Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Buyer Protection Policy

This is a template Buyer Protection Policy, similar to that of eBay, for your eCommerce platform. Having such policy will give your buyer extra peace of mind knowing that there is an additional layer on protection on your platform for them.

Key specs:

- Policy applies to non delivery, damaged, not as described items or empty boxes.

- Buyer should contact the seller first to try and resolve the issue. If unsuccessful, then they can file a dispute.


- Buyer’s mistake, remorse/change of mind, fraud.

- Duplicate claims. If buyer had used other resolution process such as PayPal Purchase Protection or a chargeback, then they are not eligible for this Buyer Protection.



This Policy applies to non delivery, damaged, not as described items or empty boxes. 
-           Non delivery. If we determine that the item was not delivered, we refund the full cost of the item and original shipping. The seller must then reimburse us for the amount. If the buyer refuses delivery, their claim is not eligible for our Buyer Protection, unless the buyer can prove, via written evidence from the carrier, that the package was refused because it arrived empty or was damaged in shipping.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Русско-английское СОГЛАШЕНИЕ О НЕРАЗГЛАШЕНИИ ИНФОРМАЦИИ. (Russian-English NDA Template).

Basic Russian-English Non-Disclosure Agreement Template.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Basic IP Ownership Agreement

This template can be used when you give some materials to the other party that performs services for you.  For example, you are a graphic designer and you send files to photo editors, animators, etc. Or, you are an IT business that sends portions of code to your freelancer abroad for inclusion in the final work product. So, this Agreement ensures that you retain all rights to the materials you share and the other party cannot use them for its own purposes.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Terms of Use for Medical/Health/Fitness Related Service

Here are some important sample clauses to consider including in the Terms of Use of a medical/health/fitness service. With this type of service, it is very important to include a disclaimer that the platform does not offer medical advice, and the content provided in no way substitutes doctor's consultation. HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals' personal health information, so the Privacy Policy needs to reflect that, if applicable. Disclaimer of warranty should state that the service is provided "AS IS," with no warranties of any kind.

No need to list all the specifics and exact mechanics of your website in the Terms, - you can do all that on other site pages. The Terms of Use need to stay concise and to the point, so that users actually read them instead of skipping through the important provisions buried in unnecessary stuff.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

SEC Finds Digital Coins Are Securities

Today, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a press release that says that the digital tokens in one prominent ICO were in fact securities. That means that that particular ICO violated federal investment laws. The report says that many other digital coins appear to be securities, which makes them subject to federal regulation.

Companies have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in various ICOs. They were able to do it quickly because the SEC does not regulate ICOs in the same way it regulates traditional IPOs. There are no complex disclosure requirements for ICOs because they are not officially designated as "securities" under federal investment law. But at the same time tokens being sold in ICOs have many features of securities. These tokens are traded on secondary markets by speculators. The unregulated market made it possible for entrepreneurs to become instant millionaires. It was possible to start an ICO just by publishing a white paper about company's plans with regards to digital coins.

The SEC report does not mean that the market for new digital coins will be shut down. The SEC just cautions the industry and market participants that the federal securities laws may apply to those who offer and sell digital tokens, "regardless whether those securities are purchased using U.S. dollars or virtual currencies, and regardless whether they are distributed in certificated form or through distributed ledger technology.” The SEC did not list which ICOs are securities. That will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Today's SEC ruling is likely to deflate the growing bubble for ICOs in the United States, although it does not stop businesses from pursuing them overseas. Price of Bitcoin and Ethereum, two popular digital coins, fell 10% today, and there will likely be more volatility ahead.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Instagram Re-Photographer's Copyright Lawsuits

Can you "steal" other people's art and pass it off as your own? U.S. law says yes, if you transform it at least a little bit. Just how "little" you can get away with is what NY fed court considered on Tue, in a case about photographer who makes whole exhibits out of other people's Instagram photos. Richard Prince, a photographer who incorporates other people's photographs into his own exhibits lost his bid in federal court in New York on Tuesday to have a copyright lawsuit against him dismissed.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Initial Coin Offerings: High-Risk Big Money for Startups

Initial Coin Offerings (ICO's) have been raising record funds at mind-blowing speeds. A browser startup raised $35M in under 30 seconds. Last week, Tezos, a new blockchain project, raised $232M, making it the largest ICO to date. Startups have raised over $1,3 billion in digital coin sales this year.

