I give up, but not entirely!

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CaffeineAddict

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So I was considering about starting my website to earn some extra cash, don't ask what the site would be about it's not that important but I'm sure I would be making money in time...

It all went fine, even though I'm not web developer I found out methods to bring my site online within hours, and managing the site with new content and security related protections would be really easy with the help of open source software which unlike web development isn't new to me.

But then I stuck on writing Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and other legal documents which every website should have to guard itself legally.
I did partially read the law and there are far too many ways to write those documents wrong, and legal consequences in terms of time wasted and expenses that may arise may far exceed my effort and earned cash.

The only way to deal with this problem is hiring a lawyer who is expert in that field to write these documents on my behalf which is not that cheap either, plus I would be paying the lawyer to update those docs from time to time depending on how my site and the law changes world wide to make sure my butt isn't hanging out in the wind at any time.

But regardless, even with all this legal stuff in place risks would still exist, for instance those documents might not be able to protect me in an event if my server gets hacked and documents changed by the attacker, meaning I would need to be constantly monitoring activities on my server in addition to managing regular web stuff.

I'm not yet 100% sure I want to give up but most certainly I will.

But I'm not sorry to consider this business and to waste days writing this legal stuff myself because new opportunities arose which look equally attractive to earn money without managing any website at all!

Guess what that is?

Well, instead of managing a website and defending myself legally I'm considering to put myself on attack stance and detect weaknesses of others which should be much easier and safer to do :cool:

Many website and online service owners do not pay a lawyer to check and update their legal documents, many of them do various mistakes, I know this because while writing my docs I've been reading TOS and privacy policies of other sites to see how they do it, and surprisingly with my limited knowledge, I've spotted mistakes here and there such as clauses which are legally not binding exposing those websites to potential legal consequences.

What I'm considering now is noting down those mistakes from various places and then contacting website owners and offering them to discover their mistakes in return for a reasonable fee.
I don't really know if that will work and how much could I earn but it doesn't cost me anything to try and see.

Now you must be thinking why the heck would I reveal my little trade secret on a public forum and making myself potential competition?

Well funny thing is that this is not really a secret, I've learned from various reputable sources that people exist who already do this and earn money, not only this but several other methods with legal potential exist that could be used to earn money online.

Some of those dudes who are skilled enough go as far as threatening or filing legal application unless their requested fees aren't paid.
Beside that reading and interpreting various legal documents is not only boring and difficult but also requires getting familiar with the law first.

I don't know how silly or evil this might sound to you but I'm certainly interested to hear what do you have to say about the subject?
 
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In many jurisdictions, you have to be a licensed lawyer to charge for legal advice - which is what you'd be doing. You'll have to check your local regulations, but it's a pretty common requirement.

Lawyer, like engineer, is a protected term. So, you can't just say you're a lawyer.
 
@KGIII
It looks like I'll really have to give up entirely then :(
I can't think of a way to hide money trail or to hide communications doing this.

I guess those who do this do so by filing lawsuits for which they don't need to be lawyers, I suppose their targets consider coming to a mutual agreement with them only to avoid courts and expenses, which is not illegal to do.
In the end they earn, the only difference is how much does the loosing party lose.

It looks like this job is perfect fit for those who are already rich enough to risk going to courts world wide.

You should look at the end of Microsoft TOS the Unsolicited Idea Submission Policy which suggests people exist who deliberately try to pull money out of rich firms, they don't need to be lawyers to succeed in that.

I'm sure MS didn't put this clause for fun there but because of those dudes who try to earn.
 
I'll bet Microsoft has a team of lawyers on the payroll and with the money and power and control Microsoft has they can for the most get out of whatever they get themselves into.
 
Just a quick question, I am thinking of recreating my website, what did you use to create your site in a few hours and what does it look like?
 
So I was considering about starting my website to earn some extra cash, don't ask what the site would be about it's not that important but I'm sure I would be making money in time...

It all went fine, even though I'm not web developer I found out methods to bring my site online within hours, and managing the site with new content and security related protections would be really easy with the help of open source software which unlike web development isn't new to me.

But then I stuck on writing Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy and other legal documents which every website should have to guard itself legally.
I did partially read the law and there are far too many ways to write those documents wrong, and legal consequences in terms of time wasted and expenses that may arise may far exceed my effort and earned cash.

