Monthly Archives: October 2011

Legal Advice For Private Label EBooks Business

private label ebooks business legalities
What are the legalities of private label ebooks?

One way to make money online is running a private label ebooks business. But it may not be a viable option for much longer, as Amazon is determined to rid their marketplace of “undifferentiated” and “barely differentiated” ebooks.

What are Private Label Ebook Rights (PLR)

E-readers changed the way we publish and consume books. Innovative online marketers developed novel ways to monetize the service through the use of “private label rights.”

Here’s how it usually works:

Authors sell the text of their books for a flat fee; included in that fee is the right to customize and republish the content. This is called “private label rights.” It’s basically the same thing as the “no-frills” brand at your local supermarket — except with books.

But since there is only one Kindle Direct Marketplace, there are copious amounts of “no-frills” books (with identical content) now popping up and degrading the integrity of the platform.

Why Amazon Is Currently Not A Fan Of The Private Label Ebooks Business Model

Amazon is concerned that many PLR books are nothing more than elaborate, spammy pyramid-schemes. For example, an author will write and publish an ebook called “Ways to Make Money Using Kindle Direct Marketplace” and offer it for $10, with private label rights. Jane, eager to make money online, buys the book. In it, she learns how to get the text for the ebook she is currently reading and how to republish it under her name. The cycle continues on without any “real or useful” knowledge exchanged.

Authorities consider this a pyramid scheme.

Over the past several weeks, Amazon has been sending out letters to account holders suspected of engaging in these types of activities; the online retailer has also vowed to shut down the accounts of repeat and shady private label ebooks business offenders.

What Should You Do If You USE The PLR Method

If you’re currently selling non-original private label ebooks in the Amazon marketplace, it’s a good idea to take them down for the time being. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to ditch your system all together.

Make Changes To Your Books To Make It Original and Legal

Since Amazon is using duplication detecting software to sniff out books, simply make some significant changes to the text you bought. Change up the adjectives and re-structure sentences. To check if you’ve made enough changes in the text to pass a duplicate content bot, find a program like copyscape or grammarly that will pick up any “plagiarism” in your work.

Keep making changes and running it through a copyscape-like program. Once your ebook passes a scan, you can re-post your book to the Kindle store. Remember to change the cover art and images contained within for additional variation, too.

If you have questions regarding the legality of the private label ebooks business model, get in touch. We’re Internet attorneys who know all the ins and outs of online marketing law and how e-commerce marketplaces work.

Domain Seizure Of Websites Sparks First Amendment Violations Concerns

domain seizure lawyer
Yes, the U.S. government seizes domains.

Spain-based Internet company, Puerto 80, is unhappy with the United States Government. Several of Puerto 80’s domains, which stream various sporting events, were seized by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) on suspicion of copyright violations.

After being found innocent by a Spanish court, Puerto executives asked that their domains be released while awaiting an exploratory hearing to determine if they violated U.S. law. The federal government refused.

Puerto 80: Online Streaming Websites Domain Seizure

What Is Puerto 80?

Puerto 80 is an online conglomerate that runs dozens of websites. Its two main domains – rojadirecta.com and rojadirecta.org – stream sporting events. In addition, the sites feature social-networking capabilities and forums where 865,000 registered users go to discuss sports-related topics.

U.S. Feds To Puerto 80: You’re A Copyright Violator!

U.S. Feds charged Puerto 80 with copyright violation. The company, however, successfully defended themselves in a European court, where the charges were dropped. A lawsuit, however, is still pending in an American court — but it’s yet to be determined if the Feds has enough evidence to continue with the lawsuit.

Puerto 80 Argues “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” In an Attempt To Recover Seized Domains

After being declared legally A-OK in Spain, Puerto 80 sent a letter to the ICE asking for their websites back. Since U.S. law says a person or corporation is innocent until proven guilty, Puerto 80 argued that the ICE’s holding of their sites was illegal.

