Affiliate Disclosure: How To Do It And Why It’s Important

By | Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

Affiliate Disclosure: How To Do It And Why It's ImportantWhen her state’s Attorney General’s office contacted her, Patricia panicked. She didn’t want to get sued by the government because of her website.

What went wrong?

Patricia forgot to add an affiliate disclosure to her site. In fact, she didn’t have a privacy policy, terms of use, and other essential website legal documents.

Why is affiliate disclosure important?

Do you promote products or services in exchange for affiliate commissions? You must tell prospective customers.

Because affiliate status is an important fact. Tell prospects before they buy based on your recommendations.

If you don’t disclose, you can get in trouble with a state government or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Or an unhappy customer who bought through your affiliate link can sue you.

Here are two possible disclosure solutions…

1. Now if you have the budget, get website legal documents prepared by a Website Lawyer like Attorney Mike Young.

2. Can’t afford this investment in legal protection? Consider Website Legal Forms Generator Software as an alternative. Attorney Young created the forms generated by this software.

3 Surprising Things You Should Never Put On Your Website

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

website protection legalAre you selling products or services online? For website protection, there are some things you shouldn’t put on your site.

Why?

Because the wrong content can lead to personal danger, lawsuits or even criminal charges.

Here are 3 of the most common content mistakes website owners make.

1. Home Address

Don’t post where you live on your site…unless you want identity theft and stalkers showing up at your front door.

2. Bad Customer Testimonials

Avoid testimonials that are fake, have gone stale, or contain false claims. Even if you make an extra sale or two, these testimonials invite lawsuits.

3. Stolen Website Legal Documents

You can’t “borrow” another site’s privacy policy, terms of use, etc. without the copyright owner’s permission. And if you do get permission, there’s a good chance the docs won’t provide the website legal shield you need.

Do You Want Website Protection?

Then invest in quality docs prepared by an experienced Website lawyer.

If you have the budget, check out our Website Legal Protection Package.

Don’t know how you’ll pay this month’s rent? Consider the protection alternative of Website Legal Forms Generator software.

What Is A Website Legal Disclaimer?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

What Is A Website Legal Disclaimer?A website legal disclaimer is a generic term for a document posted on a website that is commonly referred to as “Terms of Use,” “Terms of Service,” “Terms and Conditions,” and the like. Most sites that have this document hyperlink to it in the footer. However, a few link to it from the sidebar.

Disclaiming Professional Advice

In addition to the above, there’s a unique type of disclaimer used by sites for attorneys, physicians, accountants, investment advisors, and similar professionals. This disclaimer will make it clear to the visitor that the website content (text, video, audio, etc.) does not constitute professional advice and that the visitor should seek such advice by speaking with a licensed professional in that field.

Related Article: Privacy Policy 101 – What Every Website Owner Should Know

It’s important to note that the exact language used for this kind of disclaimer will vary both by profession and the state in which the professional’s office is located. In other words, the requirements for a Texas law firm’s website will be different than those for a site owned by a New York City dentist.

The professional advice disclaimer can be a separate legal document on the website or incorporated into a broader terms of use for the site that addresses other issues unrelated to advice.

Common Disclaimers

Among the topics covered in a site’s disclaimer (whether or not the site is for a licensed professional’s business) are the following…

1. Earnings Disclaimers.
2. Health Disclaimers.
3. Warranty Disclaimers.

Related Article: 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents

How To Get A Website Legal Disclaimer

An experienced Internet attorney can prepare a customized disclaimer and other important website legal documents for you (e.g. website privacy policy, refund policy, etc.). Be sure to check out Internet Lawyer Mike Young’s Website Legal Protection Package.

Related Article: 7 Keys To Picking The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

If you cannot afford an attorney, a potential do-it-yourself (DIY) solution is Website Legal Forms Generator software. Attorney Young created the legal forms that are generated by the software.

Privacy Policy? What Website Legal Documents Do You Really Need?

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

privacy policy and other website legal documentsWhat’s really necessary for website legal protection? The number and type of legal documents your website needs depends a lot on the site’s subject matter. For example, a website that sells toys for kids has different privacy policy legal requirements than a site that sells consulting services to businesses.

1. Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Refund Policy

The foundation for website legal protection consists of the site’s privacy policy, terms of use, and refund policy.

The privacy policy discloses what type of data is collected and how it is used.

Related Article: Privacy Policies – What Every Website Owner Should Know

The terms of use contains the important terms and conditions visitors must comply with as part of enjoying your website’s content.

Your site’s refund policy identifies how refund requests are processed, including any limitations on such (e.g. a 30-day refund policy). If your site sells products, the refund policy also discusses how these products are to be handled as part of obtaining a refund. This can include shipping and condition requirements for returns of physical products and proof digital products have been destroyed.

