What to do if I’m currently looking into a business idea that would involve creating an online website to which individuals would purchase a monthly subscription?

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What to do if I’m currently looking into a business idea that would involve creating an online website to which individuals would purchase a monthly subscription?

Once they are members, they would have access to major magazines at no additional fee above the monthly subscription they pay to be members of the site. Would there be any legal issues with this? We would have purchased subscriptions to the magazine in order to provide it to our members. I’m assuming that doing this without the magazines’ knowing would be illegal, for obvious reasons. However, if the magazine received some form of payment (not sure if this would be a payment per view/per person/etc.), would that be illegal?

Asked on June 20, 2013 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need a copyright/trademark/patent attorney because these are things Nook and Kindle already do. You need to speak with such an intellectual property attorney to figure out a business model that has not been claimed yet and whether you need single licenses or overall general licenses (think ASCAP or BMI) for such use. You may want to look into how satellite radio works as your beginning model.


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