Judge Says Not Being Able To Watch Soccer Games Is Not A Hardship Worthy of Domain Return

District Court Judge Paul Crotty, however, disagreed with Puerto 80. “Rojadirecta.com has a large internet presence and can simply distribute information about the seizure and its new domain to its customers,” ruled Crotty. He continued, “Although some discussion may take place in the forums, the fact that visitors must now go to other websites to partake in the same discussions is clearly not the kind of substantial hardship that Congress intended to ameliorate in enacting § 983 [the statute that allows for the return of seized property].”

First Amendment Rights Violations?

Consumer watchdog groups, The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge and Center For Democracy and Technology submitted an amicus brief in support of Puerto 80. It highlighted arguable First Amendment rights violations. The advocacy groups argued that by taking control of Puerto 80’s websites, the court was essentially cutting off citizens’ access to legal information, like the forums.

The advocates’ letter also questioned whether the initial domain seizure was lawful, since “’probable cause’ cannot justify restraint.”

Case Law Used To Knock Down Feds Domain Seizure of Puerto 80

Schneider v. New Jersey (1939) and Va. State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Va. Citizens Consumer Council, Inc. are two U.S. Supreme Court cases that shaped First Amendment legal precedence. Both verdicts affirmed that free speech cannot be “abridged on the plea that it may be exercised elsewhere” and that there’s “no general principle that freedom of speech may be abridged when the speaker’s listeners could come by his message by some other means.”

Should We Be Concerned With The Government’s Domain Seizure Habit?

Should we be concerned with the veracity with which the U.S. government is seizing domains? Probably. After all, the slope becomes ever more slippery when officials simply take whatever websites they want, regardless of international agreements and foreign laws.

Make Sure You’re In Compliance With Online Copyright Regulations

If you operate an online business with an  international clientele, you’re obligated to comply with a host of federal laws, state statues and international e-commerce and privacy agreements. Shirking just one, could result in your business’ demise.

Kelly / Warner focuses on affiliate marketing law, Internet- and digital-related legislation, mobile law and intellectual property law. We have clients everywhere and know the rules and regulations you need to follow. We’ll protect your interests and advise you how to avoid domain seizure, while not sacrificing your money making abilities.

Canadian, Australian and American Officials Join Forces in International FTC Lawsuit

international FTC attorney
International FTC Investigations

The FTC is flexing their muscles this summer. Their latest target: Yellow Page B.V. – a European-based operation out of Palma de Mallorca. An internationally coordinated effort, the Canadian Competition Bureau and Australian authorities are also in on the case.

About Yellow Page B.V.

According to International FTC lawsuit documents, Yellow Page B.V. has been operational since 2009. The company is said to use corporations based out of the United States, Netherlands and England. Jan Marks; Yellow Page Marketing B.V., also doing business as Yellow Page B.V. and Yellow Page (Netherlands) B.V.; Yellow Publishing Ltd.; and Yellow Data Services Ltd. are all named defendants in official documents.

International FTC Accusations

American, Canadian and Australian officials all claim to have evidence that Yellow Page B.V. orchestrated a deceptive fax scheme that collectively bilked small businesses and nonprofits out of millions.

Officials allege that Yellow Page B.V. would send faxes using the known “Yellow Pages” name and a logo strikingly similar to the iconic “walking fingers.” The fax stated that the company had to pay their “Yellow Pages” invoice for the year, or risk losing their listing. The fine print at the bottom revealed that the fax was, indeed, a solicitation for new business and the act of signing and faxing back meant that the company wanted to sign up for a 2-year, $89 a month listing on an Internet directory not associated with Yellow Pages, Inc.

Companies who realized their mistake and called for a refund were told the cancellation period had expired. In addition,  Yellow Page B.V. informed “customers” that unpaid bills would be handed over to debt collectors.

