1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Advice Regarding Cease & Desist for Selling Automation App

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by TrailBlazer, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    51
    Hello fellow members,

    I have recently been in development of an application that will allow users to automate certain tasks on a social networking site. It will allow users to send pre-drafted messages to members they target via the website?s search function.

    The application is not designed to submit spam, the messages are for networking purposes only, networking is the purpose of the site in general. Everything the application will allow a user to do is the same thing you can do on the website, however the app will allow the user to save time by automating these tasks.

    The website does state in their terms of service that applications such as this should not be used and doing so violates their TOS. To me this is absurd since the application will allow the user to save an abundance of time, and in my opinion will make his experience using the sight more enjoyable.

    After doing some research I?ve found articles about myspace, facebook, and twitter sending cease and desist letters to companies who sold automated applications that worked on those sites. I haven?t found any information about any of the companies that got a C&D ignoring it and continuing selling the software, I read that most companies that got the letter willingly shut down.

    However, from doing google searches, there are still tons of applications selling such software, some that even infringe upon trademarks in their domain.

    My main question is, can I sell software like this, being located in the US, to other users. By selling the software I am not violating the TOS of this website, the users of the software would be. I would also state that I am not affiliated with the website, and that users agreeing to buy and use the software do so at their own risk, and that I can not be held liable for consequences.

    Would this be enough to cover me, or could the website still sue me on any grounds?

    Anyone who has any insight on this would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. hawgbert

    hawgbert Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    14
    I'd imagine that once you attracted the attention of the website, they'd fire off a C&D letter before they considered a lawsuit. I don't think that you'll ever be in the clear by simply trying to transfer the liability to the buyers, but your risk is fairly low. Stay under the radar, make a few bucks, and be prepared to comply with the eventual C&D.
     
  3. kvmcable

    kvmcable Supreme Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,355
    Likes Received:
    2,815
    Occupation:
    24 year business owner - old school dude
    Location:
    KFC - BW3
    TweetAttacks clearly had EVERYWHERE in their program, sales literature and website that it's software should not be used to spam or abuse Twitter. It also passed the liability off to the user and you see where that got the owner of TweetAttacks.

    Personally I don't think your argument of passing the liability off to the user will hold any water. You've already admitted you know their TOS says automated tools are not allowed but yet you created an automated tool and want to sell it for commercial gain.
     
  4. steelballs

    steelballs BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,832
    Likes Received:
    4,562
    A twist on what you appear to be doing could lead to 'Speculative Invoicing' attempts then watch out as the Feds will jump on strokes like that
     
  5. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    51
    Right this is what i'm thinking, since there is a huge demand for an app like this, if I was able to keep it up even for a few months I would be able to generate quite a bit of income, especially since I can very effectively market it. However, what I am worried about is that they might skip sending me a C&D and outright sue me. I believe the recent twitter companies to get sued didn't get a C&D, I could be wrong though, does anyone know if they got C&D's before they were sued?
     
  6. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    51
    You are very right man, thanks for the input. Any idea how the current bot selling sites are able to do it, are they all offshore?
     
  7. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    51
    I am not familiar what you mean by this, but I am interested now that you mention the Feds, could you please elaborate?

    Thanks.
     
  8. Hansa

    Hansa Newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    33
    The best protection would be to use limited liability company. If you used an offshore LLC in a country that does not require filing of Directors they cannot even find out who you are.
     
  9. SEOnetic

    SEOnetic Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    Messages:
    995
    Likes Received:
    120
    This is what I would do. BTW did you know that tweetattacks came back a week ago. Just food for thought.
     
  10. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    51
    The website shows that' it's down for me.
     
  11. TrailBlazer

    TrailBlazer Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    51
    Do you have any experience with doing this or have you just heard about it? Is there anywhere you could guide me to get information about it? You can PM me if you don't want to post here. Thanks.