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Need to hire a lawyer for social media education company

Los Angeles, CA |

My corporation provides video based education on how to use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pininterest, seo for the small bushiness owner. I have screen capture as I navigate my facebook page and explain the different pages and the importance of the different features. The goal is to provide knowledge for the small business owner on how they can do this them self instead of paying marketing firms thousands of dollars. What else do I need to do other than create a terms of use, privacy policy, copyright policy? What are the legal issues to consider?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. In order to properly address your question you will have to retain an attorney to conduct an analysis of your business and the video based education that it currently or prospectively provides. Then counsel can address your question and make suggestions. Those suggestions would probably extend beyond solely the insertion of a terms of use, privacy and copyright policy. Some of the other legal issues to consider include the fact that, to the degree that you have created fixed original work, federal copyright registration provides you with the right to statutory damages, attorneys and attorney’s fees in the event of infringement of the same. Additionally, a federally filed trademark may help to provide your company and its educational services with further intellectual property protection and help to it apart in a recognizable and memorable manner.

    Best of luck.

    The information that is placed in this response is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship with Thomas P. Howard, Esq., nor is it intended to be relied upon as a replacement for legal advice from an attorney.

  2. Mr. Howard gives a fine answer.

    For a lawyer, it is much more difficult to identify what is missing than to comment on what is there. The reason long term relationships with one's attorney, CPA and other professionals is so that they can raise issues you may not perceive.

    We normally interview our prospective clients for an hour at no charge. Not every client and every attorney is a good mix. After one has scratched the surface one can begin to make meaninful, non-generic recommendations.

    Good luck in your endeavor.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  3. Are You Planning on Opening a New 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.
    3. Privacy Policy - Every e-commerce site needs a privacy policy!
    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. Trademark - Start with a commmon law trademark "TM" and register your mark if you are successful.
    6. 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?
    7. Do you need and have an EIN? You can get that for free.
    8. Do you have employees? - If so you need written policies regarding their authority and use of the internet.
    9. 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

  4. First don't violate the intellectual property rights of other entities, second ensure your IP rights are protected, third make written contracts with vendors and customers (lawyers are better at that you are and it's pretty cheap), fourth you're probably working by yourself, but if you have a few employees ensure that they sign either an application you can buy at an office supply store or some other form that confirms they are employed at will, fifth ensure that the employees have signed an agreement not to use your trade secrets for personal gain or take them with them when they leave your employ, sixth if you need an EULA, have one drafted by a pro, seventh ensure all possible permutations of your website name are owned by you.

    Best of luck. I attach some links to articles that will be helpful.

  5. The answers here by colleagues illustrate many of the issues your company's legal and business affairs department, comprising of you and your trusted and knowledge tech, media and startup lawyer, can handle.

    While I like the checklist above, not all the items may apply to the current stage of the venture. As this point, a review of the business plan, which will include production notes on the videos, and the revenue model, along with a description of the website, can determine the legal issues to address based on those activities. Whatever your legal & business affairs strategy is, I venture it will include whether your trademark is legally protected and non-infringing, whether you should forma corporation or LLC, a contract with your developer to build the website which will deliver your content (web developer services agreement), your content production plans and copyright clearances related thereto (very important) and legal considerations related to the promotion and distribution strategy.

    This is a publishing play, no different than a series of exercise VHS videos sold in 1993. But the web of course brings exponential opportunities for content distribution.

    I have experience working with several companies who published videos of this nature, and pending no conflict of interest, would be happy to discuss your business model, production plan and distribution strategy in more detail.

    This content is a discussion of legal issues and general information; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be used as such without seeking professional legal counsel. Reading the content does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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