Legal issues involved in hosting multi-site content


Am currently crafting my multi-site/buddypress business model and now considering the legal issues.

What I'm planning to do is follow the Edu-blogs business model of 3 levels of membership.
1. Free
2. Pro (themes and ad sharing)
3. Campus (multiple blogs per user & domain mapping)

What I am wondering though, is what are the legal ramifications of hosting all that content?
If there is a hosting/data problem, could I be on the hook for big money?

If so, is there any legal-speak you could refer me to that I could get users to agree to?

Thank you,

  • drmike

    Insert standard I'm not an attorney nor do I play one on television or in any weird movies or fantasies. While I;ve been around the block a bit and am happy to pass along my knowledge, none of this should be taken as gospel. I have no money. Don;t sue me. I can;t even afford chocolate.

    Honest answer: Go look at other hosts ToS'es and AUP'es. licensed theirs as CC so you can copy theirs as long as you give them credit. My own attorney had a very good laugh over it saying there were quite a few holes in it but we never really chatted about it. (The loophole about how endusers can;t advertise though staff says that's a ToS offense for example.)

    If you;re planning on taking money, at the very least go ahead and incorporate. For my own hosting, we tell our endusers that they have six months to do so because not all of them will last that long. Lots of "Oh well what a cool idea" at first and three months down, it;s more like "f this f that wtf, etc."

    Get serious about backups. Come up with a schedule, and stick with it as best as you can. If you blow them off and do get sued, the judge will not look kindly to that. If you show that you made an attempt, that's a plus for you.

    As much as I hate them, stick in a "We can do what we want/ as is" clause in your ToS. That way you;re butt is covered if someone causes trouble and you have to boot them.

    Stick in a "We not responsible for what you do" clause as well. That way if you let a spammer slide by or worse someone pushing out virii, you have an attempt to be covered.

    Trying to think about what else. Been a while since we had this discussion....

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