The only way to deal with this problem is hiring a lawyer who is expert in that field to write these documents on my behalf which is not that cheap either, plus I would be paying the lawyer to update those docs from time to time depending on how my site and the law changes world wide to make sure my butt isn't hanging out in the wind at any time.

But regardless, even with all this legal stuff in place risks would still exist, for instance those documents might not be able to protect me in an event if my server gets hacked and documents changed by the attacker, meaning I would need to be constantly monitoring activities on my server in addition to managing regular web stuff.

I'm not yet 100% sure I want to give up but most certainly I will.

But I'm not sorry to consider this business and to waste days writing this legal stuff myself because new opportunities arose which look equally attractive to earn money without managing any website at all!

Guess what that is?

Well, instead of managing a website and defending myself legally I'm considering to put myself on attack stance and detect weaknesses of others which should be much easier and safer to do :cool:

Many website and online service owners do not pay a lawyer to check and update their legal documents, many of them do various mistakes, I know this because while writing my docs I've been reading TOS and privacy policies of other sites to see how they do it, and surprisingly with my limited knowledge, I've spotted mistakes here and there such as clauses which are legally not binding exposing those websites to potential legal consequences.

What I'm considering now is noting down those mistakes from various places and then contacting website owners and offering them to discover their mistakes in return for a reasonable fee.
I don't really know if that will work and how much could I earn but it doesn't cost me anything to try and see.

Now you must be thinking why the heck would I reveal my little trade secret on a public forum and making myself potential competition?

Well funny thing is that this is not really a secret, I've learned from various reputable sources that people exist who already do this and earn money, not only this but several other methods with legal potential exist that could be used to earn money online.

Some of those dudes who are skilled enough go as far as threatening or filing legal application unless their requested fees aren't paid.
Beside that reading and interpreting various legal documents is not only boring and difficult but also requires getting familiar with the law first.

I don't know how silly or evil this might sound to you but I'm certainly interested to hear what do you have to say about the subject?
Can you "borrow" from other sites and just edit as needed? Aren't they all mostly the same?
 
what did you use to create your site in a few hours and what does it look like?
All of the website content (text, images, videos etc..) that you write to be displayed on your website is written entirely in markdown which is very easy to learn and to write, far easier than writing HTML or using any other web language such as JavaScript.

Once you have your stuff written in markdown all it takes is to run a single command to covert markdown files to actual website content and file formats that can be hosted such as HTML, JavaScript, CSS, XML etc.

The software which is used for this is called MkDocs:
Site link
GitHub link

And customizable website theme usable with MkDocs is called Material for MkDocs :
Site link
GitHub link

There are several other usable themes (separate repos) but this one is the best and most customizable.

Here are steps how to install and use these tools:

Site building prerequisites:

Bash:
# Update package cache
sudo apt update

# Required to manage virtual pip environments
sudo apt install python3-full pipx

# Verify virtual pip environment was created in:
ls /home/$(id -u -n)/.local/pipx/

# Add pipx to PATH, then close and reopen the terminal to apply changes
pipx ensurepath

# Install mkdocs-material theme (into: /home/$(id -u -n)/.local/pipx/venvs/)
pipx install mkdocs-material --include-deps

# Activate virtual pip environment, will show context prompt
source /home/$(id -u -n)/.local/pipx/venvs/mkdocs-material/bin/activate

Site building:

Bash:
# Activate virtual pip environment if not already activated
source /home/$(id -u -n)/.local/pipx/venvs/mkdocs-material/bin/activate

# Build web site
mkdocs build

# Watch live site updates while editing on localhost:PORT
mkdocs serve


And here is how my (unfinished and template) About page looks like:

site.png


Website configuration, layout, theme etc. is done in a single YAML file, below is my complete example:

