Header graphic for print

Start Ups & Doing Business Online

Category RSS Feed

You’ve looked at my site and now you have waived your right to sue me. Is that legal?

I’ll admit, General Mills did not go that far.  What they did, according to The New York Times was notify customers that if they downloaded a coupon, joined a forum or entered a sweepstakes, the customer would waive their right to sue in court and would have to go through an online “informal negotiation” or arbitration.
Since … Continue Reading

Open Source Software: Goodwill To All or a Cancer?

Open source software sounds like a good idea.  Your create some code and then put it out there for the public to use and let people build on it and improve.  The only condition is that if someone improves on it and build from it, they often have to share their improvements with the world. … Continue Reading

TechStreet Houston: Crowdfunding

I’m proud of the city where I grew up and am now raising my own kids.  Although not a popular tourist destination, there are a lot of great things happening here, and here, and here, and here, and here–including a burgeoning start-up scene.  Houston Tech Street is just more evidence of that.
Houston Tech Street is … Continue Reading

Does California’s Amended Online Privacy Law Mean We All Have to Change Our Privacy Policies?

When it comes to privacy policies, I usually tell clients they need to comply with California law.  Beginning January 1, 2014, California is adding a new wrinkle we all need to consider.
If you comply with California’s law, you can be confident you have satisfied most of the requirements for other states.  Plus, California’s laws apply … Continue Reading

Can I use the social media image for my story – part 3

In part one, we discussed how fair use may apply to the media’s use of social media images.  In part two, we looked at how the various sites’ terms of service come into play.  Today, we look at the one prominent case in this area and describe some best practices.
 The Agence France-Presse Twitter Case
There is … Continue Reading

Can I use the social media picture for my story? – Part Two

Last time, we looked at whether the media can use images from social media sites applying fair use to several typical situations.  Today, we look at the specific terms of service of various popular sites to see if some make it easier than others for the media to use images.
Facebook:
Plain English:  Each user allows Facebook, … Continue Reading

Can I use the social media picture for my story? – Part One

The answer is one that frustrates people the most — it depends.  In most circumstances, you run the risk of violating the copyright of the person who took the picture, so the best practice is to seek permission first (more on that in part 3).  But, let’s assume you can’t get permission — after all, … Continue Reading

Quick Links – August 2013

Rocky Mountain National Park
Because of an extended working vacation away from Houston’s heat in Colorado, I’ve been away from the blog.  Like my kids gearing up to go back to school, I’m getting back to the normal work mode back in the office while recovering from a separated shoulder from a mountain biking incident (riding … Continue Reading

GUEST POST: Start-Ups and the Unpaid Internship – The legal balancing act

As the summer arrives in full force, I am watching a lot of my start-up friends take advantage of the unpaid internship to help with some needed coding, design or marketing projects they haven’t gotten to.   These kids are smart, hungry, can use the experience and wouldn’t it be nice to have someone pick … Continue Reading

Texas Leg Watch 2013: Banning Employers from Demanding Social Media Passwords Bill to Hit House Floor Tomorrow

As part of our continuing coverage of the Texas Legislature Watch (they only meet every other year in Texas), we look at the bill that would prohibit employers from demanding passwords or other access to the social media accounts of employees and prospective employees.  It goes to the House floor tomorrow.
As we originally reported, on December … Continue Reading