EPE has had some success in its attempts to get major retailers to stock the Ellasaurus product line, but Ellen is concerned that retailers might not be willing to take on a new and unproven product. She would like to create a Web site through which EPE could sell its merchandise directly to customers. She also sees the Web site as a way to build customer loyalty. Ellen envisions a site with a number of portal features in addition to the product sales. For example, she would like to offer online games, chat rooms, e-mail accounts, and other activities that would promote EPE products and her books.
The Ellasaurus book series appeals to children that are between four and six years old. Ellen expects the EPE product line to appeal to children in about the same age range. Ellen has visited sites such as Hello Kitty and Nick Jr., which appeal to similar age groups to get ideas for the site. She would like the site to be appealing to her main audience, but she would like to obtain registration information from site visitors so EPE can send e-mails with information about new products and Web site features to them.
Ellen plans to limit the Web site's merchandise sales to U.S. residents at first, but she hopes to begin selling internationally within a few years. The site will allow visitors from any country to register and participate in the online portal features.
Ellen will use some copyrighted illustrations from her books on the Website. She will also include themes from the story lines of her books in some of the games that will be available (free) on the site to registered visitors. What are at least two intellectual property issues that might arise in the operation of the website?
What are some of the potential ethical issues that Ellen faces because of the ages of her intended audience?
What are some of the laws with which the site must comply with when it registers site visitors under the age of 13? What are some recommendations regarding how Ellen can best comply with those laws?
This question was asked on May 28, 2010 and answered on May 30, 2010.
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