The biggest challenge startups face is finding the time to register their brand while setting up a business. Hiring an intellectual property specialist to do the research and paperwork for you saves you money and stress in the long run.   
Mr. Tabibian went on to win the case against the Esfahani brothers, and even opened up more outlets. Read the details here.  
Employee or Independent Contractor? Mon, 14 Sep 2020 23:16:46 +0000 The Debate Continues in California.
In a landmark ruling that affects a lot of Silicon Valley’s fast-growing technology companies and the jobs they create, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office has said that a person driving for the ride-hailing service Uber should be considered an employee, not an independent contractor. Back then, Uber appealed against this ruling.
Recently, in August 2020, The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has filed lawsuits against Uber and Lyft for committing wage theft by misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and depriving these workers of legal protections in violation of California labor law. When these drivers are classified as independent contractors instead of employees, it deprives them of protections such as minimum wages, paid sick leaves, overtime compensation, paid rest periods, and reimbursement of work-related expenses.
On what basis is the California Labor Commissioner’s Office determining whether a worker is an employee or not? Quoted from this article:
  • In 2018, the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex ruling established the “ABC test” for determining whether a worker is an employee under various California labor laws. Assembly Bill 5, which went into effect on Jan., extended the ABC test to additional California labor laws. Under the ABC test, workers are considered employees unless they are free from control from the hiring entity, perform work outside of the hiring entity’s usual business, and engage in an independently established trade or occupation.
In my opinion, in a world of freelancers who over time become indispensable team members, it’s a better practice to err on the side of caution.
If is smells like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.
Many “contractors” who work 50 hours a week for one company and have no other sources of income, and whose daily existence is controlled by their “company,” are best considered employees.
GDPR Compliance Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:11:04 +0000 All You Need to Know About the General Data Protection Regulation.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018. It replaced the 1995 EU Data Protection Directive. The principal aim of the GDPR is to give consumers (EU Citizens) greater control over their data. The biggest change in law is the scope of the territory covered by the regulation.
US companies are also affected by the GDPR, as are those from other countries across the world.
The GDPR applies to all companies processing the personal data of subjects in the EU, regardless of the company’s location (and apparently the consumer’s location – citizenship is the key.) 
BUT: Those data subjects must be targeted.
The GDPR does not kick in where an EU resident merely happens upon your site via Google search.
Some evidence of targeting of EU consumers could include accepting the currency of an EU nation, providing marketing content in an EU nation’s language, or having a domain suffix that corresponds with an EU nation.
The kind of information that falls within GDPR is “personal data” – any information that can be used to identify a natural person. Examples include: name, identification number, address or location data, religion, ethnicity, marital status, IP addresses, cookie strings, social media posts, online contacts, and mobile device IDs.
The GDPR applies to “processors” and “controllers” of personal data. “Processing” personal data means, collecting, recording, gathering, organizing, storing, using, disclosing, or otherwise making it available by electronic means.  The “Controller” determines what to do with the personal data. 
Under the GDPR, Controllers must: review data processing activities and conduct an Impact Assessment; identify their data processing activities and ensure they understand their responsibilities; implement appropriate measures to ensure compliance with the GDPR, including processes for identifying, reviewing and promptly reporting data breaches.
Under the GDPR, Processors must: review data processing activities; ensure that there is a lawful basis (or consent or an exemption) for each processing activity; review and update mechanisms for obtaining consent to ensure they comply with GDPR.
Here are the salient points you should note:
  • Consents must be clear and distinguishable from other matters. They cannot simply be hidden in Terms of Service. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give consent.
  • Train employees who process personal data to recognize and respond to request from individuals exercising their rights.
  • Controllers and Processors may be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer to monitor compliance with GDPR.
  • If a US company sells or markets products via the internet specifically targeted to EU residents, the GDPR applies even if no financial transaction occurs. 
  • Just having a web presence that could reach the EU is not enough to trigger GDPR itself.
  • US-based companies with a strong internet presence should consider being GDPR compliant.
  • Companies required to be GDPR compliant may also have to take certain steps with their vendors. Some liability under GDPR can be transferred by contract.
  • As between Controllers and Processors, contracts should; address the subject matter and duration of the processing; the nature and purpose of the processing; structure obligations and rights of the parties; ensure that the data being processed is subject to a confidentiality agreement; and set forth breach notification requirements.
  • Under the GDPR, EU subjects have a number of rights with respect to their data. They must be informed about: data breaches within 72 hours of any occurrence; whether or not their personal data is being processed, where and for what purpose. And they have a “right to be forgotten” – in other words: data erasure, including how to halt third-party processing of personal data. 
