Re: Information Assessment Legality

Thanks for the advice Joe, definitely some food for thought :) I
appreciate your time!
On Tue, 2010-10-12 at 09:48 -0400, Joe Peters wrote:
On Mon, 2010-10-11 at 13:35 +1030, Stephen wrote:
I'd appreciate if anyone could offer their
views and experiences, or preferably, reference to the relevant laws.

The increasing amount of IT and privacy regulation makes this question
difficult to answer. I would suggest making sure any work you do is a
"work for hire" - something that will be owned by a client. Hence if
there is any legal issue (say you start collecting protected
intellectual property in your research), you might be limiting your
liability. An indemnification clause would be essential as well. But in
general this question is like saying "I will be driving from New York to
Los Angeles, doing any number of things people tend to do in a car, what
laws might I be breaking?"

Option B I would also assume would be
legal, as services like Intelius do a similar thing (publicly available
information on anyone at a cost)

It depends. The issue tends to be more the how than the what but both
apply. If I found out a rival company is bankrupt by aggregating a bunch
of public records, I would say that is legal. If I find out it is
bankrupt because I find a letter from CFO to the CEO, that may be
illegal. As to the what, if I happen to create a report that includes
copyrighted information, I may have violated copyright by duplication
and dissemination of someone else's intellectual property even though
this information is published by the company frequently.

On the surface, these services seem to be without much risk, but the
problem with being a third party is you don't always understand the mess
you are stepping into. If Company B was founded by a bunch of former
employees of Company A, there may be private non-disclosure or
non-compete agreements in place. There are a lot of ways you can find
trouble without ever being found at fault. You could be in the middle of
an injunction, have your computer seized as evidence, need to hire a
lawyer, etc.

Joe Peters

CEO of
Education, Assessments, and Community
Phone (Skype): +618 8121 7403

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