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Home > Books > SBWTW > Chapter 10

Small Business Websites That Work

Book cover: Small Business Websites That Work By Sean McManus
Published by Prentice Hall (Pearson)

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: