http://www.internationalman.com/global-perspectives/why-does-hollywood-want-to-kill-your-business Report on who’s behind what has helpful tips on cyberprotection against officials…
So how, then, do you protect yourself from future US laws that might affect your online business?
The Internet is Global, Your Business Should Be as Well
Every single component of your online business can be diversified internationally. You can protect your business from abusive US intellectual property enforcement while making your business more successful by reaching new customers around the world.
Here is how to internationalize the three main technical components of any online business:
- Domain Name: The domain name is an important, yet inexpensive resource you need for your online business. Many people automatically default to getting a “.com” address for their website. However, .com/.net and other “common” domain names are fully under the control of the US government. For example, US Customs can pull/remove these domain names from your business without a court order. (In fact, US Customs have even been bragging about having and using this power.) You can get around this by looking for domains that are not located in the US. For instance, the “.co” domain is run by a corporation in Columbia and the “.bz” domain is run by an entity in Belize. For a few extra dollars per year you can get domain names for your business that the US cannot easily seize.
- Hosting: The next most important resource for your website is where you host the site. There are many solid companies where you can host your website that are located outside of the US. If your web business is focused in North America, there are hosting providers in Toronto, Panama City, and Bermuda who can provide great response time for your customers. Outside of North America, investigate Switzerland for European focused sites and Malaysia or Hong Kong for Asian focused sites. Hosts in these sites will generally not respond to US website takedown requests without an accompanying court order from the government of the country the host is located in.
- Payment Processors: Every business, online or not, needs to get paid. There are many quality payment processors located outside of the US that will allow you to take payments online. They can settle payments from customers using Visa, Mastercard and other popular payment types in a variety of currencies and transfer funds to your international business bank account. More importantly, these processors can give you access to entire payment networks (similar to Visa and Mastercard) that are not located in the US. In Asia, networks like AliPay and UnionPay service billions of Chinese consumers and in Europe net debit networks like Monnet and PayFair are becoming popular. If you are not using an international payment processor you are not only ignoring a very important aspect of business diversification, but you may also be preventing new customers from buying your products.
The Next Steps
Start by examining your current online business and the resources you are using. If every component of your business (incorporation, domain name, hosting, merchant account, e-mail, etc.) is located in the US, look for ways that you can logically diversify these components internationally. Perhaps you can start a mirror of your current website that could focus on a different market (i.e. Asia or Europe) and use international components so as not to disrupt your current business.
If you are planning a new online business, make sure that you look at all of the available options for every aspect of your website. Begin with the jurisdiction where you want to incorporate your business, followed by where the site is hosted and the location of the domain name. Many popular international jurisdictions have a wide choice of suppliers for each component of your online business structure.