International authorities are citing Yellow Pages B.V. for falsely representing themselves as the local yellow pages and falsely insinuating a preexisting business relationship.

A judge ordered that all Yellow Page actions must be halted; in addition, their accounts have been frozen during the investigatory period. As is the case with all FTC investigations, it’s now up to Yellow Pages B.V.’s lawyers to prove their client was in compliance with FTC regulations.

Being stalked by the FTC? Have an international FTC lawsuit situation you nee to discuss? Contact the Kelly Law Firm to explore your options. Remember, an FTC investigation does not automatically equate to guilt – they get it wrong too sometimes. We have experience defending against over-reaching FTC allegations; we know their rules. If you want to win, get in touch today.

ETag Lawsuit: The Uninformed Railroading of KISSmetric Analytics

Etag lawsuitUC Berkley researcher, Ashkan Soltani, published findings that ETag – the technology incorporated into KISSmetrics analytics – tracked users regardless of their privacy settings. The report raised eyebrows and caused a minor panic in online business circles — and now there’s an Etag lawsuit.

What’s Different About ETag Tracking

Online tracking has been around for a long time. What’s changed is how it’s done. ETag technology is a new, powerful Internet tracking alternative. What makes them different than past techniques is their ability to trail people without the use of HTTP cookies.

Moreover, ETags have unique regenerative properties. Info is stored in a user’s browser cache, so even if cookies are deleted, the data can be recreated using ETag information. The ultimate annoyance for privacy stalwarts, the only way to escape the watchful “eye” of an ETag is to clear your cache between each website visit.

The Online Privacy Implications of ETags

Cross-site user identification is possible with ETag technology. When using ETags, user123 is identified in the system as user123, no matter the site. So, a KISSmetric-enabled website could, theoretically, share information about user123 with other KISSmetric-enabled websites. This type of cross-company information exchange is expressly prohibited by Internet standards, which state that two unrelated websites cannot share common identifiers.

That being said, when dealing with technology, the answers aren’t always cut and dry. Moreover, just because a certain technology has certain capabilities doesn’t mean they’re always used.

For example, KISSmetric uses the same URL for all clients; this is to mitigate bandwidth resources and speed-up user performance; as a result, their system returned “the same anonymous identifier” across multiple websites. But, said identifiers were instantly “translated into unique identifiers for each customer.” Moreover, KISSmetric took the extra step of segregating customers’ data into separate databases.

Technologically savvy? Yes. Illegal? No.

The ETag Lawsuit Violations

Suspiciously, the day Ashkan Soltani published his paper was the same day a class action lawsuit against KISSmetrics was filed in California. Scott Kamber – a lawyer who relied on another Soltani paper in 2010 while trying to prosecute sites that used “Flash cookies” – is representing Joseph Garvey and Stacey Tsan, the two consumers claiming injury as a result of KISSmetric’s use of ETag technology.

The lawsuit claims KISSmetric violated the Video Protection Privacy Act in addition to several California online privacy laws. The plaintiffs also claim to have proof that data was shared with third parties. Yet, they refuse to produce said evidence.

Since news hit of the ETag lawsuit, KISSmetric has been an open book and sternly denies the allegations. They’ve also pledged to cooperate with any and all authorities on the matter.

In response to the lawsuit, KISSmetric immediately addressed the issues at hand and worked overtime to remove any processes which could be misinterpreted. They also installed rigorous “do not track” provisions.

Technology is a good thing. Advancements in the field help our economy and overall quality of life. Before filing a tech-related lawsuit, it’s important to thoroughly assess the technology in question. because many times — like in this Etag lawsuit —  the claims are wildly far-reaching and only serve to impede progress; not protect the citizenry.

Start An Affiliate Marketing Business: No Experience Required

affiliate marketing business
Ready to start an online marketing business? Make sure you’re on the right side of the law!