YAML:
# As a minimum, the configuration file must contain the site_name
# All other settings are optional
site_name: INSERT_SITE_NAME_HERE
# Set the site description.
# This will add a meta tag to the generated HTML header
site_description: INSERT_DESCRIPTION_HERE
# Set the name of the author
# This will add a meta tag to the generated HTML header
site_author: INSERT_AUTHOR_HERE
# This setting is used to determine the format and layout of the global navigation for the site
nav:
  - Home: index.md
  - About:
      - About this site: about/about.md
      - Privacy Policy: about/privacy.md
      - Cookie Policy: about/cookies.md
      - Copyright Policy: about/copyright.md
      - Acceptable Use Policy: about/acceptable.md
      - Terms of Use: about/terms.md
      - Contact: about/contact.md
not_in_nav: |
  license/MkDocs.md
  license/mkdocs-material.md
theme:
  # The string name of a known installed theme
  name: material
  # A code representing the language of your site
  language: en
  #
  # Theme specific keywords
  #
  # If you want to prevent typefaces from being loaded from Google Fonts, e.g. to adhere to data privacy regulations
  # Alternatively, fonts can be custom-loaded if self-hosting is preferred for data privacy reasons
  font: false
  # Material for MkDocs supports Google's original color palette
  palette:
    # Web page background is either "default" (light) or "slate" (dark)
    scheme: slate
    # The primary color is used for the header, the sidebar, text links and several other components
    primary: teal
    # The accent color is used to denote elements that can be interacted with, e.g. hovered links, buttons and scrollbars
    accent: red
  features:
    # The header is automatically hidden when the user scrolls past a certain threshold
    - header.autohide
    # Code blocks can automatically render a button on the right side to allow the user to copy a code block's contents to the clipboard
    - content.code.copy
    # When anchor tracking is enabled, the URL in the address bar is automatically updated with the active anchor as highlighted in the table of contents
    - navigation.tracking
    # Top-level sections are rendered in a menu layer below the header
    - navigation.tabs
    # Navigation tabs will lock below the header and always remain visible when scrolling down
    - navigation.tabs.sticky
    # Top-level sections are rendered as groups in the sidebar
    - navigation.sections
    # A back-to-top button can be shown when the user, after scrolling down, starts to scroll up again
    - navigation.top
# Set the copyright information to be included in the documentation by the theme
copyright: Copyright (C) 2024 INSERT_DOMAIN_HERE
# A set of key-value pairs, where the values can be any valid YAML construct, that will be passed to the template
extra:
  # The footer displays a Made with Material for MkDocs notice to denote how the site was generated
  generator: true
# A list of plugins (with optional configuration settings) to use when building the site
plugins:
  # A search plugin is provided by default with MkDocs which uses lunr.js as a search engine
  - search:
      # A list of languages to use when building the search index as identified by their ISO 639-1 language codes
      lang: en
# HACK: Does not work well for our sample bash code
markdown_extensions:
  - toc:
      # Generate permanent links at the end of each header
      permalink: true
  # The Highlight extension adds support for syntax highlighting of code blocks (with the help of SuperFences)
  # and inline code blocks (with the help of InlineHilite)
  - pymdownx.highlight:
      # This option allows to control whether highlighting should be carried out during build time using Pygments
      # or in the browser with a JavaScript syntax highlighter
      use_pygments: true
      # This option will automatically add a title to all code blocks that shows the name of the language being used
      auto_title: true
      # Each line of a code block is wrapped in a span, which is essential for features like line highlighting to work correctly
      line_spans: __span
  # Add support for syntax highlighting of inline code blocks
  - pymdownx.inlinehilite
  # Allows for arbitrary nesting of code and content blocks inside each other
  - pymdownx.superfences
  # Auto-link HTML, FTP, and email links
  - pymdownx.magiclink
# Determines the address used when running mkdocs serve
# Must be of the format IP:PORT
dev_addr: "127.0.0.1:8000"
# Determines how warnings are handled. Set to true to halt processing when a warning is raised
strict: false
# Configure the strictness of MkDocs' diagnostic messages when validating links to documents
# The value can be one of the three: warn, info, ignore
# Which cause a logging message of the corresponding severity to be produced
# The warn level is intended for use with mkdocs build --strict (where it becomes an error)
validation:
  nav:
    # The following pages exist in the docs directory, but are not included in the "nav" configuration
    omitted_files: warn
    # A reference to 'foo/bar.md' is included in the 'nav' configuration, which is not found in the documentation files.
    # A reference to 'foo/bar.md' is included in the 'nav' configuration, but this file is excluded from the built site.
    not_found: warn
    # An absolute path to '/foo/bar.html' is included in the 'nav' configuration, which presumably points to an external resource
    absolute_links: warn # Or 'relative_to_docs' - new in MkDocs 1.6
  links:
    # Doc file 'example.md' contains a link '../foo/bar.md', but the target is not found among documentation files.
    # Doc file 'example.md' contains a link to 'foo/bar.md' which is excluded from the built site.
    not_found: warn
    # Doc file 'example.md' contains a link '../foo/bar.md#some-heading',
    # but the doc 'foo/bar.md' does not contain an anchor '#some-heading'
    anchors: warn # New in MkDocs 1.6
    # Doc file 'example.md' contains an absolute link '/foo/bar.html', it was left as is. Did you mean 'foo/bar.md'?
    absolute_links: warn
    # Doc file 'example.md' contains an unrecognized relative link '../foo/bar/', it was left as is. Did you mean 'foo/bar.md'?
    unrecognized_links: warn