An ICO is an unregulated process that allows to raise funds for new cryptocurrency ventures. An ICO's big advantage for startups is that it allows to bypass the rigorous regulated capital-raising process required by banks or venture capitalists. There is no need to register an ICO with the SEC, no obligation to deal only with accredited investors, no need to verify the source of funds. In an ICO campaign, some of the new cryptocurrency is sold to early backers of the project in exchange for other, more established, cryptocurrency (usually Bitcoin) or actual money. In other words, they give you some new crypto bucks in exchange for real bucks or Bitcoins. You buy because you hope the new crypto offering will have value as currency.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Should You Sign Contracts With Business Name or Real Name?

It's simple: if you own a company, then you have to make sure that it's your company, not you personally, is "signing" the contract. Otherwise, you can be personally liable with your own assets.

This rule applies even if your company is hired to perform personal services and you are the one performing them. For example, you are a programmer, a sole owner of an LLC. Somebody hired you to do some programming. The contract can say "LLC's Owner will perform services under this Agreement." However, it must still be clear that:

1) the LLC is the contracting party, not the owner. The LLC is responsible to dispatch its owner to do the actual services. Throughout the contract, avoid using your personal name, and
2)  the signature block shows that the LLC is a party to this contract, not the owner personally.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Monkey Selfie Sued Photographer for Copyright. Legal Arguments.

Federal appeals court is about to decide whether animals can own the copyright to their selfies.  On Wednesday, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard a case that involves a monkey who grabbed photographer’s camera and snapped some selfies. Aminal rights group PETA brought a lawsuit claiming that the monkey, not the photographer, owns copyright to the resulting viral photos. Here is what happened.

In 2011, British nature photographer David Slater photographer a group of macaques in Indonesia. One of them grabbed a remote and started clicking it. Camera on a tripod shot hundreds of photos, some of which became viral because of how hilarious they are and how unique the story is.

But PETA sued the photographer on behalf of the monkey named Naruto who apparently had the remote. PETA alleges that the monkey Naruto owns copyright.

Who holds copyright to photos?

Here is what U.S. copyright law states. Copyright belongs to the “creator” of the work who fixed it in any tangible medium. In case of photographs, copyright normally belongs to the one who clicked the shutter, unless the clicker was hired for “work for hire” or otherwise transferred the copyright. It is irrelevant who owns the camera.  Photographer Slater did not hire the monkey and it did not assign any copyrights to him. U.S. copyright law did not specify that the “creator” must be human. It was, thus, possible that the monkey could hold copyright. But even if it didn't, then the photos would still not belong to photographer Slater because he was not the one who fixed the photo in a tangible media. He did not click the shutter. If neither the photographer nor the monkey could claim copyright, that would mean the photos would fall in a public domain. That's why Wikimedia published the monkey selfie photos claiming that they were in a public domain.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

How to Draft a Photo Services Contract

As a published photographer and a lawyer who represents other photographers, here are the issues I recommend thinking about when drafting a photo services contract.

This is just as important as pricing. You need to spell out what is it your clients should expect to receive. How many photos will be edited? How many pages in the album? Will there be an additional charge for a fancy album cover?

Your Rights to Photos
Very important, if you know the photos will turn out super interesting. E.g., if you are photographing at a gorgeous location, somebody well-known, unique props, etc. Then you will want the right to use the photos for your own portfolio, social media, books and advertising materials.

I have photographed lots of college beauty pageants. If you negotiate the right to host official pageant voting on your social media account or website, it will drive lots of traffic of potential clients to you.

I have photographed Miss Universe candidates swimming underwater with the whale sharks in the Philippines. Needless to say, photos like that are useful in any photographer’s career, so make sure you get the right to use them in your contracts and/or model releases. Otherwise, you could be missing out on great professional opportunities.