Having difficulty finding work? The time is now to consider starting an online affiliate marketing business. I get it: you’re skeptical and wondering, “Is there really money to be made online?” Yes, there is. But like any other business, the success of an online venture is wholly dependent on proper planning, effort and execution.

Affiliate Marketing: How Does It Work?

Affiliate marketing has been around since Nero ruled Rome. But over the past decade, thanks to increased Internet use and low startup costs, the affiliate marketing business has matured into a profitable and viable work-at-home opportunity.

How does it work?

Affiliate marketing is when companies pay commissions to people who promote and sell their products and services online. Traditionally, companies provide affiliates with a special ID; affiliates then place ID-specific product links and advertisements on their own websites. Depending on the agreement terms, the affiliate will either:

  1. Earn a certain amount anytime someone clicks on a link, or
  2. Get a percentage of the sale if the user buys the product or service through their ID’d links.

Why big brands are Using Affiliates More and More

In the past, larger retailers and corporations steered clear of affiliate marketing models. But since life has moved online, product producers are making a sharp u-turn when it comes to third-party marketing programs.

Why?

According to the publisher of Performance Review, Chris Trayhorn:

“Performance marketing delivers real, measurable marketing results and successful campaigns are highly scalable. That’s an irresistible set of characteristics in the middle of a recession, and makes performance marketing an essential part of the marketing mix.”

Fortune 500 companies are abandoning outdated marketing models. Instead, they’re hiring top-level executives to develop, implement and manage third-party affiliate marketing programs. Some people speculate it will become the standard advertising model over the next decade. Get started now!

How to get started With An Affiliate Marketing Business

Starting an online affiliate marketing business doesn’t cost much. All you need to do is:

  1. Find a niche market that interests you, in addition to several affiliate-marketing-friendly companies that sell products to said niche;
  2. Buy a few URLs and set them up with websites; and
  3. Find a lawyer to make sure your sites are in compliance with various FTC and FCC Internet marketing rules, plus a hand full of Federal and state laws.

Skipping the last step could prove disastrous, as an improper privacy policy, disclaimer or data collection method could land you in a heap of trouble with authorities. (And don’t worry, hiring a lawyer for an affiliate marketing startup won’t break the bank.)

Contact An Affiliate Marketing Attorney For Help Getting Started

Kelly / Warner Law represents affiliate marketing businesses. Whether you’re a one-person operation or agency, our affiliate legal team will get you started, answer any questions, and even help you promote your business. We work with people all over the world and have helped people make millions.

Payday Loan Law: A Proper Privacy Policy Will Keep The FTC At Bay

payday loan law
Payday Loan Law 101

The Federal Trade Commission is on a mission to extinguish deceptive online marketing practices. A few months ago, Acai berry, weight loss websites were FTC target #1; today, the commission is cracking down on “negative option” programs commonly found on payday loan sites.

Redwood, California-based Swish Marketing is the latest company to attract the FTC’s wrath. Why? According to the FTC, Swish tricked unsuspecting customers into purchasing debit cards they never requested or wanted.

The Pay Day Loan Cover

Swish Marketing operated several payday loan websites that matched applicants with lenders. Visitors to the site filled out a typical loan information request form, which required applicants to divulge personally identifiable information.

But Swish’s forms were misleading. When users hit submit, they were brought to a confirmation page offering several add-on services dubbed “bonuses.” The “bonuses” each had a checkbox users could click if interested. Most of the options’ were set to “no” by default – except for a debit card option.

Not only was the debit card default set to “yes,” but the option was tiny and easily missed. The Swish marketing team also made sure the “Submit Information” button was the most prominent element on the page; the FTC argued the design added to the overall deception.

Thousands of people were duped and charged $54.95 for a debit card they didn’t need, want, or request.

Previous Complaints Against Swish and Its Operators

The debit card scam is not Swish Marketing’s first offense. In 2009, the FTC brought Swish and VirtualWorks, LLC – a debit card company – up on deceptive marketing charges. In 2010, the FTC amended allegations to the complaint. In addition to questionable marketing tactics, Swish, VirtualWorks and several of the companies’ primary officers were accused of selling users’ information without consent and ignoring customer inquiries into the issue.

