Few businesses manage without a website – whether that website is simple or complex, has a log-in or a shopping cart – it is an essential marketing and business tool. Regardless of how the website looks or its content, for many businesses it is the only point of interaction with customers.
The law surrounding websites, IT and social media is difficult to navigate. Doing everything to stay out of trouble and maintain a good online reputation means managing legal issues surrounding the web site (including terms and conditions) and social media.
Common issues business owners must consider include.
Social Media – Knowing what to post and what is posted on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, WeChat etc about your business and the impact of those posts cannot be underestimated. The law of cyber bullying, the making of defamatory remarks and posting images without permission are all areas that users of social media must be aware of before posting any content at all. The law surrounding an Website T&Cs employee’s (or former employee’s) use of social media continues to grow.
In many cases, a business’ website will direct the user to its social media page.
Intellectual Property – As websites comprise virtually only intellectual property, copyright ownership in those images, words, trade marks and code (the intellectual property) and the way in which they can be used, is both a business management issue and a legal issue. Ownership is not always as it appears.
Website terms and conditions – both of sale and of use – are critical to protect the business. Although there is a perception that these are rarely read and of little value, this latter perception is wrong and the failure to have robust terms and conditions can be the difference between the success and failure of a business. Terms and conditions must be individually tailored to the business and address areas such as use of information collected on site, sales and returns of goods, and advertiser content.Website Terms & Conditions