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About susansinger

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  1. Apparently, the problem areas extend beyond the Terms of Service I mentioned. In this Washington Post article, re-photographing is highlighted as a means of profiting off the work of (uncompensated) others. Creatives, in particular, should be cognizant: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/style-blog/wp/2015/05/25/a-reminder-that-your-instagram-photos-arent-really-yours-someone-else-can-sell-them-for-90000/?postshare=9371432648650700
  2. I'd like to share an important development with regard to PayPal - a means by which many of us get paid. For US customers, at least (I'm sorry - I don't have any information for those outside of the US), there is a new Terms of Service going into effect on July 1. This is due to PayPal separating from its parent company, eBay (more on that later). The new TOS is 60 pages long. Buried on page 53 is this: “When providing us with content or causing content to be posted using our Services, you grant us a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise any and all copyright, publicity, trademark and database rights and other intellectual property rights you have in the content, in any media known now or developed in the future. Further, to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, you waive your moral rights and promise not to assert such rights or any other intellectual property or publicity rights against us, our sublicensees, or our assignees. You represent and warrant that none of the following infringe any rights mentioned in the preceding paragraph: your provision of content to us, your causing content to be posted using the Services, and use of any such content (including of works derived from it) by us, our users, or others in contract with us that is done in connection with the Services and in compliance with this User Agreement.” Now, I'm not an attorney (I have a letter in to their Legal Department and await an answer), but here's my interpretation: Anything posted to the web and tied to PayPal's services - e.g., "Buy Now" buttons for ebooks, a site shopping cart, etc - PayPal suddenly has intellectual property rights to. That goes for anything that exists now or may exist in the future. PayPal's unearned rights to that intellectual property may be re-sold to other parties you may never know about or ever consent to having a business relationship with so that they can make money from your work. You get no remuneration or credit from any such transactions. And you had better not have infringed on anyone else's intellectual property rights, because they don't want tainted unearned goods! I mentioned eBay earlier. I checked their TOS and they utilize this same language. Their new TOS goes into effect in mid-June. The impact would be that eBay can take materials you own/sell - and, theoretically, anything you sell on behalf of others through a contractual agreement but to which you don't even have the rights to in the first place - and utilize those items for their own advertising, catalogs, etc. I've removed PayPal ties to my website. I already have begun to invoice through Wave Accounting (rates are about the same as PayPal's and the money goes straight to the bank). The first client who agreed to be my "guinea pig" LOVED IT because credit cards can be accepted. I'll be replacing the shopping cart on an ecommerce site with one provided by MerchantInc.com before July 1. There are a couple dozen alternatives to PayPal. None are as recognizable or have their "reach". But alternatives do exist. I apologize for the over-long post, but people should be aware of what is lurking in those 60 pages and make the appropriate business decision for their particular circumstances. My hope is that no one learns the hard way that their intellectual property or those of a client are misused because they simply clicked the "agree" button one day! Best to all - Susan
  3. Here's still another idea that may work for you: There is a free website builder, http://us.webnode.com/that will let you put together a site. You don't have to buy a domain (although you can); consequently, your URL for however long it takes you to settle on the name of your business will look like mytentativebusinessname.webnode.com It isn't a perfect solution, but it will allow you to "test drive" both the name and your web presence until you settle on your branding. Good luck!
  4. That, I think, is the insidious aspect of it. It seems way too open-ended, one-sided and definitely subject to interpretation. "[P]osting content using PayPal services" could be construed to mean, if you put something on your website or blog page...an ebook or other publication...an invention...your logo...a portfolio...or had a shopping cart that is tied to PayPal for receiving credit cards, etc., that they have rights to those works or intellectual property for purposes that benefit them. The next paragraph overtly states that a merchant expressly gives them the right to use their logo, domain name or other IPs to say "this merchant uses PayPal" in PP's self-promotions...royalty-free.
  5. PayPal has issued its Terms of Service that will go into effect on July 1 of this year. Buried deep in the 60-page document and not revealed in the "highlights" document publicly released, is a provision that says that the user of an account agrees to give PayPal perpetual and irrevocable rights as well as the right to sub-assign those rights to all copyrights, trademarks and intellectual property. This would apply to works known now AND in the future. The paragraph that follows says the same applies to Merchants utilizing Merchant Services. See page 53: https://www.paypalobjects.com/webstatic/ua/pdf/US/ints/ua.pdf This is unacceptable to me and, I'm certain, to my clients. Anyone who works with copyrightable, trademarked or any intellectual property may also find it objectionable. I will be looking for and switching to an alternative to PayPal; if you have suggestions for a replacement that works internationally, I'd love to hear it!
  6. Hi, Cynthia - I wouldn't let the location issue be of any concern. I'm in Chicago and currently have a client in Mexico; together, we're working with another entity in California. We'll probably never be in the same room at the same time, but thanks to videoconferencing and other tools, we can engage as though we are! Life is good! ;-) Susan
  7. Congratulations on your accomplishments, Meghan. (and, boy! could I use some GIMP training! I see its potential, but can't seem to actually create anything!)
  8. Hi, Karen - I'm in near-by Niles! Good luck as you kick off your brand new enterprise.
  9. I try to always set aside 1/3 of my earnings. 15% goes to self-employment tax (US) 5% is for the flat income tax in my state --the rest is for "just in case" expenses. This has come in very handy on occasion (e.g., equipment failures/replacements) and also provides a buffer for those in-between-projects times! Best, Susan
  10. I don't think it's cheeky at all - one hand washes the other!
  11. Although this 14-minute video is from the perspective of freelancers in the UK, the themes and concepts seem fairly universal. When you have a few moments, you may enjoy watching:
  12. Hi, Shakena and welcome - I actually don't know your specialty, but if it were me, I'd register as a woman-owned business with the GA Dept of Economic Development and also make your presence known to all of the musicians' unions in the area... Susan
  13. I did the same thing initially, Irene - figured it out fast, though Thanks, Tawnya, for bringing this to our attention. I know I'm not capitalizing on my LI connections well enough! S.
  14. Also, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics includes VAs under Secretaries/Admins (see work environment): http://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/secretaries-and-administrative-assistants.htm
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