The High Cost of Unpaid Internships for Your Startup

The High Cost of Unpaid Internships for Your Startup

Contracts, Copyright, Employment Agreements, Start-Up
Recently, one of our solo founder clients approached me to draw up some short agreement for some (student) unpaid interns he was considering bringing on with his startup. In this post, I touch on some of the things I explained to him after (very professionally, of course) telling him he might want to re-consider his company's plan. If you're a startup founder considering "hiring" unpaid interns to come and work at your new company, it is important that you understand the potential legal and business risks first. Is your startup's unpaid internship even legal? Yes, many business owners never even bother to consider this first, critical question regarding their new or established internship program. The answer is a very legal "probably, but it depends". While not necessarily illegal in and…
Read More
Don’t Leave Home Without It:  6 Must-Haves for Your Startup’s Offshore Development Agreement

Don’t Leave Home Without It: 6 Must-Haves for Your Startup’s Offshore Development Agreement

Contracts, Software
Many of our startup company clients look overseas for their software development needs. Hiring overseas programmers and engineering teams can allow your lean startup to reap tremendous benefits and get your site or app to market and in front of paying customers that much quicker. As with anything done in a foreign land, however, it is not without its risks. In order to remove or at least reduce these concerns, here we take a look at some essential provisions that your startup's offshore development agreement should have. No Substitute for Due Diligence No, this is not a contract provision per se but one of the most important things you and your fellow co-founders can do when seeking to hire that foreign developer has nothing to do with contract drafting. Instead,…
Read More
9th Cir. Gives No Credit to Claim that Experian’s Updated Site Terms Apply

9th Cir. Gives No Credit to Claim that Experian’s Updated Site Terms Apply

Contracts, Online Agreements, Terms of Service
A recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving mega credit reporting company Experian reminds us that online businesses should be careful of relying on unilateral "change-of-terms" clauses in their online terms of use/service/and conditions. Stover Background In Stover v. Experian Holdings, Inc. (No. 19-55204, 9th Cir. 2020), Stover purchased an "Experian Credit Score" service from the credit reporting firm back in 2014. In doing so, she was required to accept Experian’s terms and conditions, which contained a number of provisions in which she agreed to waive her right to be part of a class action and to arbitrate all disputes “to the fullest extent permitted by law”. Under these 2014 terms, Stover further agreed that each time she accessed the "Product Website", she would be manifesting assent to the…
Read More
Southwest’s Efforts to Enforce Browsewrap Terms Isn’t Peanuts

Southwest’s Efforts to Enforce Browsewrap Terms Isn’t Peanuts

Contracts, E-Commerce, Terms of Service
Remember these...? Last month, Southwest Airlines Co. (“Southwest”) filed a complaint in a Federal court in Texas (where the discount fare airline is based) against Kiwi.com, an online travel site. While the lawsuit revolves around Kiwi’s scraping of airfare data from Southwest’s website, as well as violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), it offers some valuable lessons to e-commerce and online businesses relying on “browsewrap” terms for their website. Case Background In the Complaint filed in Southwest Airlines Co. v. Kiwi.com, Inc., No. 21-00098 (N.D. Tex. filed Jan. 14, 2021), Southwest accuses Kiwi of scraping of the airline’s flight and pricing data off of its website and selling Southwest tickets through its own platform (apparently charging service fees on top). Southwest, in its breach of contract count,…
Read More
Does My Website App Need A Separate Cookie Policy, Too?

Does My Website App Need A Separate Cookie Policy, Too?

CCPA, Contracts, GDPR, Privacy, Terms of Service
Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kimberly Vardeman Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (image cropped) I’m often asked by potential (and even existing) clients whether their company's website or app needs an actual, separate Cookie Policy, or whether it’s sufficient to address Cookies in their privacy policy or statement alone? In this post, we explore what the Cookie Policy is, the main laws that are currently applicable, and the legal and practical considerations of separating your Cookie Policy from your Privacy Policy (which you, of course, already have right?). What are Cookies anyway? [Experienced website owners and developers may want to skip ahead] To step back a bit, “cookies” are small text files that store data on your device your computer, smartphone, or other device, which are sent to a specific…
Read More