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A reader asks: I have a website and can’t afford a lawyer to draft up essential legal notices. I have decided to cut and paste all necessary legal language from a similar website for my site. Is there a problem with this?
You can also have problems if you do not tailor the content you have cut and pasted carefully. You may, by mistake, copy the company’s trademark or other protected intellectual property. That not only makes it easy for the other website to identify your potential theft, it could lead to other problems down the line.
Tread careful in this arena, as many companies have paid a lot of money to their attorneys to have their legal documents drafted and may not take kindly to that content being copied and placed on an unrelated site.
Lawyers come in all shapes and sizes and you should be able to find one that fits your budget parameters. Some will even work for equity or for deferred compensation based on the deal you make with them. So instead of just winging it and risking potential legal liability down the road, get a professional to do it for you up front.
Startup owners: Got a legal question about your business? Submit it in the comments below or email Curtis directly. It could end up in an upcoming “Ask the Attorney” column.
Curtis Smolar is a partner at Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley. Disclaimer: This “Ask the Attorney” post discusses general legal issues, but it does not constitute legal advice in any respect. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of counsel in the relevant jurisdiction. VentureBeat, the author and the author’s firm expressly disclaim all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this post.
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