The initial investigation was settled with a $850,000 payment and a promise to do better.

Swish’s Punishment For Breaking Payday Loan Law Rules

So what punishments did the FTC dole out for breaking payday loan law?

  • A $4.8 million dollar fine,
  • A Ban on creating websites that misrepresent facts about products and services, and
  • An insistence that Swish monitor actions of their affiliate marketers to ensure no laws are broken in the name of Swish Marketing and associated products.

Online businesses are the new normal; as such, people are constantly coming up with innovative ways to market and promote products. And like any nascent industry, the lines are still a little blurry as to what is considered legal and what is not – but an Internet lawyer can help you sort that out.

While what Swish did was technically illegal; however, their legal woes (and resulting fines) could have been significantly mitigated had they had a payday-loan-friendly privacy policy.

Payday Loan Law Attorney

Do you have a payday loan law question? Our firm focus is Internet law, and we’ve helped countless businesses with a host of online legal matters – including properly setting up personal finance online businesses. Contact us today to make sure your website-house is in legal order.

Grooveshark.com Copyright Infringement Lawsuit: Summary, Explanation & Prediction

grooveshark.com copyright infringement lawsuit
Grooveshark.com copyright infringement lawsuit

Want to know more about the Grooveshark.com copyright infringement lawsuit? Then keep reading.

For decades, programmers and music-lovers have tried to establish online file sharing platforms that are impervious to legal harassment. Though copyright restrictions created gigantic obstacles, people kept plugging away at the puzzle – including Grooveshark.com.

The Florida-based company managed to stick around for awhile, but the peer-to-peer site may be collapsing soon.

A group of songwriters and musicians – including Mark Farmer of Grand Funk Railroad fame and “Rhinestone Cowboy” auteur Mark Weiss – have filed suit against Grooveshark. If the online music company loses the case, industry analysts suspect the company’s days may be numbered.

How Grooveshark Works

In short, users post music files to the Grooveshark server and set up play lists to share with other users. For example, if you bought and downloaded Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab,” and your best friend didn’t, you could upload the song to Grooveshark, and share it with your friend.

Grooveshark.com Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

The lawsuit argues Grooveshark knowingly allows users to download illegal tracks, and is therefore guilty of copyright infringement, contributory infringement and vicarious infringement.

Representatives from Grooveshark have yet to comment on the lawsuit, but their spokespeople have always maintained that Grooveshark does not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The claim is not Grooveshark.com’s first legal tussle; in April, the company settled a suit with EMI music and is currently battling a lawsuit filed by the Universal Music Group — one of the industry’s largest labels.

The Future of Online Music Streaming and Sharing

Grooveshark’s latest lawsuit could be their demise — especially since Spotify has hit U.S. soil.

Spotify, a new online music streaming service, allows users access to a gigantic library of free, popular music — and it’s perfectly legal.

How?

Spotify went directly to the music labels and made deals. The free service features advertisements, and Spotify shares those revenues with the artists and labels. Users can also purchase $5- and $10-dollar, ad-free subscription packages; this revenue is also split between Spotify, labels and artists.

Illegal Downloading Defense Lawyer

Have you been accused of illegal downloading or streaming? The tech-savvy lawyers at Kelly / Warner Law can help. Internet laws are changing, and if politicians have their way, streaming will become a federal offense punishable by jail time and hefty fines.

But did you know that not all digital-copying and downloading is illegal?

Don’t take a chance; if you’ve been charged with a cyber or piracy crime, don’t waste time; get a lawyer immediately. There are ways to mitigate (even eliminate) the charges. Contact us today to learn how.

If you like to keep up to date on cases like the Grooveshark.com copyright infringement lawsuit, put your e-mail on our mailing list.