  • Only data which is absolutely necessary for completion of a duty (such as an order) may be held or processed, and access to the data must be limited to those carrying out the processing.
  • Records of processing activities must be maintained, and personal data must be deleted once no longer needed.
  • An organization found to be in breach of GDPR could be fined up to 4% of their annual global turnover.
  • The fine for failure to report a breach within 72 hours is up to 2% of annual global turnover.
  • Requirements of the GDPR will vary based on a company’s particular operations.
Here’s what you can do:
  • Update your Privacy Policy. We have provided updates to the Privacy Policies for several hundred clients.
  • For US companies who do not target leads in the EU, this is not a big, big problem. Add an appropriate disclaimer to your Privacy Policy; establish a GDPR contact email; respect the rights of EU citizens to opt-out and “be ignored.”
  • For US companies with EU citizens on their lists (if you can even determine who they are) who arrived organically, a massive opt-in campaign is not, in my opinion, feasible, fair, effective or prudent. The emails won’t be delivered! The emails won’t be opened! So, add messaging to your regular editorial emails advising the world that you’ve update your Privacy Policy and add a banner to your home page. 
  • For companies with a presence in the EU, compliance is required but it is not something to be scared about. We are pragmatically and methodically working with companies to address this new paradigm.
  • You could have a customer who has lived in New Jersey for 25 years who happens to be an EU citizen technically a GDPR issue, but practically that person is just another customer to be coddled and respected.
  • Buyer beware! There are new services and products and software tools being sold to help with, solve and remediate GDPR issues. Mostly nonsense! 
  • Be sure to seek appropriate advice from experienced advisors. Do your homework and do the right thing.
Thanks to Rachel Leeds Edelman for her research, writing and analysis of the GDPR source material.
FDA Action Against Illegal Cancer Treatments Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:09:58 +0000 Warning Letters Sent to 14 More Companies Selling Over 65 Illegal Products
The FDA sent warning letters to 14 U.S.-based companies illegally selling over 65 products that falsely claim to “prevent, diagnose, treat or cure cancer.” These products are sold without FDA approval on websites and social media platforms.
There is no excuse for preying on people who are desperate for help, and stringent action should be taken. 
Here’s more from the notification:
  • Consumers should not use these or similar unproven products because they may be unsafe and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate and potentially life-saving cancer diagnosis or treatment,” said Douglas W. Stearn, director of the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations in the FDA’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. We encourage people to remain vigilant whether online or in a store, and avoid purchasing products marketed to treat cancer without any proof they will work. Patients should consult a health care professional about proper prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
  • It is a violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to market and sell products that claim to prevent, diagnose, treat, mitigate or cure diseases without first demonstrating to the FDA that they are safe and effective for their labeled uses. The illegally sold products cited in the warning letters posted today include a variety of product types, such as pills, topical creams, ointments, oils, drops, syrups, teas and diagnostics (such as thermography devices). They include products marketed for use by humans or pets that make illegal, unproven claims regarding preventing, reversing or curing cancer; killing/inhibiting cancer cells or tumors; or other similar anti-cancer claims.
FDA is constantly working towards keeping consumers safe from health frauds. Over the last decade the agency has issued over 100 warning letters to companies marketing hundreds of misleading products claiming to cure cancer on websites, social media and in stores. Despite this, way too many unsafe and unapproved products continue to be sold because of how simple it is to move marketing operations to new websites. 
If you or anyone you know has suffered adverse reactions due to any health products, treatments or supplements, you can report it to the agency’s MedWatch program.
Praise for the “Singing Doctor” Fri, 11 Sep 2020 16:08:52 +0000 Congratulations to my friend and client Dr. Steve Eisenberg.
Kudos to my friend and client Dr. Steven G. Eisenberg for going far and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of his patients and their families. 
Known in his circle and beyond as the “Singing Doctor”, Steve has written over 100 songs for his patients – about them, their lives, their dreams. He uses music therapy to assist the conventional treatment of his cancer patients. 
Board-certified in medical oncology and hematology, he practices at California Cancer Associates for Research and Excellence (cCARE).
In his own words:
  • These are not just random songs. The patients are the co-writers. I’m taking their love and inspirations. Even as we’re writing the song, they remember things, like their creativity or how they were as a child. When I sing it for them, their receptors are firing. In many cases, I see a fog lifting. They may be suffering not only from ‘chemo-brain’ — which is very difficult — but depression, anxiety and fear. I want to bring love, light and music to cancer patients.
Appreciated, applauded and even revered by his patients, they only have wonderful things to say about him. 
Read more about his heartwarming and wonderful work here and here