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Ethan Jared Wall
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Ethan Wall’s Answers

18 total


  • Do I need specific terms of use and privacy pages for my website? Any templates that could be used?

    I am starting a non-profit company that video tapes interviews with individuals about their lives and displays those videos for others to help them get a new view/grasp on their life

    Ethan’s Answer

    Yes, it is a very good idea to have a specific terms of use and privacy policy for your website. Here's why:

    First, every business is different. If you choose to "copy and paste" another website's terms and conditions and privacy policy, you will likely not include the appropriate types of provisions that govern your unique situation. Remember, a terms of use and privacy policy is a contract between you and your website visitors. Just like in any other business arrangement, it may not be a good idea to copy one contract and use it for a different purpose.

    Secondly, it is possible that you may be conducting copyright infringement by using someone else's terms of use and privacy policy. Violations of copyright law are very serious and potentially expensive.

    That being said, working with an attorney who is experienced in preparing terms of use and privacy policies may be able to help you prepare one efficiently and at a reasonable cost. It is true that an experienced attorney will not re-create your terms of use and privacy policy from scratch. And experience attorney would likely use certain trusted provisions from policies they have drafted previously, and tell her those provisions to your specific situation. The attorney might also create new provisions that are unique to address the specific things that your website does.

    I would recommend conducting a search for an Internet attorney in your area so that you can speak with someone that you are most comfortable with. Alternatively, there are many attorneys on Avvo (and otherwise) who may be located in other parts of the country but were also sufficiently experience in your area.

    To understand why it is so important to speak with an attorney and not use someone else's template, I invite you to watch the short video that is located at the link at the end of this post.

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  • I am interested in filing for a trademark, is it necessary to use an attorney for this?

    I am in the beginning stages of starting a new internet business and would like to protect our creative before publishing on the internet. I have read through the USPTO site, and it seems straight forward, but I am interested in understanding the ...

    Ethan’s Answer

    As you gleaned from the site, you certainly have ability to file the trademark on your own - but there are many benefits to working with an experienced trademark attorney as well. First, experienced trademark attorneys will ensure that your trademark application is filed correctly. While there are certain mistakes that can be fixed at a later date in a trademark application, there are also many mistakes that are unable to be corrected. This will result in you having to abandon your application and file a new one several months down the road. This could be costly in both time and money. Here's why:

    The moment you file your trademark application, the government will not even review it for three months. This is because the trademark office is so backlogged with new applications. Therefore, for a start up who is looking to get ahead of the game, you could actually put yourself several months (if not a year) behind by not filing the application correctly in the first place. An experienced trademark attorney can help you avoid those mistakes.

    Secondly, an experience trademark attorney can help you conduct a trademark search and advise you of the potential risks in using your proposed trademark – and the potential likelihood of success that you might have in obtaining a trademark registration. Utilizing their experience, the trademark attorney can save you both time and money by providing you an accurate prediction of what he or she believes might be the result of your application based upon their experience and the data available to them.

    Lastly, if you were to file a trademark application on your own without receiving legal advice on the risks inherent in proceeding with your application, you might find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit or cease-and-desist letter. A cease-and-desist letters commonly sent by another trademark owner who believes that your application and business may be infringing upon their rights. It goes without saying that this could be a serious and costly process that might be avoided by consulting with a trademark attorney first.

    By conducting an Avvo search for trademark attorneys in your area, you may be able to find an experience trademark attorney that you feel comfortable working with. Alternatively, trademark attorneys from across the country may also be able to assist you because the trademark Application process can be conducted entirely online. Therefore, finding an attorney that is experienced in trademark law, internet law, and has experience helping start ups would be an advisable course of action.

    For more information on why it is so important to have your start up's name cleared through the trademark process, feel free to select the link at the end of this message for a short video.

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  • Is it illegal to Post Personal Pictures of someone else onto the internet? can I make a webpage of others Personal material?