Dateline NBC Exposes Internet Scams

Internet Scams Lawyer
Online cons cost Americans millions each year.

Over the past several years, Americans have lost approximately $500,000,000,000 to Internet scams. Tech-savvy con artists target anyone without respect to race, religion, education, or social standing. It doesn’t matter who you are. If you have an e-mail address, you’re a target.

Dateline’s Internet Scam Crackdown

Dateline NBC recently exposed an elaborate Internet scam initiated overseas (possibly Nigeria) in which the victims were told they were the heirs to a multimillion dollar fortune. One victim, a Connecticut woman named Shireen, was told she was heir to a $15 million oil fortune because one of her supposed-relatives was killed in a bad accident.

But… There was a catch. For a fee of $200, she could get the ball rolling to have her “inheritance” deposited into her bank account. After exchanging a series of e-mails and sending more money – totaling over $200,000 (her life’s savings) and a trip to London to meet with the “bankers and lawyers” handling the money transfer – Shireen wondered if she would actually see the inheritance that she was promised in the first place.

She decided to go to the police.

Why didn’t she go to the police sooner? Why did she wait? As Dateline NBC reported, she felt foolish for being conned out of her life savings. She was embarrassed to report the scam because, as an educated woman, she thought she should know better than to fall for such a scam.

It turns out shame and embarrassment are the top two reasons why people in her shoes don’t report being duped by Internet scams. Some people would rather keep quiet to save their dignity than speak up.

How Internet Scams Work

The way Internet con artists get people to fork over wads of cash is by playing on the victim’s emotions. Throw in a pinch of Psychology 101 and a dash of digital technology and you have the basic ingredients of an Internet scam.

Internet con artists use:

  • Fake news stories with pictures – perception is reality, right?
  • Fake documents – certified death certificates, certified bank documents, and anything else that looks official
  • Fake names – last name might be the same on paper as someone in your extended family, but the person never existed

With continual pleas for more money, Internet scam artists stop at nothing to keep the scam going as long as possible. When a person tries to finally cash in on the promised “inheritance,” the Internet thieves use all sorts of delay tactics. In Shireen’s case, the so-called diplomat asked for $37,600 on top of the “10% bank fee” which turned out to be a cool $1.5 million in addition to all the money she sent previously.

Keep in mind that Dateline NBC was at Shireen’s side, stringing the scammer along until the bust. Very few people, if at all, have the luxury or opportunity to turn the tables on Internet scam artists.

International Internet Scams

International Internet cons are difficult to prosecute because not all countries are interested in prosecuting Internet crimes — they’ve got larger fish to fry. Another reason international Internet scams can be tough to crack is because the perpetrators are hard to track down.

Does that mean it would be a waste of time and effort on your part to report that you were the victim of an online con? Not at all.  Victim of Internet scams should speak up. Tell the police. Who knows, if enough people report a scam, authorities may crack the case — and you may get your money back.

Affiliate Marketing Arizona: Is Phoenix The Next Online Industry Mecca?

affiliate marketing arizona attorney
Affiliate Marketing Arizona

If Arizona legislators plays their cards right, the state is poised to become the preferred residence of online business owners.

Between the California government’s decision to enact an “Amazon Tax” — which will effectively drive affiliate marketers to e-commerce-friendly states like Arizona — and the recently announced investment agreement between Phoenix-based GoDaddy and KKR Silverlake, the Grand Canyon state has a real opportunity to attract successful, tech-savvy entrepreneurs to help stimulate the economy.

Why California’s Amazon Tax is Good for Affiliate Marketing In Arizona

If you’re even tangentially involved in affiliate marketing spheres, then you’re undoubtedly aware of California’s recent statute, Assembly Bill 281. In what some people consider to be the worst financial decision in years, California legislators crippled the State’s affiliate marketing community by hoisting a hefty nexus tax onto the shoulders of online retailers.

