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The Legal Checkup

Dentists typically recommend that a person’s teeth be cleaned every six months and that oral x-rays be taken at least once every year. Internists recommend that a person receive a physical examination annually. Pets visit the veterinarian for vaccinations and well-care appointments. Vehicles need oil changes and regular maintenance. Your personal and business legal affairs are no different and require regular “legal checkups.” Much like going to the dentist, the idea of meeting regularly with your attorney is probably not going to excite you; but now more than ever, periodic communication with your lawyer is essential. Unfortunately, far too many web entrepreneurs wait too long and ultimately reach out to their attorneys when trouble has already come their way. In many instances, the legal problems encountered could have been prevented had a “legal checkup” taken place. The law in the United States and throughout the world is constantly changing. It is naïve to think that just because a certain activity was legal in 1998, that it is still legal in 2017. In my experience, business operators can be stubborn and unintentionally engage in conduct that may have started as legal but is now considered unlawful. A turbulent or significant change…

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Website Attorney, Corey Silverstein Reminds You: Don’t Forget Website Terms of Use and Service

As a website attorney, one of the more frequent questions that I receive is whether Website Terms of Use and Website Terms of Service are different. In most cases the answer is no. To put it simply, a website’s Terms of Use or Terms of Service is the contract between the website operator and its user(s). The Terms of Use or Terms of Service should contain numerous legally binding provisions between a website operator and its user(s). It is also essential that a website’s Terms of Use or Terms of Service are properly implemented on a website so that the court find them enforceable. A website’s Terms of Use or Terms of Service will differ substantially from website to website, depending on the specific services or products that the relevant website is offering its users. There are far too many website operators who think that it is acceptable and sufficient to simply take someone else’s Terms of Use or Terms of Service and slap them on a website; history has taught us that the act of stealing someone else’s Terms of Use or Terms of Service is a recipe for disaster and can ultimately bind the website operator to unfavorable…

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Corey D Silverstein And Nigel Williams

Let’s Talk Digital Marketing and Law

We had the pleasure to sit down and talk with Corey, owner of the Law Offices of Corey Silverstein, P.C.. Corey has extensive knowledge in the digital marketing field. When we asked Corey what he saw as the biggest errors for those just starting out in digital marketing make, he was quick to answer. You Need an Agreement This may seem a matter of common sense in most businesses, but Corey indicates people sometimes underestimate the need for a good agreement in their excitement over opening a digital business. He cautions that it is still a business and must be thought of as such. When asked what type of information is necessary in a good agreement, he named several factors: *Profit/Loss distribution - Everyone gets excited about the prospect of earning money and often don't consider how the profits will be divided. What is even more likely to cause conflict is deciding how a loss will effect each member of the deal. In regards to any business, Corey cautions, even family members need a legally binding agreement when money is involved. *Ending of partnership - What terms are in place if one partner decides to pull out of the business…

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Law Between the Sheets: Independent Contractor or Employee?

All too often, adult business operators spend so much time focusing on things such as obscenity, record-keeping and intellectual property that they neglect some important corporate issues, including taxation and employment law, which can have a tremendous impact on a business owner. Make no mistake about it, adult business operators need to be concerned with obscenity, record-keeping and intellectual property, but at the same time, they should not be forgetting about some other very important areas of corporate law. Every year around tax season, my office receives numerous telephone calls from clients (individuals and businesses) with concerns related to their own worker status or the worker status of someone providing services on their behalf. The classification of a worker as an employee or independent contractor is very important and any misclassification can create numerous issues. As you read through this article, it is essential to remember that you should always consult with your own attorney and accountant when it comes to employment law and taxations issues. Additionally, the IRS’ website, IRS.gov, contains a library of material that should be used as a resource for employers, employees and independent contractors. Please note that this article is based on U.S. federal tax…

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Acquiring Online Businesses

2013 was a busy year in the online adult industry; especially in terms of business purchases, sales and mergers. Online businesses were purchased at record prices in 2013 and I expect that 2014 will continue the trend. This is the first of a series in which I will discuss some of the more important do’s and don’ts when purchasing an online adult business. This article is not meant to replace the services of an attorney nor is it meant to be an inclusive list of everything that a purchaser should do. Part 1 will focus on a purchase from a buyer’s perspective while Part 2 will focus on a purchase from a seller’s perspective. Keep watch for Part 2 in XBIZ World. Due Diligence I am always amazed by how many purchasers contact my office in the course of purchasing an online business and have no idea what they are buying. The seller of an online business or any business for that matter is always going to present its business in the most favorable light in order to attract more potential buyers and obtain a better purchase price. As the saying goes “don’t buy a book by its cover;” do…

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Let’s Talk Content and Licensing Agreements

As I write this column, the holiday season has arrived and with it the end of the year. And when the new year rolls around, the adult industry enters into one of the busiest trade show schedules of the year. In the month of January alone, AVN presents an array of shows in Las Vegas: the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo—both the B2B show and the Fan Fest—the Adult Novelty Expo, the AVN Awards Show, and InterNext. Also in the month of January, XBiz presents XBiz 360. Trade shows are a fantastic way to network, learn, improve and grow as a member of the adult industry community, and I urge you to take advantage of the many benefits of the trade shows. I have been attending AVN-sponsored trade shows for over a decade and I am continuously amazed by the great seminars and speakers put together by the AVN team. There is a good chance that you are reading this article while you are at one of the trade shows mentioned above and I encourage you to attend as many seminars as possible. Don’t be afraid to step into a seminar that you don’t think affects your particular business; you never…

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