    I have many Pictures of other PeoPle that I know and I know I can make money off of them. Can I Post them onto a website?

    Ethan’s Answer

    You should be very careful before you do so and consult with an internet attorney in your area to fully understand your legal risks. Depending on the types of photos that you wish to post, you should be careful of violating someone' s copyright or using their likeness to profit from their images without their permission. In certain states, you might be violating someone's right to privacy, right to profit from their likeness, or other state laws. It would be advisable to obtain their written permission before posting their photographs online for profit or consul with an experienced attorney in your area before doing so. Avvo provide you the ability to search for internet law professionals near you.

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  • What type of lawyer should I ask re: a legally-binding privacy policy to protect my artist clients, their customers, and myself?

    My business is a service that assists artists by keeping track of their customers and potential customers, as well as each artist's inventory, including owners--individuals and galleries, etc.--of particular works, and the locations of unsold work...

    Ethan’s Answer

    You should speak with a lawyer who is experienced in developing privacy policies, website terms of use, Internet, and issues involving artist rights, including copyright, licenses, Internet law, and contract law.

    If you collect any information on your website from visitors, you will need a privacy policy. this would occur whether you are actively collecting information from your visitors, or even possibly through use of cookies. Your privacy policy will, at minimum, need to tell your visitors what information you collect, how you collected, and how you intend to use it. You should also provide users with a "opt out" option that will allow them to not have their information collected.

    You should also consider having a terms of use that sets forth all of the rules, terms, and guidelines for your service addressing issues such as who owns the content they place on your site, what permissions people had to use the content on your site, and what happens of people violate those terms. Your terms of use may also include other provisions that would limit your liability for what people do on your website, as it is essentially a contract between you and your website users.

    Yor more information on privacy policies and website terms of use, feel free to click on the link below to a short video.

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  • Is there a way to offer a giveaway to only your customers, without it falling under sweepstakes law in California?

    I want to reward my customers with a random draw for a prize. The issue is that they have given me "consideration" in terms of making a purchase. So is there a way to offer the prize and... just call it a promotion for my customers and not a pub...

    Ethan’s Answer

    If you are running any type of "giveaway" in California (or online, which may expand to customers outside California), it is necessary that you comply with all giveaway laws even if it is a random "free" drawing to current customers.

    It is very important to speak with an attorney experienced with California giveaway laws so they can request all of the information about your promotion that they would need to know in order to provide you accurate advice. At minimum, if you are running your promotion in California, you would need to ensure that your giveaway complies with California Business and Professions Code sections 17539-17539.55. If you are running your promotion on social media, you must also comply with the applicable website guidelines for running a promotion. Each site has different rules, and some (like google+), do not allow you to promote your giveaway on their service.

    For your convenience, I have included links to the following resources to assist you in learning more about California giveaway law - which may prove helpful for you if you wish to consult an attorney to assist you. Many attorneys on Avvo provide complimentary consultations.

    - California Rules for Conducting Contests and Sweepstakes
    - California Legal Guide "Rules for Promotional Giveaways"
    - A short video clip "How can my company launch contests or giveaways on social media that complies with the law?"
    - A short news clip "Dangers of Social Media Contests"

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  • If restraining order doesnt say no social media posting. can u do it?

    gh

    Ethan’s Answer

    While the terms of your restraining order will govern what you can or cannot do, it would be prudent to seek advice from an attorney experienced in criminal law and social media issues to provide you an accurate and complete response.

    With that said, many states (including Florida) have found people to have violated their restraining order by posting or communicating with someone on social media. So I would be very careful about whether to post on social media without seeking clarity from an attorney experienced in that area.

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  • Do I own a Facebook page, or does the brand owner?

    I was part of a start up archery company, in which I started a Facebook fan page for that company. It was started in my name, with my profile and I am the only administrator. The company has now been sold, and the new company does not want to em...

    Ethan’s Answer

    The attorneys who previously answered your question are both correct that if you created the Facebook page as part of your employment responsibilities for the company, a court is likely to determine that the company owns the Facebook page. However, there are other factors that must be considered before coming to a complete conclusion.