Pro-28.1 politicians insisted the tax increase would generate $200 million for the state. But marketers quickly realized it’s more cost efficient to move their business headquarters a few states over, rather than re-structure their revenue streams to accommodate California’s new online sales tax.

Amazon.com recognizes the Arizona-advantage and has announced plans to expand their Phoenix operations.

GoDaddy’s $2.25 Billion Affiliate Marketing Arizona Investment Agreement

Last week, a massive tech merger was finalized. Web domain giant, GoDaddy.com, inked a $2.25 billion dollar deal with investment group, KKR Silverlake. According to GoDaddy founder, Bob Parsons, the agreement will allow for strategic acquisitions and expansion of the company’s Arizona headquarters.

GoDaddy dominates the domain business. Research reveals that Parsons’ outfit currently services between 40% and 50% of the market. If estimates are correct, those numbers will continue to grow over the next several years. In reality, this merger means that GoDaddy could very well become the Microsoft of the domain registration and web hosting industry.

Affiliate Marketing Arizona: It IS the Place to Be

Over the coming months, expect to see Arizona lobbying for affiliate marketing transplants. The state’s taxes are attractive, the weather is warm, and with this recent influx of investment money, Arizona’s on the fast track to becoming the country’s premiere online-business hotspot.

Get in touch today about legally establishing your startup or affiliate marketing Arizona style.

XXX Domain Registration To Begin; Act Now To Protect Your Brand

xxx domain name registration law
Triple-x domains are now available!

Well, it’s happening. After years of debate, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved the creation of a top-level domain for adult-oriented sites. Over the next several months, xxx domain names will be available for purchase through Florida-based registrar, ICM.

This week, ICM laid out their plan for distributing triple-x domains. Starting on September 7, 2011 the registrar will begin receiving two different types of requests, Sunrise A and Sunrise B requests. The sunrise period ends on October 28, 2011.

Sunrise A Period

Operations that fall under the Sunrise A category are adult-entertainment companies that already hold various industry trademark and intellectual property rights. These companies will be given the first opportunity to lock up URLs related to their protected collateral.

Sunrise B Period

If you hold a registered trademark, copyright or another type of intellectual property protection, and don’t want to be associated with a triple-x domain, you’re considered part of the Sunrise B group. Sunrise B entities will also be given advanced opportunity to request that their business name is blocked from xxx domain registrations. For example, McDonalds could file for a McDonalds.xxx block during the Sunrise B registration period.

XXX Domain Registration Land Rush Period

After the initial sunrise period, ICM will immediately begin the “Land Rush Period.” During “Land Rush,” established adult-entertainment websites and companies, that don’t have formal trademark and copyright protections will have premium access to .xxx top-level domains. This phase will last for 18 days.

When the three phases above are over, it’s an .xxx registration free for all.

Oddly enough, anti-pornography groups are not the only ones who oppose the creation of .xxx websites. Luminaries in the adult entertainment industry are also leery of the change, worried that other sites won’t link to .xxx domains. Moreover, censoring pornography sites will now become very easy if all that is required is the blocking of all websites that end in .xxx.

Speak To An Attorney About Your XXX Domain Registration Questions

Do you have a brand or business you want to protect from triple-x domain registration? Are you an adult-entertainment entrepreneur who wants to make sure you have the best shot of getting the .xxx domains you want? Either way, get in touch today.

Online Fraud Could Mean 20 In The Clink For Arizona Entrepreneur

online fraud
A wealthy businessman may be spending two decades behind bars because of online fraud.

Laws are finally catching up with the blink-and-you-missed-it online business world. Until recently, few statues existed that directly addressed online transactions. But nowadays, politicians are chomping at the bit to tamp out online fraud. Both the FTC and FCC have amped up investigations, and jurisdictions across the country are passing a variety of online laws that will have a long-lasting impact on the affiliate marketing industry.

