Your website is the showpiece for your company. It’s the first thing a client, partner or investor will look at when they first come across you. And despite what your parents always told you – “don’t judge a book by its cover” – the first impression given off by a website is key to business success.
So why leave it with a hole? Why leave it open to attack or abuse?
Consider this blog an introduction to website legals. It isn’t comprehensive by any means, but it is a good place to start. Following these five points will protect you from government fines, from aggressive businesses, and disgruntled clients. Let’s get into it.
But why bother?
It’s simple. Supposing someone posts something inflammatory, abusive or racist in a section of the website where users can upload content – you want to be able to remove this freely. Or supposing you have some information on your website that someone follows and gets hurt as a result – you have to be able to limit your liability at that point. You have to be able to explain that you aren’t responsible for the content on the website. And, last one, supposing someone ‘borrows’ some of your content and posts it on their own blog or website – you want to be able to claim that back from them or order them to take it down. With website terms, you can do just that.
The list could go on, but that wouldn’t be fun. In short, website terms explain how your clients and visitors can use and access the website – make sure you get some!
Not really. Cookies are small files that are downloaded on to your computer when accessing or browsing websites. They allow website owners to track your actions on the website and to improve your general browsing experience. Most cookies are entirely benign – they are simply used by marketers to analyse their websites and work out which bits need to be improved or made more attractive. Some, however, can be invasive and can track you beyond what most people would consider acceptable. That is why cookie policies are required: to make cookie use more transparent and to inform users exactly how companies are using their information.
4. IP Protection
This isn’t strictly required to get you legally compliant, but it is sensible and it can protect you as a company. There are different ways to protect your intellectual property and by choosing the best protection for your company, you can make sure no one steals any of your branding or ideas displayed on your website.
Copyright automatically protects your work and stops others from using it without your permission. You don’t have to apply or pay a fee; you automatically get copyright protection when you create original literary or non-literary written work. This includes illustration, photography, software, web content and databases. Since these are all key aspects of building an exciting website, copyright can easily protect your intellectual property.
Trademarks can be used to protect your logo or your website design. They can prevent others stealing the design or passing it off as their own. And it also looks good to have that TM sign next to your business name.
Without properly protecting your intellectual property, your website design or branding can be stolen without legal repercussions. So avoid this by looking into the options at your disposal to protect your mind product.
Advertising your product is an important part of any business, to attract new customers and celebrate your progression and ideas. There are regulations and guidelines that need to be followed when advertising on your website to make sure that your company is legally compliant.
All marketing and advertising must be an accurate description of the product or service, legal, truthful, honest and socially responsible. By complying with these requirements, you’ll be able to reach a large audience through your website without the risk of your advertising methods being stopped.
Advertising to businesses is covered by the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations. As well as being accurate and truthful, you can’t make any misleading comparisons with competitors like using their logo or trademark or comparing your product with a competitor’s product that’s not the same. This way, you can celebrate your products/services through your website without illegally undermining another company’s product (even if they’re your competition).
So follow these tips to making your website legally compliant and you can build your consumer base and progress your business without having to face time-consuming and expensive litigation!
Linkilaw is committed to stopping inefficiencies, streamline legal services & help legal work become accessible. Through our technology, in-house solutions & legal marketplace, we provide businesses with legal support and offer a free Startup Legal Session.