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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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DMCA Designated Agent Services

DMCA Attorney Corey Silverstein warns all website operators to ensure DMCA compliance and offers DMCA Agent Services. From Copyright.gov: “The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) provides safe harbors from copyright infringement liability for online service providers. In order to qualify for safe harbor protection, certain kinds of service providers—for example, those that allow users to post or store material on their systems, and search engines, directories, and other information location tools— must designate an agent to receive notifications of claimed copyright infringement. To designate an agent, a service provider must do two things: (1) make certain contact information for the agent available to the public on its website; and (2) provide the same information to the Copyright Office, which maintains a centralized online directory of designated agent contact information for public use. The service provider must also ensure that this information is up to date. In December 2016, the Office introduced an online registration system and electronically generated directory to replace the Office’s old paper-based system and directory. Accordingly, the Office no longer accepts paper designations. To designate an agent, a service provider must register with and use the Office’s online system.” The Designation of an agent to receive notifications…

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Website Lawyer, Corey Silverstein Reminds You to Have Your Online Business Reviewed for Legal Compliance

There are far too many online business operators that are not taking legal compliance seriously enough and subjecting themselves to potential liability. A commercial website is still a business regardless of the fact that its home is the world wide web, instead of a traditional brick and mortar facility. In its October 2014 Web Server Survey, NetCraft confirmed that there are over 1 billion websites on the world wide web today. If you think that governments and enforcement agencies across the world have not taken notice of this fact, then you are kidding yourself. In the United States, federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) are prosecuting website operators at an increasing rate with more severe penalties. State attorneys are exercising subpoena power and commencing enforcement actions more than ever before and the United States has not been shy about seizing websites that are suspected of violating applicable law. Additionally, private civil lawsuits in both the federal and state courts involving online businesses and the internet are an everyday occurrence and at all-time highs. Almost all traditional (brick and mortar) successful business operators make legal compliance a top priority and usually won’t even open their doors for business…

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The Proper DMCA Takedown Notification

On October 28, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (the “DMCA”). Since becoming valid law, the DMCA has been controversial to say the least, with many demanding reform. For many in the adult industry, the DMCA has been helpful and beneficial in intellectual property protection while others in the adult industry feel that the DMCA provides too much protection and has allowed “content pirates” to abuse the DMCA for its own financial gains. The adult industry is no stranger to the DMCA. The exponential growth of “Tube” style websites over the past several years has led to an unquantifiable number of lawsuits, disputes, articles and controversies. There are enough articles from adult industry experts regarding the pros and cons of the DMCA and there are equally enough articles from adult industry experts regarding intellectual property protection. The purpose of this article is to examine an often neglected but important piece of the DMCA. This article will discuss what must be included in a properly formatted DMCA notification of claimed infringement (commonly referred to as a “Takedown Notice”). Pursuant to the DMCA, specifically, 17 USC § 512(c), (c) Information Residing on Systems or Networks At…

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