The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has given Web 2.0 media sharing start-ups some non-technical advice: run your ideas past a lawyer first to stay on the right side of copyright law.
Can’t argue with that. Continuing on:
“One of the big mistakes I see in this space is failure to engage legal counsel soon enough. Often these involve business issues – like how do you want users and employees to interact on the site,” staff attorney Fred von Lohman said.
The choice of whether to offer buzzy features like mash-ups or to profit from other people’s content on the server may also have a bearing on a company’s legal exposure. “Techies will tell you it [server-side computing] is about efficiencies, the reality is lawyers will tell you to think hard about it,” von Lohman said.
While you might think executives running sites that suck in other people’s content have most at risk, von Lohman pointed out that investors are also in the firing line. He cited EMI and Universal’s decision to drag Bertelsmann through the US courts over its $100m investment in the old Napster, which they claimed helped the P2P site infringe on their works.
So there you have it. Straight from the EFF.