Small Business Websites That Work
- Buy 'Small Business Websites That Work'
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- Read the introduction in full
- Free chapter: Planning your website and creating the content
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- About the author
Keeping your website legal and ethical - chapter summary
It's as much a case of behaving ethically and professionally as it is of second-guessing the legislators
When you set up your website, you become a publisher for the first time and expose yourself to international laws. Some of these will conflict and you'll need to use your terms and conditions to limit your liability.
Other laws follow consistent principles, even if countries interpret cases differently. You'll need to clarify how you can use any content on your site that comes from outside the business and you'll need to vet your content for libel. You'll also need to check that you're not using someone else's brand names or technology without permission.
Check that your links don't create an impression of an alliance between different websites and don't encourage the spread of libel.
There's also a moral responsibility to make your site accessible to the disabled, to rate it for potentially offensive content and to protect personal data that visitors disclose to you.
You can't imagine every interpretation of every law worldwide, so invite visitors to contact you before they contact their lawyers. Respond promptly to any complaints and you can cut the risk of having to go to court.
These are the subheadings in this chapter:
- Rating content
- Junk email
- Privacy law
- Promotional laws
- Restricting liability with terms and conditions
- Website law checklist