It’s Dangerous Out There . . .

I had a chat with my friend Prince Campbell (a/k/a Chartreuse) this weekend, which isn’t all that out of the ordinary.

What made it a bit different was the cease and desist letter he had received from Time, Inc.

It goes without saying that he hadn’t called me to chat about basketball.

In addition to his Chartreuse blog, Prince runs a blog devoted to all things Angelina Jolie. And like the owners of a lot of other celebrity blogs, he had published the leaked photos of Baby Shiloh (a Brangelina Production™) that People Magazine reportedly paid more than $4 million for.

We discussed the ins and outs of the situation, and the possible consequences. The potential downside was worse than he had thought, and he wisely took down the photos.

The fact that we are all “publishers” now subjects us to quite a bit of legal liability that we may not fully appreciate, and it goes way beyond copyright law. In fact, my first foray into entrepreneurialism was thanks to Internet marketing law.

After brashly quitting my big law firm job in 1997 and moving to Austin without a job (or a clue), I realized that the Internet knowledge I had was valuable to fledgling web entrepreneurs. So I ended up publishing a simple ezine on Internet marketing law to see if I could drum up some business.

It ended up being quite lucrative.

I guess if I had any sense I’d still be working that angle, but I’m having too much fun to look back. Luckily there are guys like Bob Silber who are serving Internet marketers quite well.

Bob is known as one of the world’s most respected authorities on Internet Marketing law. He is legal counsel to some of the Net’s most successful marketers, and advises and protect authors, publishers, experts, speakers and Internet marketers and their creative works.

I bring it up because Bob will be doing a free, no-hype, non-promotional telecast/webcast tutorial this Wednesday, June 14, 2006. He’ll be interviewed by Mark Joyner as part of the Simpleology personal development course (which is also free to join, and an excellent resource).

Check it out here. While no substitute for legal counsel, this information can at least help you avoid making mistakes that can be damaging to your business.

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Comments

  1. The point you’re making is interesting, but I found the biographical part about quitting your job and heading to Austin to be fascinating. That was boom times, and I can see how you’d clean up.

    The question becomes: what are you doing these days to own the universe down there?

    (Asking from the POV of someone looking to do something similar for the podcast/video podcast era that’s upon us).

  2. Hi Chris. Yes, those were interesting times.

    And like Yogi Berra said — “It’s deja vu all over again.”

    The difference this time is the fact that a small group of people with a great idea can put it out there for little to nothing and see if it flies. No need for VCs, and often not even angel investors (depending on the idea).

    Thanks to this blog, I’m in various stages of ventures with several like-minded people, and it’s exciting to say the least.

  3. Bob’s last name is Silber.

    He was a speaker at the first Internet Marketing Seminar I attended and I’ve attended one he put on in Duck Key, outside of Marathon, Florida.

    Great guy to have dinner with, as he has stories from way back… and they’re all true.

    I also receive his ezine and he has some great advice in there every time he hits ‘Send’.

  4. Whoops, thanks Mike for catching my typo!

  5. Glad to help and glad to put a plug in for a friend of mine.

    From one law-dog to another, he’s a great guy.