As you add features and functions to your site, the legal implications of your online presence grow more important.
What purpose do legal notices serve?
Legal notices lay the ground rules for the relationship between you and the users of your site.
What should my notices say?
Legal notices should reflect the content and features of your site. If you sell goods and services over the Web, provide terms of sale.
How should legal notices be presented?
The most powerful Web sites are fast and user-friendly, but unfortunately, the most powerful legal terms are neither of those.
Effective legal notices require a balancing act. Although more important sales may still justify a written contract, most transactions are satisfactorily protected by a click-through agreement in which before completing a purchase, the buyer is presented with terms of sale and must click on a button marked "I agree" to complete the sale.
What about privacy policies?
Also, federal law restricts the collection and use of personally identifiable information from children under 13.
Finally, there are some things that no legalese can fix. Copyright and trademark infringement, false advertising and other trade practices applicable to sales over the counter are equally applicable to sales in the online world. John J. Luecken Jr. is a partner with Brouse McDowell. He can be reached at (330) 535-5711.