Roald Dahl

In celebration of Roald Dahl Day  last Wednesday, someone posted the above quote from the multi-talented British novelist (and short story writer, poet, screenwriter, and fighter pilot) on r/GetMotivated on Reddit.

This quote describes an approach to life that some have naturally, but most pursue through self-reflection, hard work, trial and error. I’m part of the latter category, but what I love about my job is working hard to help my clients achieve their goal.

I’m fortunate to witness the pursuit of this lifestyle in various ways (I’m looking at you, members of CrossFit Hershey), but I see it most often in the entrepreneurs and small business owners that I have the privilege of working with. They have an interest, which turns into a hobby and at some point, they decide to take it to the next level. Continue Reading Lukewarm Is No Good – Turning Your Hobby into a Business

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued an updated version of its Endorsement Guides, which includes important information about the FTC’s current thoughts on when and how material connections between brands and endorsers should be disclosed.

In yesterday’s post, I discussed some background information about the theory behind FTC rules and endorsements and summarized some of the key points from the FTC’s guidance on when disclosures should be made. Below is a discussion of a few key points from the Endorsement Guides about how disclosures should be made online. Continue Reading Marketers and Influencers: How Should You Make Disclosures Online?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued an updated version of its Endorsement Guides, which includes important information about the FTC’s current thoughts on when and how material connections between brands and endorsers should be disclosed. In this post, I’ll summarize some of the key points from the FTC’s guidance on when disclosures should be made. Check back tomorrow for more information about how an appropriate disclosure should be made online and whether the FTC is paying attention to influencers (hint – the answer is yes).

But first, here’s some background information to help frame the discussion: Continue Reading Marketers and Influencers: When Should You Make Disclosures Online?

Last Thursday, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that ASSETS, a Lancaster-based nonprofit organization dedicated to creating economic opportunity and cultivating entrepreneurial leadership, was awarded a grant of $102,598 through the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME) program. PRIME grants aim to help small businesses gain access to capital. This makes ASSETS an ideal candidate for assistance through PRIME, as ASSETS provides access to capital through its Lending Circles program.

ASSETS also provides additional valuable small business services to Central Pennsylvania small business owners, including seminars, business consulting, and Women’s Business Accelerator program, to name a few. ASSETS also sponsors the ongoing business plan competition, The Great Social Enterprise Pitch, which is currently in the crowdfunding campaign portion of the competition. You can learn more and donate here: The Great Social Enterprise Pitch Crowdfunding Portal.

You can learn more about the great work that ASSETS does in Lancaster County and how you can get involved at the ASSETS website, located at www.assetspa.org.

Matt Landis is an attorney at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from Widener University Commonwealth School of Law and works regularly with business owners and entrepreneurs.

A federal court case involving who has the exclusive rights to a selfie taken by a monkey has settled. As mentioned in Part 4 of my series on Intellectual Property Law Basics, at the trial court level, a federal judge determined that animals cannot own copyrights. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, but reached an agreement with the photographer, David Slater to settle the lawsuit prior to a ruling on the appeal.

The basis for the photographer’s claim to the rights associated with the photo is that he engineered the photo using his camera and that since copyright law does not recognize ownership rights by an animal, the exclusive rights associated with the image are owned by the photographer’s company. The settlement reportedly requires that the photographer agrees to donate 25% of any future revenue of the images to charities that protect crested macaques (the species of monkey that took the selfie). Continue Reading Copyright Update: Monkey See, Monkey Settle

Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of participating in SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon’s Roundtable held in conjunction with our firm’s membership in the Southern Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce. Each Roundtable is held on a monthly basis with representatives of various local businesses, with each meeting focusing on a different area of business. In my experience, the Roundtable is a great opportunity to learn about different aspects of businesses and it’s extremely valuable to listen to and learn from the experiences of other attendees. Continue Reading SCORE Roundtables Offer Valuable Learning Opportunities for You and Your Business

I’ve been eagerly anticipating new developments on the federal overtime rules since last year, and after almost a year of inactivity, it appears there may be a revised rule on the way.

Here’s the background: early last year, the Department of Labor announced a revision to the federal overtime requirements which would expand workers’ eligibility to receive overtime pay, as further discussed in this post: New Federal Rule Increases Employee Eligibility for Overtime Pay. But then in November of 2016, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction preventing the new rule from taking effect as scheduled in December 2016.

The latest development is that the Department of Labor has requested public comment on the proposed overtime rule, which suggests that the rule will be further revised sometime in the near future. If you’re interested in submitting a public comment for consideration, comments can be submitted online at http://www.regulations.gov or by mail addressed to Melissa Smith, Director of the Division of Regulations, Legislation, and Interpretation, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, Room S-3502, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210. Continue Reading Employment Law Update: Is a New Overtime Rule on Its Way?

For a long time after I moved to Lancaster County I kept my area code 570 cell phone number. Every time I gave that number to a store clerk they would stop, have to quickly delete the 717 they typed automatically, and ask me to repeat my number again. Revenge comes tomorrow when all calls throughout the 717 area code will require 10 digit dialing. Too late for me though, since I switched to 717 last year. Drat.

This process is part of adding a new overlay area code, area code 223, that will be assigned to new numbers later this year because we are about to run out of numbers to give out. To prepare for tomorrow’s switch, think about:

  • Adding the 717 area code to your cell phone contacts;
  • Making sure any call forwarding systems include the 717 area code so the messages reach you;
  • Making sure your clients and vendors have their area code entered into your company’s contact database; and
  • Adding the 717 area code to your website and other marketing materials (to confirm to your customers you do not have one of the new 223 numbers).

Additional information on the change can be found on the Pennsylvania Utility Commission’s website and in LancasterOnline’s continuing coverage of this issue.

Brandon Harter is an attorney and technology guru at Russell, Krafft & Gruber, LLP, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He received his law degree from William & Mary Law School and advises clients on issues of Business LawCivil Litigation & Dispute ResolutionMunicipal Law, and Information Technology & Internet Law.

In an era of ever expanding uses for our smart devices, we know that we rely to some extent upon cloud based services. (I almost said smartphones until I responded to a text on my Huawei Watch while typing that sentence). These come in many flavors such as software-as-a-service (SaaS or “sass”) platforms like Office 365 or Gmail or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS or “I don’t have any idea how to pronounce this so I call it i-a-a-s”) platforms like Amazon Web Services. But explaining the differences between these tools can be tough. Continue Reading Don’t SaaS me! – What exactly is Software-as-a-Service?

I recently discussed an important victory for farmers in the case of Branton v. Nicholas Meat, LLC. The Branton case also had another interesting discussion that should help all agricultural operations, even those that do not generate or use food processing waste (“FPW”).

One of the requirements to be protected under the Right to Farm Act is that an operation must be “lawfully” in operation for more than one year. During the operation of the farms that spread FPW, the DEP issued a couple of notices of violation (“NOV”) to the farmers. The NOVs complained of spreading FPW without an approved Nutrient Management Plan, spreading FPW during winter months and spreading within 150 feet of a stream.  Continue Reading A Legal Victory for Farmers (Part 2)