So, you’ve set up your business, have a trademarked logo, and have set up a business website. You have a domain name and web address and are now ready to create content for the website.
What are some of the main issues that come up? To some extent, it depends on the complexity of the website and the industry. Static websites have basic business information; more complex sites have multiple pages and functionality. And some industries, like healthcare, have specific statutes governing privacy.
These are some of the more common issues that arise.
Copyright. In general, both the written and visual content (such as pictures, logos, charts, videos, etc) should be owned by the business. A business that copies and uses someone else’s visual or written material on its website, without written permission, may be liable for copyright infringement. If a business wants to use free or paid stock images or clip art library images, the license allowing use of these images should be reviewed because it may prevent the image from being used for a commercial purpose.
Disclaimer statements. While a disclaimer cannot guarantee protection against potential liability, and may not be considered legally binding, a well-crafted disclaimer can address some of the main legal issues that could arise from use of the website. It should be crafted for a specific site and updated as the website changes. For example, a disclaimer for a website that is only a landing page with business and contact information would be different from a disclaimer for a website that links to other websites, automatically imports information from third party sites, accepts payments, or allows user-generated content like comments.
Anita D’Souza is an attorney licensed in Texas and Tennessee. She has been the general counsel to multiple Texas state agencies and has recently relocated to Knoxville. She has an undergraduate major in computer science. This column is provided through the Knoxville Bar Association, a nonprofit corporation that offers community service programs such as the Lawyer Referral & Information Service, speakers’ bureau and public education programs. More info at www.knoxbar.org or 865-522-6522.
This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: In creating business webpage content, consider legal issues