    For example, if there was a written agreement between you and the company about who would own the social media page you created, that agreement might decide who is the rightful owner.

    Also, there may be e-mail correspondence between you and the company that sheds further light on the issue.

    Therefore, as one of the other answering attorneys mentions, it is important to review all of the facts with a lawyer experienced on social media and copyright issues.

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  • How much should I expect for lawyers to review 1) Terms of Use and 2)Privacy Policy of my healthcare related mobile app?

    Additionally, how much should I expect for lawyers to make sure my healthcare related mobile app is HIPPA-compliant? Thank you.

    Ethan’s Answer

    Both lawyers who previously answered your question are correct that reviewing a terms of use and privacy policy for a health care related app would likely be more expensive than a general application due to the HIPPA compliance issues.

    With that said, I would suggest that the cost to review terms and conditions that have already been created (as opposed to drafting them from scratch) would be much less expensive than some of the fees that were previously quoted.

    While an attorney would have to review the current state of the terms and conditions to provide an accurate quote, I would suggest that reviewing the terms of use, privacy policy, and make revisions and additions to ensure HIPPA compliance would be more in the range of $1,000-1,500.

    If you would like more information about why it is critical to ensure your terms of use and privacy policy are correct, I invite you to check out the following short video.

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  • My ex posted a revenge video on multiple websites. is there anything I can do to have them removed? It's going to ruin me.

    I broke up with my ex boyfriend about 3 years ago. He threatened to post revenge videos but I didn't believe him. A couple days ago, a stranger contacted me through facebook informing me that there is a video of me on the Internet. Now I am terri...

    Ethan’s Answer

    Yes. I recommend you seek assistance from the Cyber Rights Project.

    The Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project is designed to help victims of nonconsensual pornography by providing them legal assistance on a pro bono basis. The Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project is founded on the principle that people have a right of privacy in their intimate photographs and videos, and that the public, online dissemination of that media without consent is an invasion of that sexual privacy amounting to a “cyber civil rights” violation.

    Recognizing that victims of this type of cybercrime often have limited access to legal counsel and few viable legal options, the Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project offers knowledgeable legal representation to victims around the globe.

    I have included a link to their website below. I hope this information will be helpful to you.

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  • Terms of Service/Privacy Policy assistance

    My friend and I have been developing a mobile app and are close to submitting to the App Store. We don't yet have a terms of service and/or privacy policy and we honestly aren't even sure if we need one (and if we do, what that entails and how muc...

    Ethan’s Answer

    Hi Jason,

    The other attorneys who responded to your question are correct: if you are operating a mobile app and collecting any type of information from users, you'll need both a privacy policy and a terms of use (or terms and conditions). Here's a bit more information about what they are and why you need them:

    Terms of Use: Your terms of use is a contract between you and your app users that governs the use of your app. The terms of use will let them know what types of activities are allowed through the app, what activities are prohibited, and the consequences for violating the terms of use. Terms of use also should include provisions that limit your liability in the event an app user does something wrong or illegal on the app. Without such provisions, you might be held responsible for activities done by others on your app.

    Privacy Policy: A privacy policy is required if you are collecting any information about your users, even if you are not planning to sell that information. Your privacy policy must include, among other things, a description of what information you collect, how you are collecting it, and how you plan to use the information. You must also provide users with the ability to "opt out" of your information collection. Failing to have policies of this nature might result in violations of various state and federal law.

    While the amount of time it takes to prepare a terms of use and privacy policy varies based on how your application works and the types of policies that are needed, you should still be able to have an attorney prepare these for you at a reasonable fixed cost. This is because attorneys experienced in preparing these important documents can leverage their experience in the field and produce one for you in a reasonable amount of time.

    If you would like more information about why terms of use and a privacy policy are necessary, I invite you to watch the following video. I would also be happy to answer any other questions your have about the process.

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