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Internet Lawyer: Are You An Accidental Internet Pirate?

By April 2, 2010June 30th, 2010Internet Lawyer

Although an Internet lawyer, I’m also a bit of a history buff. Think you’ll like this story…

British pirate Captain Kidd accidentally killed himself and his “business” in the process. How did he do it? The government convinced him that if he quit his pirate ways and surrendered, Kidd would receive a full pardon for his piracy.

Once the captain was in custody, the pardon was promptly revoked and they hanged Kidd.

Fortunately for online marketers such as yourself, Internet piracy isn’t a hanging offense.

Yes, as your Internet lawyer can explain, there’s a good chance you’ve committed online piracy even if you don’t know it. If you have a website or sell info products online, chances are the content you’re using includes stuff that is copyrighted or trademarked by someone else and you’re using the material without their permission.

The legal term for this is “infringement.” Sounds fancier than “piracy.”

If the owner of the intellectual property you’re using decides to sue you, you could end up paying tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages plus the guy’s Internet lawyer and trial attorney fees too (in addition to your own).

Right now, a major Internet marketer has been accused of giving away thousands of copies of software that is allegedly a pirated version of a product that sells for several hundred dollars. If true, can you imagine how much this marketer could end up paying?

And the sad thing is, you could end up with the same issue, whether you’re selling stuff on your site or just have informational articles and pictures.

Here’s why. The legality of the source of your material is key.

Sometimes the source of your content (a stock photo site, article writer, PLR content, software programmer, , website design, graphic design, etc.) is illegal and you don’t know it. In other words, you paid for something you thought was legit but the seller was either dishonest or ignorantly sold you something he didn’t have the legal right to sell. The latter often happens with marketers too cheap to retain an Internet lawyer to make sure everything’s legal before selling content to others.

Don’t commit business suicide like Captain Kidd.

Set up a consult with your Internet lawyer right now to create a business bullet-proofing plan.

Mike Young, Esq.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

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