Selling Websites – Could You Be in Legal Trouble?

You may have never thought about trouble with the law when selling websites, but you should!

There are many different ways to violate copyright laws when selling websites with video and other types of media. In this article we will fill you in on the details so you can steer clear of legal drama.

selling websitesTrademarks in Your Domain Name

Depending on your niche, you could come up with the great idea of putting a well searched trademarked name in your domain name to gain an exposure advantage. If you choose something like Accutane for an acne website you are probably going to be safe, but if you use Lego for a kid’s toy site you are probably going to be in some steep trouble. That’s because Accutane doesn’t really care if you use their trademark name but Lego is so protective you can’t even mention Lego in your content in particular ways.

When selling websites with a trademarked name to someone, and they get in trouble, they will be hunting you down for a complete refund. Protect yourself from the start and don’t use any name brand names or trademarked terms in your domain names.

You Need Legitimate Content When Selling Websites

If you write all of your content yourself you are golden, but if you outsource you must verify that everything you receive is original. If you purchase material that was stolen from another site and resell it to someone else they will once again be coming after you for a refund. Even more important, your reputation will be tarnished and it’s very hard to undo that type of stain.

If the stolen content happened to come from a major media outlet be prepared for lawsuits to boot!

If you outsource any content, make absolutely certain it is original.

You Also Need Legitimate Images When Selling Websites

Have you heard of major media companies such as Getty Images demanding huge fees from small time web designers and bloggers for their illegal use of images online? Probably so, because we live in the day where that stuff is happening as a result of image pirating online.

To be safe here, never take an image from any other source without explicit permission. Always err on the side of caution and assume all images online are copyrighted by someone and that someone wants to protect their rights.

The biggest problem is when you have a website designed by someone from India who happened to have a very low bid on some outsourcing website. They use Google to find some images and throw them on there, but you are legally responsible when everything hits the fan.

The only images you want to use are those offered as open source and those that you buy the license to use. Make sure you know all the terms of usage no matter what service you select.

For instance, if you purchase an image from iStockPhoto.com you have the right to use it on one domain and can even resell that domain to one person. What you cannot do is create a template or theme using the image and then resell that to thousands of people for big profit.

In the best of all worlds you would write all of your own content and create your own unique images, but of course most of us can’t do that all the time (if ever). If you can’t find open source photos that are free and don’t’ want to pay for licensed images, opt to use no images at all. This may make it harder to get a big profit from the site, but it’s much better than putting your reputation on the line or refunding that big profit when legal troubles hit home after selling websites.

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