Skip to main content
Joleen Hughes

Joleen Hughes’s Answers

5 total

  • Is there anything I can do legally about someone creating profiles of me on web sites like Myspace and Facebook.

    This person is using my name and image without consent.

    Joleen’s Answer

    On Facebook, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Terms" link and read it. It provides information on how you can address the situation you describe above.

    Under the current Terms link that is current as of todays date (May 9, 2009), Facebook's policy provides under Section 4 "Registration and Account Security" that:

    "You will not provide any false personal information on Facebook, or create an account for anyone other than yourself without permission."

    In Section 5 "Protecting Other People's Rights" Facebook's policy provides that

    "You will not post content or take any action on Facebook that infringes someone else's rights or otherwise violates the law." and "We can remove any content you post on Facebook if we believe that it violates this Statement./;

    Directly below these statements within the policy is a link where you can report anything you believe violates your rights.

    Start there, following a website's posted policies is usually the easiest way to get the situation resolved

    As far as MySpace goes, they will likely have a similar policy - again scroll down to the bottom of the site and look for a link to "Terms of Use" or something similar.

    See question 
  • I am trying to start a business that would include using professional sport team logos. How do I obtain proper license.

    If you have any ideas to how much obtaining the license would cost or where I might be able to find this information. I am looking for an idea of whether my potential business can take off while paying the license fee.

    Joleen’s Answer

    Depending on the league, you need to get permission from the team itself. Sometimes you will have to get permission directly from the sports league. If you plan to use a sports league logo as well (NBA, MLB etc.) you'll need to get permission from the league.

    Ordinarily, you'll have to sign a trademark license and supply samples of the way you use the logo for their approval. Certain uses will not be permitted.

    The easiest way to find out how to get a license for a particular team is to:

    1. Prepare something in advance showing them how you'd like to use the logo. This could involve showing them a mock up of your product/service/website. It is also a good idea to list of all the ways you'd like to use the logo and for what purposes.

    2. Next call the office for the team that you are most interested in and ask them how and where you can obtain a logo license. Be persistent but not annoying (you may initially talk to a receptionist that won't know and won't be helpful). If you are too aggressive, you may lose your chance to talk to someone who can help you. Be patient.

    3. Alternatively, you may also want to bypass the specific team and call the league itself and ask how to obtain a logo license. Worst case scenerio is they tell you to contact the team directly so you'll just repeat step # 2 above.

    3. Once you get an answer, then repeat the process with all the teams you want logos for.

    4. Make sure to abide at all times by the logo license,

    Be prepared that this will not happen overnight, it could take weeks - and you could be denied permission to use a particular logo entirely or for certain types of uses. The most important thing is, don't use anyone's intellectual property without obtaining permission. In any matters involving licensing, it is a good idea to have good legal counsel to represent your interests.

    See question 
  • Is an email address covered under personal information?

    If a forum site discloses your email address to a university after you post an exam question, can the forum give out your email if the university requests it? What if the forum site has no policy regarding this and did not inform you that they gav...

    Joleen’s Answer

    Have you checked to see if the website has a terms of use or privacy policy posted? Usually these are at the bottom of the page, and link to a legal policy that describes how and what they do with your personal information.

    You may have also "clicked" and accepted the same sort of terms of use/privacy policy agreement when you signed up for or registered for the website or a product or service on the website.

    The answer to your question "do they have the right to do so" really depends. Many sites make it difficult to sign up for and use a website unless and until you agree to their terms. So, you have a choice - agree to the terms or be precluded from using the site (or forum).

    Often times terms of use and privacy policies describe the different ways they will use information you provide to them, usually identified as "personal" and "non-personal" information.

    Personal information, in a nutshell, is information that can be used to identify you. Email addresses can fall under this category, obviously the more personal your email address the more it can be used to identify you.

    Non-personal information, in a nutshell, is information collected technologically based upon your use of the internet - such as cookies.

    If the website indicates in their policy that they will use/share your personal information in a certain manner and you agree to it, then you could have a tough time objecting if you agreed to the terms and used the site.

    However, if the website really does not have a policy about using your personal information, you should check the consumer protection laws of your state (usually found on a link from the secretary of state site).

    But, probably the easiest thing to do initially (and before you go down a litigious path that is time-consuming, costly and emotionally draining) is to assess how much harm has really been done. Then, contact the site directly and tell them not to use your email again.

    See question 
  • Can an employer hold up a non-compete agreement if they are forcing you to take a pay cut?

    I have an opportunity to take a new position in a different part of a company. I work through a recruiting agency and they said if I take the new position that I would have to take a 15% pay cut. I found another recruiter that would match my p...

    Joleen’s Answer

    With any agreement, the devil is in the details. It depends on your non-compete, and what it covers and also what your job description and duties are.

    An example is this: if you are a new product tester for Coke and you get offered a position as a new product tester for Pepsi, you could possibly violate your non-compete if the agreement precluds you from taking a job (usually for a period of time between 1-3 years) with a competitive company. Pepsi and Coke are obvious competitive rivals.

    However, if you are a new product tester for Coke and get offered a job as a new product tester for Hormel foods, it is possibl that the non-compete will not apply.

    Keep state employment laws and regulations of your state in mind. I live in Washington, and employment here is "at-will" - this means that anyone can come and go as they please with or without notice. Employers may also fire someone for no reason at all. In Washington, your employer could not force you to stay. However, even if you left, they might be able to object to you taking a competitive position at another company.

    Read your non-compete carefully!

    See question 
  • I want to start a business using a website to showcase my photos.....

    I am a photographer and I want to start a business to sell my photos. I purchased a website, and have the proper clearance to use my photos, but my question is what type of business license do I need to get started...to start collecting money...? ...

    Joleen’s Answer

    It is always good to create a business entity to work under, and what type of entity largely depends on your financial situation and overall accounting strategy. Operating under a business entity provides you with certain protections and shields that you won't get if you operate on your own.

    You want to check in your own jurisdiction to see what types of business licenses you might need (state, city) and what types of busienss registrations you need to file for tax purposes.

    You will also want to make sure you have a good business and licensing strategy. It is important to make sure that however you decide to proceed, the process you put together works for you and is manageable. You want to make sure that you are protecting yourself!

    See question