Looking for a lawyer familiar with affiliate marketing . I have a website that is looking to sign up for an affiliate program that deals with local photographers taking your picture to be used in your on line dating profile . I am just earning a commission on the sale . So my relationship with this company is just an affiliate status and I can post a disclaimer on my site that I do not endorse or represent their views etc . . . Any legal risk with this ? Anything else I can consider ?
You should check out Bruce E. Burdick's legal guide on this topic. He has a lot of good ideas. http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/checklist-for-starting-a-website
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There are always legal risks when starting a company, especially one of this nature. You should consult with a business attorney. Better to do things correctly upfront and avoid legal entanglements in the future.
Yes, I am familiar with affiliate marketing programs. I work with e-commerce sites almost exclusively. See my post below about opening a new e-commerce website.
Are You Planning on Opening a New E-Commerce Website?
Below is a checklist for legal issues I use for new e-commerce clients.
1. Busines entity - Are you going to be a C corp, an LLC or a sole proprietorship?
2. Terms of Service - This is your contract with your visitors and is the most important item for any e-commerce site. A little work here brings big dividends in the future.
4. FTC guidlines - The FTC has been regulating business advertising for almost a century. All of their advertising guidlines apply to e-commerce sites.
5. Domain Name issues? Is your name available. Can you create a Trademark?
6. Trademark - Do you have a brand name free from conflict? Should you start with just common law rights? Should you register the mark, and when?
7. Copyright - If it is on the web, it already belongs to somebody. Did you buy a license for the images you are using? Do you have a DMCA notice on your web site?
8. Do you need a DMCA policy?
9. Web Site security issues?
10. Do you need and have an EIN? You can get that for free.
11. Do you have employees? - If so you need written policies regarding their authority and use of the internet.
12. Do you know the difference between a "browser wrap" and a "click wrap" and which do you need?
When I discuss this list with clients other issues arise. Finally, I always discuss with my clients their need for good accounting services. An accountant's advice as you start up can save you many dollars in tax that you might not save if you wait to speak to an accountant until your first tax return is due.
I hope this list will give you pause to think about those issues for which you might need to seek professional advice.
Please feel free to contact me concerning your issues (No Charge.) I also offer a new client special to perform this work.
Andrew M. Jaffe
Attorney at Law
Practice Limited to E-Commerce and Internet Law
This post is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice specific to you. This general information is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney in your jurisdiction. The attorney client relationship is not established by this post.