Authorities are especially anxious to nab deceptive online marketers. And officials think there’s enough evidence to prove that high-profile iWorks founder, Jeremy David Johnson, is one such offender.

Man Accused Of Online Fraud Was Ostensibly A Man of the People

By all outward appearances, Jeremy David Johnson is a model citizen. When the earthquake hit Haiti, the successful business man didn’t waste time buying a plane to transport much-needed supplies to the suffering Caribbean country. And when local law enforcement agencies needed some extra man-power for search and rescue missions, Johnson always offered-up his air-craft, free of charge.

A staple on the charity and campaign-funding circuits, Johnson has donated hundreds of thousands over the years, including a $50,000 dollar contribution to Utah’s current Attorney General.

In his public life, there’s no denying that Jeremy David Johnson made all the right moves. But since 2001, hushed, back-room rumors have cast a shadow over the outwardly philanthropic entrepreneur.

Early Online Fraud Legal Tangles

Ten years ago, Johnson was implicated in a stock scandal; however, thanks to the settlement terms, implicated parties did not have to admit wrongdoing. Between 2006 and 2007, Johnson’s company was censured by the Utah division of consumer protection for engaging in fraudulent marketing practices. All claims were dismissed, though, when Johnson’s company swore to change their advertising methods and refund dissatisfied clients.

Plaintiff Allegations

Last December the FTC filed a comprehensive complaint in Las Vegas against Johnson. And last week, he was arrested at the Phoenix airport. Johnson was on his way to one of his auxiliary homes in Costa Rica.

Authorities plan to prove that iWorks, under the direction of Johnson, has been systematically bilking millions from unsuspecting consumers and merchant banks. The state claims the company offered risk-free product trials, but billed for them anyway.

If Johnson is found guilty, he faces a 20-year prison sentence. Based on information uncovered in the FTC’s voluminous iWorks documents, Utah Assistant Attorney General, Brent Ward, has also announced plans to file more charges.

At the time of this writing, Johnson is being held in the Davis County jail. Ward affirms Johnson is a flight risk and financial threat to the community; so the attorney is requesting the CEO be held without bail.

Due to the FTC investigation, Johnson’s assets have been frozen and his passport confiscated.

Defense Arguments

Jeremy David Johnson is being represented by two law firms. Travis Marker is handling the FTC investigation, and Nathan Crane, the Utah lawsuit. Both defense teams are quick to highlight Johnson’s cooperation with government officials. Marker and Crane also point to Johnson’s Utah family roots as a reason for staying put.

Team Johnson’s party line is simple: iWorks did nothing wrong and we plan to prove this in court.

One thing is certain, both sides are keeping their cards close to their chests until proceedings get underway. So stay tuned. This online fraud case is sure to be intriguing.

Adware Legality 101: Explanation & Case Study

adware legality
Adware Legalities

The Federal Trade Commission doesn’t like when businesses use certain types of adware. The FTC has the authority to take legal action against companies that engage in unfair or deceptive marketing.

Major Adware Legality Case: FTC v. Advertising.com

Advertising.com offered consumers free software, but bundled it with adware that generated popup advertisements. The FTC went after the company for failing to adequately inform users of the true terms.

Some States, Like Alaska, Have A Specific Adware Legality Law

Some states have specific adware legality rules. In Alaska, for example, § 45.45.792 of the Alaska Statutes specifically declares:

“It is unlawful for a person who is not the owner or authorized user of a computer to engage in deceptive acts or practices described in this subsection using spyware.”

BOTTOM LINE: If You Make A Pop-Up Look Like It Was Served Up By Another Business, And Said Pop-Up Is Tracking or Collecting User Data, The FTC Will Probably Come After You.

Distributing adware can be done legally, as long as you takes steps to ensure you’re not breaking any FTC unfair and deceptive marketing rules. For more information on adware legality, get in touch with Internet law attorney, Aaron Kelly.