2. Other Website Legal Documents

get website legal protectionYour site’s subject matter will determine the other types of legal documents you’ll need.

For example, if you operate your own affiliate program, you’ll want to have an affiliate operator agreement that identifies the respective rights and responsibilities of you as program operator and your affiliates as commissioned salespeople driving traffic to your site.

If you have a membership website, you’ll want to include a membership agreement that protects your content so that members aren’t scraping your content to re-sell or give away to others.

Related Article – 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents

If your site is health related, such as fitness or weight loss, you’ll want to include health disclaimers. Similarly, you’ll want earnings disclaimers if your website is about making money online or offline.

3. Professional Website Legal Review.

Website legal documents by themselves aren’t enough to avoid being investigated by the government or sued. The sales copy on your site, testimonials, images, etc. can create legal liability.

Related Article – 7 Keys To Picking The Right Internet Lawyer For Your Business

A good way to reduce your risk is to have a qualified Internet lawyer perform a professional website legal diagnostic. Done correctly, a diagnostic consists of reviewing your website for legal issues and make recommendations for changes to be made to the site’s content.

Of course, you’ll want to check out our firm’s Website Legal Protection Package.

5 Business Website Disclosures And Disclaimers

By | Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents | No Comments

website disclosures and disclaimersWhether they’re part of your “Privacy Policy” and “Terms of Use,” or a separate legal document, you should include website disclosures and disclaimers to provide transparency to visitors plus reduce your potential legal liability.

There is no one-size-fits-all set of website legal documents because the content of each site is different. For example, a website that sells children’s clothing will need different legal language than a site that sells nutritional supplements to retirees. One site may require an affiliate program agreement while another does not.

Related Article: Privacy Policy? What Website Legal Documents Do You Really Need?

However, here are five of the common types of disclosures and disclaimers you’ll see on websites.

1. Material Connection Disclosures.

In essence, a material connection is the connection to a product or service being promoted on a site. Whether you’re the site owner, or an author whose article is posted on someone else’s site, you need to disclose material connections so that consumers can make an informed decision when purchasing the recommended products and services.

Perhaps the most well-known example of a material connection is affiliate status. If you’re promoting as an affiliate in exchange for compensation on sales made, you should disclose that fact. Bloggers frequently fail to do this and it can lead to government investigations and lawsuits.

Related Article: 5 Warning Signs You’re Using The Wrong Website Legal Documents

Another material connection is your relationship to the person selling the product or service. If you’re promoting because of friendship with the vendor, or because you have agreed to cross-promote to each other’s audiences, those can be material connections that a potential client should know about in order to have key facts needed to make an informed purchasing decision.

2. Age Disclaimers.

If your website isn’t for minors, particularly children under the age of 13, you should make that clear on your site. There are additional legal requirements for sites that target children. Don’t assume it’s obvious that your site isn’t for kids. Make it clear with age disclaimers.

Of course, if your website contains adult sexual content, you’re going to need additional disclosures and disclaimers that most sites don’t have.

3. Health Disclaimers.

If you’re selling anything that’s health related – from nutritional supplements to a diet eBook – it’s important to include health disclaimers to limit your potential liability. You want to make it clear that you’re not giving medical advice and that medical issues should be handled by an appropriate medical professional instead of relying upon your website’s content, products, and/or services as a substitute.

4. Earnings Disclaimers.

When your website sells anything related to finances, including make money online (MMO) opportunities, you should reduce your legal risks by using earnings disclaimers that make it clear that you’re not promising website visitors or clients will make a certain amount of money, or any money for that matter.

Note that business opportunity (biz opp) websites typically have additional disclosure requirements.

5. Warranty Disclaimers And Limitations.

To reduce legal risks, you may want to disclaim and/or limit warranties for products and services you sell on your site. For example, you may wish to disclaim that a widget you sell is fit for a particular purpose or limit a warranty period (e.g. a one-year warranty).

It’s important to remember that website disclosures and disclaimers reduce, but do not eliminate legal liability exposure. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) may ignore such disclosures and disclaimers when determining whether your site violates federal consumer protection laws. However, other government agencies (and courts in lawsuits) may consider such legal language as a positive factor in your favor.

Related Article: Do Your Website Legal Documents Give You Ownership Of Submitted Content?

One thing is certain – it’s better to properly disclose and disclaim than attempt to pull a fast one on the public by failing to do so. This includes making sure your website’s disclosures and disclaimers are easily accessible (no small/hidden links), easy to read (avoid tiny fonts), and provide all the key information a prospective client would want to know before buying a product or service from your site.

Where To Get Website Disclosures And Disclaimers

Your company’s Internet lawyer can prepare a customized set of website disclosures and disclaimers as well as your website’s other legal documents. Be sure to check out our firm’s flat fee Website Legal Protection Package.