I am in the process of developing a website that has an audience the caters to professional women. I am looking to have the navigation of the site into different topics such as branding, personal growth entrepreneurship etc... I am going to be hiring freelance contractors to create various posts for these categories. I understand that I need to copyscape everything to make sure there is no plagiarism. Also I would be looking to have each freelance writer sign an independent contract confirming that their work is original and that I own the copyrights. I would have a terms of service that explains that these articles are user generated content that I will not be held liable for. Furthermore that this information is for general informational purposes only. Anything left to consider?
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
Yes, a lot more. See my Legal Guide for starting a website here on Avvo at
As you can see, you have barely scratched the surface.
I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.
Reach out to business avvo attorney Michael Doland....you can't go wrong.
My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.
Intellectual Property Law Attorney
Buy and read the books linked-to below and then speak with your own internet-savvy, business attorney licensed to practice in California. Good luck.
The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.
Are You Planning on Opening a New E-Commerce Website?
There is much you need to know as you begin your new business. I suggest you do not attempt to write your own legal policies. This is not where your training and background lie, and though you are probably as smart as an attorney, you do not have their experience.
Below is a checklist for legal issues I use for new e-commerce clients.
1. Business 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.
You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer in more detail. Most lawyers on Avvo, including myself, offer a free phone consultation.
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.
In addition to everything you mentioned, you should also have a privacy notice up, if your website will be collecting any personal information from your users (name, email address, etc).
I am a business attorney and offer free consultations, as do most other attorneys on Avvo.
Gaming Law Attorney
There's tons left to consider. Not just on the legal front as has been adequately explained by the other attorneys here, but your business plan, your marketing plan, your SEO plan, and all the technical side things that go into a startup as well.
Once you get your legal needs situated (I do not practice law in California so I cannot help you there), please feel free to contact me for a consultation on the business and technical side of launching a digital content startup.
The author is a Maryland attorney; however no answer given on Avvo is intended as legal advice or intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Dan's expertise lies in the electronic entertainment (video game) industry, as well as complex internet law issues, electronic free speech, entertainment law, copyright and trademark law, and computer fraud. He primarily represents game developers and founders of emergent internet technologies.