Skip to main content
Tag

website terms of use

Should You Update Your Website Terms Of Use To Cover Terrorism?

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

Update Website Terms Of Use To Cover TerrorismMajor tech companies have agreed to comply with the Christchurch Call to Action To Eliminate Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content Online (the “Christchurch Call”). This includes modifying their website Terms of Use:

“We commit to updating our terms of use, community standards, codes of conduct, and acceptable use policies to expressly prohibit the distribution of terrorist and violent extremist content. We believe this is important to establish baseline expectations for users and to articulate a clear basis for removal of this content from our platforms and services and suspension or closure of accounts distributing such content.” (PDF link).

Should You Following Their Lead And Change Your Website Terms Of Use?

Probably not. Here’s why…

As a practical matter, there’s no U.S. federal legal requirement to address terrorism as a specific issue in your website legal protection. In fact, the federal government rejects the Christchurch Call on the grounds that online free speech protection is more important.

Now most website Terms of Use already require visitors to obey applicable law. That’s true whether it’s bespoke website legal documents prepared by a Website Lawyer for an online business. Or website legal forms (e.g. Website Legal Forms Generator software).

And terrorism itself is already outlawed. So, to address terrorism as a legal issue is redundant. Or it’s a way to curb speech online a website owner dislikes that otherwise would be legal.

Three Situations Where You Might Adopt The Christchurch Call

Here are three scenarios where you may want to change your site’s Terms of Use because of this issue…

1. Your Website Terms Of Use doesn’t require compliance with applicable law – so you want to address legal compliance in general, not just terrorism.

2. You want to virtue signal on the issue even though there’s no legal requirement to do so.

3. There’s a legitimate business reason for making such a change.

Under the third scenario, it’s possible at some point the tech giants who have signed onto the Christchurch Call will require you to do so as well if you want to enter into or continue a business relationship with them. For example, in order to be an Amazon affiliate or participate in Google advertising, your site’s terms might someday have to address terrorism for economic reasons.

3 Surprising Things You Should Never Put On Your Website

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

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

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.

5 Quick Things You Can Do Right Now to Protect Your Website

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents
protect your website

Legally protect your website now to avoid a lot of paperwork headaches later

Now is a great time to make sure you’ve got the right legal paperwork in place to protect your website before the holiday season begins. Here are five important tasks you can take care of fairly quickly.

1. Entity Check.

Make sure your business entity is in good standing in the state where you formed it. You’d be surprised at how many Internet business owners have to clean up a mess after the fact when their corporation or limited liability company disappears because of a missed report filing deadline or a late corporate franchise tax payment.

2. Services Contracts Check.

If you’ve got anyone that’s providing services to your Internet business as an independent contractor, conbusiness you’ve got written agreements in place that make this relationship clear. This reduces your risk of getting hit with unemployment or workers compensation claims by a services provider claiming to be an employee.

In addition, be sure to get your independent contractor’s Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN). This makes it easier to deduct payments you make to the service provider as a business expense.

3. Ownership/Management Check.

Have there been any changes in who owns (or how much they own) or runs parts of your Internet business? If so, have you documented these changes in writing? Memories fade and that leads to lawsuits.

4. Major Events Check.

Have you made large purchases for your company (e.g. computers, tablets, company vehicle, healthcare etc.) that you’d like to deduct as legitimate business expenses? Did you loan your company money or make a capital contribution? If so, have you put the legal paperwork in place to document what happened? What would you say during an IRS audit if asked to produce supporting documentation for the transactions?

5. Website Docs Check.

Are your website’s legal documents (privacy policy, terms of use, etc.) up to date? Do they reflect current Internet law and the content of your website, including any changes you’ve made to your site this year? If not, it’s time for some updates to reduce your risk of getting sued or investigated by the government.

For the typical Internet company owner, each of these takes 30 minutes or less to identify what needs to be done. You can then decide whether to try to do the work yourself or retain a qualified professional to help protect your website for you (e.g. Internet business lawyer, accountant, etc.).

[optin-cat id=7577]

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

By Internet Lawyer, Website Lawyer, Website Legal Documents

privacy policy website legal documentsNot all online privacy policies and other website legal documents are created equal. In fact, using the wrong documents could be as dangerous as not having the right ones on your site. Here are five of the common errors Internet business owners make when putting a privacy policy, terms of use, and other legal docs on their sites.

Error #1 – Borrowing Another Website’s Legal Documents

If you borrow another site’s privacy policy, refund policy, terms of use, DMCA notice, membership agreement or other legal document, you’re likely infringing upon the copyright of the person or entity that owns the legal documents. This means you could face a demand of up to $150,000 per infringement, attorney’s fees and court costs.

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

Even if the website’s owner gives you permission to use the documents, the site’s owner may not have the legal right to do so.

Why?

Many website legal documents are prepared by Internet business lawyers whose law firms own the copyrights. Site owners use the legalese under a license from the law firms rather than owning the documents.

A few years ago, an Internet lawyer contacted all of the website owners who were using his legal documents without permission. They were given a choice of paying him $5,000+ per site for a license or he would sue them for $150,000 per copyright infringement (and they would lose)…