Nearly twelve years ago we made the decision to not sell special effects contact lenses because we were not licensed to do so. We've not regretted that decision especially after reading about recent lawsuits filed by angry parents. A few days ago I discovered a website that lists interesting cosmetic lawsuits, some of which may affect you and how you do business. Please take some time to check it out. Also, I'd like to add a site or two about motion picture lawsuits, if you know of one please let me know. While I'm not an attorney I'd also like to mention some other things you can do if you want to get into big, big trouble. These are;
Knock off a licensed product, such a cartoon or movie character or any part of a movie that has a copyright. The studios are very sensitive to this -- be careful of what you sell on eBay.
Operate pyro without being properly permitted, licensed or insured. The instant you operate under the law you assume all responsibility. It's like drinking and driving, no matter who causes the accident, it's the drunk who gets nailed.
Ignore local fire codes. Remember that nightclub fire in Rhode Island? When ignorance and irresponsibility were combined it took the lives of many people. The lives of everyone involved has been affected forever.
Infringe on a patent or copyright-- you'll be surprised what is protected. Seek the advise of a patent attorney before you get into trouble.
Claim that your trade name is registered when it is not.
Claim to have patent when you don't.
Fail to pay taxes of any kind. It's not your money and the respective governments love to go after deadbeats.
Make medical claims you can't substantiate. Please don't represent cosmetics as hypo allergenic if they are not.
Practice dentistry without a license. Theatrical prosthetics are OK, but the moment your customer begins to wear your device on a daily basis you are both in trouble.
Distribute a medical device without F.D.A. approval. We have a lot of doctors who use our materials to make prototypes and that is OK. Once they have their design they move to medical grade products and seek F.D.A. approvals for testing. Don't even think of using our skin silicone for an implant.
Send a flammable substance through the US Mail. The fines are sky high, but I don't know of anyone who's been prosecuted. When an accident does happen, see who gets the blame.
File a frivolous lawsuit especially in some states where there are severe penalties for this practice (such as Nevada). Litigation is extremely expensive, be careful.
As mentioned before, paint, prescribe or dispense contact lenses without being an eye doctor, lab, or pharmacy. Did you know that there is no F.D.A. red color that is approved for use in or around the eye?
Use the image of a famous person without written permission. We all have signed headshots of the stars we've worked with, don't ever be tempted to use one in a marketing campaign without written permission.
Don't pay your bill with Special Effect Supply Corporation. OK, this isn't big trouble, but it sure irritates me. People who rip us off are blacklisted and never removed from our database.
Before you do something that you've never done before get good legal and business advise from someone who is qualified in your field. If you discover something that has never been done before you should find out why, as it might be illegal or dangerous. Well enough of that, on to our links:
NOTICE TO PUBLISHERS AND BLOGGERS: Please get written permission before using any part of this work.