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website legal documents

Internet Privacy and Stalking

By Internet Lawyer

Raising funds to fight breast cancer, a woman blogged about her charity activities. Using this online information, it appears that someone tracked her down and raped her.
Let’s face it…there are some sick and twisted people on the Internet. For example, the guy who murdered all those people at the Batman movie was recently trolling for dates online.
What’s the point?
Never ever give out information online that lets some stranger track you down. In your website legal documents, don’t use your home address as contact information.
Same issue when registering your website domain names. You wouldn’t believe how many website owners will register a domain name so that a simple WHOIS search reveals where they live.
If you haven’t read it yet, you can get a complimentary copy of my website owner privacy and personal safety report.

Website owner going to jail

By Internet Lawyer

One of the owners of a poker website is going to jail for the crime of deceiving banks who were processing gambling revenues. As I explained in my book (http://InternetLawsBook.com), gambling is one of those dangerous areas online until the government figures out who it is going to license and tax to run Internet casinos.
What about website legal documents? Can you use Terms & Conditions, etc. to keep the government from coming after your website?
The right website legal documents CAN reduce your civil liability exposure, i.e. take away most of your risks of getting sued in civil court for what you have on your website. However, if you’re doing something the government thinks is criminal (e.g. selling fake cancer cures), your website’s legal documents aren’t going to do much to protect you.
Speaking of fake cancer cures, there’s a criminal who pled guilty a few years ago to selling fake medicines to sick people online. Instead of going to jail, he’s now one of those “get rich” Internet marketing gurus.
You have to wonder about government priorities that sends someone to prison for handling consensual Internet gambling transactions between adults while letting a con artist get away with selling fake meds and online flopportunities.

How To Find An Internet Lawyer That’s Right For Your Business

By Internet Lawyer

What is an internet lawyer?

An internet lawyer is the closest thing business website owners find to a colleague. Whether you own a sole proprietorship or other entity, you need representation by your website lawyer.

What does an internet attorney do?

A skilled internet lawyer focuses on more than the basics to make sure business website owners have the right legal documents in place from website legal documents to e-commerce contracts. your website lawyer is going to reveal a course of action, based upon your information, to protect you as an business website owner.

How do you choose a Web lawyer today?

You probably should choose an internet lawyer who not only understands what you do online but is also a business website owner too. In other words, your website lawyer is a business website owner and also knows Internet business law.

Before you choose your website lawyer, you should check out if he knows how ecommerce works plus applicable law, i.e. a great deal of experience and knows more than just the basics.

Of course, if your website lawyer doesn’t know the basics of Federal Trade Commission law that affect the Internet and doesnt know about spam laws, Internet sales taxes, online privacy, etc., you should keep hunting until you find an internet lawyer who is trained in these issues.

You should also choose an internet lawyer who has the wisdom and connections to get you a recommendation for a good your website lawyer who handles lawsuits if you end up in court.

Think twice if your website lawyer doesn’t litigate but pretends to have the experience or expertise to handle lawsuits simply to keep you as a client. The same is true when your website lawyer with only trial experience pretends to specialize in transactional law. They are very different kinds of experience dealing with different issues under relevant law. So be sure to pick the type of Internet lawyer that matches your needs.

Privacy Policy Changes And Terms of Service Updates

By Internet Lawyer

Website attorney updatesYour website attorney probably gets asked this question a lot. When you’re updating your website’s terms of service (a.k.a. terms of use, terms and conditions of use) or privacy policy, how do you let your website visitors and clients know about it?

For those who have opted into one of your email lists, send out a brief notice that…

1. Tells them you’ve updated the documents.
2. Briefly explains in plain English what you’ve changed.
3. Includes a link to the changed document on your site so they can read it.

For those who visit your site but aren’t on your lists, post a notice on your home page. Here’s an example…

“Our Privacy Policy has been updated. Please click here to see what’s been changed.”

Of course, you’ll want to link from the statement to the policy that’s been modified.

Be sure to use a decent-sized font and don’t try to hide the notice by matching the font color to your site’s background. Make it easy to see.

In other words, treat your visitors and clients with the same respect you like to receive when the websites you go to change their terms and policies. If you have any questions, talk with your website attorney to ensure you’re doing the right thing by your visitors and clients while minimizing your legal risks in the process.

If you haven’t updated your website legal documents to reflect the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines that went into effect on December 1, 2009, chances are what you have on your website is obsolete.

To your online success!

-Mike the Website Attorney

10 things to do before January

By Internet Lawyer

Website attorneyAs the year wraps up, here are a few things you’ll want to check on with your Website attorney and CPA before the holidays hit. Be nice to yourself by doing these so you don’t end up on someone’s naughty Internet business list.

1. Did you update your website legal documents to accurately reflect your privacy policies, current business address and contact information, and designate your DMCA agent?

2. Did you observe business entity formalities to protect yourself from personal liability? If a corporation, did you keep corporate minutes and resolutions? Did you hold board of directors and shareholder meetings? Did you issue shares? If a limited liability company, did you update your membership agreement and keep written records of major business decisions?

3. If you set up your business entity in one state but are running all of your operations in another state, did you qualify to do business in the state where you’re actually running everything?

4. Did you get your tax status set up correctly or updated to reflect changing circumstances? Sales tax ID? W-9s and W-8BENs from your affiliates? TIN/EIN?

5. Did you register your copyrights and trademarks to protect them?

6. If you’re doing business using an assumed name (a.k.a. DBA or fictitious name), did you register the name?

7. Did you protect your privacy by removing all online references to your home address and personal phone numbers? Did you go through your social media (Facebook etc.) and delete pictures and text that portrays you in a negative light?

8. Did you put written agreements in place for any freelancing your doing or projects you’re outsourcing? Did you put a social media policy in place for your business to protect yourself from rogue employees or independent contractors?

9. Have you made your end-of-the-year business purchases that you can write off as office expenses? Talked with your accountant about ways to slash your taxes for this year and next?

10. Did you check the Web using Copyscape.com or a similar service to see if someone’s been stealing your content and re-using on their sites without your permission? Have you check for pirate copies of your stuff on eBay, torrent sites, and usenet groups?

Be sure to discuss any questions you have with your Website attorney and accountant.

To your online success!

-Mike the Website attorney