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I'm going to develop a social networking website and launch it for use by the public. I'm hoping for someone hopefully with a law background to give me an overview of what needs considering.

The website will be developed with PHP, MySQL, and several other established open source languages + technologies. The reason I list the two above technologies is because I remember hearing some stuff about a MySQL license that prohibits people from using it publically for profit, or selling software that uses MySQL. Is this true?

I'm hoping to use the social website as a business in the far off future, any legal repercussions?

I wouldn't like this idea/brand to be copied by someone, how's this done?

For 'terms and conditions' do I need to actually register something somewhere or can I just write up the terms and conditions and be done with it?

Bonus question: Is there anything else which needs considering, and how much will it all cost?

Edited by asif49

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I'm hoping for someone hopefully with a law background to give me an overview of what needs considering.

That's not advisable -- its similar to asking someone with a little medical training to give you advance about an operation. Go see a licensed lawyer for legal advice, and go see an MD for medical advice.

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The website will be developed with PHP, MySQL, and several other established open source languages + technologies. The reason I list the two above technologies is because I remember hearing some stuff about a MySQL license that prohibits people from using it publically for profit, or selling software that uses MySQL. Is this true?

Partly. MySQL is distributed under the GPL (with the linking exception which gives you more rights when redistributing it). You have to obey certain rules when redistributing MySQL, but there are no rules to follow when you're hosting a website that uses MySQL internally.

I'm hoping to use the social website as a business in the far off future, any legal repercussions?

There is the question of whether you need to get a business license in your local jurisdiction, if you have the goal of it being a business in the far-off future. If you make any kind of income your activities certainly constitute business activities and need a business license. It may be the case if you're just developing the product too. You haven't specified your local legal jurisdiction, so you should look at the relevant laws, for starters.

I wouldn't like this idea/brand to be copied by someone, how's this done?

Read about trademark law (regarding brands) to understand the issues around that. Read about patent law (regarding ideas) to understand the issues around that -- but your "idea" is almost certainly not patentable and probably going to change five times after you start implementing, if you are serious about starting a social website business.

For 'terms and conditions' do I need to actually register something somewhere or can I just write up the terms and conditions and be done with it?

No, you probably do not need to register your terms and conditions with any organization, if you are in a sane jurisdiction.

Bonus question: Is there anything else which needs considering, and how much will it all cost?

Um, incorporation? And registering as a DMCA whatchyamacallit. What are your goals for this business?

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Thanks for answering most of my questions! A bit unclear on your answers to some of them though, so do I need to pay for anything like using MySQL then?

And a follow up question, How much does a business license cost?

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