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buying websites!

Discussion in 'Legal Issues' started by 10biscuits, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. #1
    are there any legal issues you should address when buying a website.
    for instance how do you check that the seller owns the site
    are there any legal documents you should sign to hand over ownership
    i understand that lower limit priced sites you may find for sale on here and other sites may not need it, or do they?
    at what price for buying a site would you consider legal protection?
    thanks guys
    10biscuits, Jul 25, 2011 IP
  2. _Nexo_

    _Nexo_ Peon

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    Hi i will try to anwer.
    If you use paypal you can ask the seller to send the website files and hosting details on a CD or USBstick and pay for goods, not for digital sales, it´s easier to make a dispute then. Escrow is another really good option.

    Also, ask the seller if he can upload an image or something on the domain to make sure he/she owns it.
    The price doesn´t matter here. No one shouldn´t sell things they don´t own or have the rights to. If you feel unsecure, go with escrow.
    _Nexo_, Jul 26, 2011 IP
  3. fm1234

    fm1234 Peon

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    For my own purposes, if it's under a grand I don't sweat it to much -- a basic purchase agreement to be signed by both parties that lists the specific web property and the agreed-upon terms of the sale. Anything over a thousand dollars but under ten I use an escrow service, and anything over then thousand I treat it just like I'm buying a piece of real estate, with contracts reviewed by my attorney, ND/NC agreements and more.

    As far as verifying ownership, if it's someone I don't know and we're not using a venue with built-in protections against stuff like that (eg. Bido for domains, Flippa for websites) I'll ask the seller to add a random code to the domain's whois, or a random page to the site (blocking spiders so that it's just something we can verify.) Control is not strictly speaking ownership, but these steps help insulate a buyer from potential liability in the event that the site or domain turns out to have been hijacked. Some sellers balk at this, but I usually point out that if they drove up to my house, knocked on the door and offered to sell me their car, I'd certainly ask to see some kind of evidence that it was their car.

    fm1234, Aug 10, 2011 IP
  4. Business Attorney

    Business Attorney Active Member

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    There are lots of legal issues to keep in mind. Ownership is obviously one.

    Another is whether the site has copyright violations. You can pay a small amount for a website with a dozen pages of content, with an image or two on each page, and find yourself facing thousands of dollars of payments to the copyright holder. Unless you are dealing with a seller who is easily reached and has deep pockets, the legal contract is not going to do you much good. You need to do your due diligence to make sure that the content and images are either free or licensed, or you need to be prepared to replace the content and images immediately.
    Business Attorney, Aug 11, 2011 IP