Make sure to read the docs for MkDocs and Material for MkDocs if you plan to use this method.
 
Can you "borrow" from other sites and just edit as needed? Aren't they all mostly the same?
That's a big problem to do.

First of all doing this constitutes a Copyright infringement.
Their TOS or Privacy Policy and ALL other content on their websites is protected by Copyright laws.

Website owners from whom one would steal any of their content could very easily detect that or could be detected by anyone world wide simply by using google or other specialized online tools, including paid services such as copyscape

Punishment for Copyright infringement goes from $ 500 toward $ 250K, plus attorney costs of both parties, plus all other associated costs which the infringer has to pay all alone in full.

Attempting to mix various sentences or blocks of texts from multiple websites can easily create contradicting TOS or Privacy Policy making your TOS or Privacy Policy not legally binding, and no matter how hard you try to mix and modify texts from various sources, even if using the AI, methods exist to detect that.

Secondly their legal documents are unlikely to cover activities of your website, or could be insufficient or might not apply to your jurisdiction and similar problems making your TOS or Privacy Policy invalid or insufficient, lacking or non legally binding etc.

So no you can't just copy and modify, you need to either write it yourself and then pay the lawyer to check it. or otherwise you can make the lawyer do the entire writing which is more costly and ranges from some $1000 toward 10's of thousands of dollars depending on what you, your contributors, licensors, your visitors etc. will do on your website.
 
That's a big problem to do.

First of all doing this constitutes a Copyright infringement.
Their TOS or Privacy Policy and ALL other content on their websites is protected by Copyright laws.

Website owners from whom one would steal any of their content could very easily detect that or could be detected by anyone world wide simply by using google or other specialized online tools, including paid services such as copyscape

Punishment for Copyright infringement goes from $ 500 toward $ 250K, plus attorney costs of both parties, plus all other associated costs which the infringer has to pay all alone in full.

Attempting to mix various sentences or blocks of texts from multiple websites can easily create contradicting TOS or Privacy Policy making your TOS or Privacy Policy not legally binding, and no matter how hard you try to mix and modify texts from various sources, even if using the AI, methods exist to detect that.

Secondly their legal documents are unlikely to cover activities of your website, or could be insufficient or might not apply to your jurisdiction and similar problems making your TOS or Privacy Policy invalid or insufficient, lacking or non legally binding etc.

So no you can't just copy and modify, you need to either write it yourself and then pay the lawyer to check it. or otherwise you can make the lawyer do the entire writing which is more costly and ranges from some $1000 toward 10's of thousands of dollars depending on what you, your contributors, licensors, your visitors etc. will do on your website.
Depending on how much money you think the online business could make, it may be worth having a lawyer help. I know you can also purchased canned forms and change them to suit your needs. I did that years ago. It was called Business in a Box. Not sure if such a thing still exists though.

Edit: https://www.business-in-a-box.com/templates/business-plan-templates/

You can check to see if they have what you need before purchasing.
 
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Depending on how much money you think the online business could make, it may be worth having a lawyer help. I know you can also purchased canned forms and change them to suit your needs. I did that years ago. It was called Business in a Box. Not sure if such a thing still exists though.
Yes, there are online services which can auto generate these to suit your website and are less costly, some $ 100 minimum, but I'm not sure what warranties if any at all they provide, I'm pretty sure you'll be subject to their TOS which is yet another potential legal issue to consider if you ever find yourself having to defend.

I wouldn't use these services, it's better to pay attorneys for the job because they can give some warranties, to the extent of contract you made with them.
 

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