Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WEB & TECH / DEC. 23, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Legals You Need For a Website - Infographic


You’re starting a website. What legals do you need? It’s one of the most common questions we’re asked, so we’ve created a colourful, 6-step infographic which will explain the most common legals you’ll need to have posted on your new page. Or, keep reading and we’ll explain it all to you here.

1. Does your website have an email newsletter or contact form?

It’s good marketing practice to collect the email addresses or contact information of your visitors, so you can send them a regular newsletter or advise them of when you launch a new product. Similarly, you may have a contact form allowing them to get in touch with you or request a call from one of your staff. But if you’re asking for their telephone number or email address, you’re collecting personal information. That means your website requires a Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policies explain how you will keep your visitors’ personal information safe, and assure them you won’t sell that information without their permission. Since you will probably have at least a contact form on your site, you will probably need a Privacy Policy.

2. Do you or are you planning to publish advice or information?

If you’re publishing information that people might rely on, it’s good practice to have a Website Disclaimer. People might, after all, misinterpret that advice, or you might make a mistake and publish out-of-date information. If that happens, someone might decide to sue you.

A Website Disclaimer protects you and your business from visitors that might sue you for advising them wrongly.

3. Do you sell your goods and services via your website?

If you’re doing e-commerce, you must be in compliance with the Australian Consumer Law. This law is very specific in saying you must have clear Terms and Conditions posted on your website. Your Terms and Conditions should list your shipping information, refund policy, warranty details you offer, etc.

You also must have a statement to the effect that you are in compliance with the Australian Consumer Law. Note that the ACCC has started cracking down on Australian e-commerce sites and issuing penalties to those who are not in compliance, so it’s well worth ensuring you are.

4. Do you allow people to post ads (that you manage) on your site?

If your website allows visitors to deal directly with people who post ads on your site (such as a classified ads page) you should have a Terms of Use for Advertisers. These Terms protect you in case one of your advertisers posts a misleading ad -- after all, you do not want to be held responsible if they deliver faulty goods and services.

If you do not have anything to do with the advertisers (such as if you run Google ads) you do not need additional Terms of Use for Advertisers.

5. Can others post content on your site (besides comments)?

If so, you need a Terms of Use for Contributors. In general you are responsible for any and all content posted on your site, and if someone posts copyrighted material or engages in offensive or defamatory conduct, you might be liable.

Having a Terms of Use for Contributors protects you from this, and ensures your contributors know they must behave or you may delete what they post, make them responsible for their claims, or even ban them from the site.

6. Do you let 3rd parties market to your site’s subscribers?

If you share or sell your database of customers’ telephone numbers or emails, you need specific permission from them when they sign up. Normally this is done by having them tick a box when they submit contact information, which makes it clear how you may end up using their information and that someone besides you may get in touch. Legally this is known as an Active Release.

In general most websites are covered by the first 3 items. At minimum you should have a Privacy Policy and a Website Disclaimer, plus Terms and Conditions if you sell online. Depending on your situation, of course, you may also need Terms for Advertisers and/or Contributors, or an Active Release.

 

Infographic source: legal123

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