What Legal Pages Does Your Website Need?

 

One of the most overlooked aspects of just about any website is the legal pages. Huh? Legal…? Pages…? We know we know, it’s really riveting stuff to think about! While this may be one of the more mundane aspects of creating and launching your business’s website, it's certainly one of the most important ones. Every website has them and, although they are usually neatly tucked away at the very bottom of a page or off to the side, they contain legal information that protects both website owner and the user. Some of these are required for the purposes of transparency, and others for the purposes of compliance with local, state, and federal law.

We’ve compiled this list of legal pages that are required for most websites and are a great way to protect your business, its users, and the content that you have worked so hard on to put out there for the world. Added bonus: having these in place helps you build trust and remain professional. Web designers should be including these on every site, so if you’re working with a designer make sure they cover these! (Psst… need a web designer? Let’s chat!)

In the true spirit of this topic: This blog post is intended for general informational purposes only. It is best to consult with an internet law attorney if you are unsure of the legal requirements necessary for your particular business’s website.

Now, let’s get legal!


Privacy Policies:

A comprehensive privacy policy is crucial for any website that is live and accessible for anyone to visit, and required by law for those websites that collect any data from its users, whether given voluntarily or not. Privacy Policies disclose some or all of the ways that a website will collect, use, share, and manage a customer or client’s personal information and data.

We know this isn't exactly thrilling stuff, but check out our privacy policy here and see what kind of data we collect and how your data is used by us.


Copyright Notices:

Basically, a thorough copyright notice declares complete ownership of the contents of your website and, should the situation occur, can help you win damages against anyone who may try to copy your website or its contents. While we’re hoping you never have to deal with legal issues, it’s really the best way to protect the things you put out into the internet world that you personally created, whether that be your name, original photos, music, or your blog posts. Copyright notices require very specific items that are necessary in order to protect your site and its content.

These items include:
- The copyright symbol “©” or the word “Copyright”.
- The year of publication
- The owner’s name or business name.  


Terms and Conditions of Use:

Simply put, these are all the rules and regulations for the people who are using your business’s website. This is what people reference when they use fancy schmancy lingo like “TOS” or “T&C”. Terms of Use, Terms of Service, and Terms and Conditions of Use are all the same thing, but have a few different names that are interchangeable. More often than not, a general Terms and Conditions of Use page will spell out most of the legal items necessary for your site, including your privacy policy and notice of copyright.

Additional items may include:
- Limitations of Liability: This basically absolves you of any issues with errors within the content on your website.
- Permitted Use: This defines whether or not things like your logo or photos can be repurposed by users of your site.
- Governing Law: It’s best practice to include which country, province, or state your website is operating from, in order to clarify the local, state, and federal laws which apply to your website.  


Disclaimers:

Disclaimers can be quite important, especially if you are providing information to your viewers about specific topics. If there were to be any litigation brought to you or your business due to inaccurate or out of date information being on your website, these disclaimers may absolve you of any wrongdoing in the eyes of the law. Just like Terms and Conditions of Use, a disclaimer can also spell out things like rights to information published, website contents, restrictions on who can visit your site, copyright notices, and governing law.


Complaint and Feedback Pages:

While not required by law, having a feedback page or button easily accessible on your website is a great way to gain insight into how users and customers feel about your website. It can also be a great way to field any negative issues users may encounter while visiting your site and allow you to resolve and confront these issues in a quick and personal manner.


You may be asking yourself how the heck you can incorporate all of this info on your site without muddying it up with legal pages. Don’t fret! You can easily contain the boring legalities in just one or two pages. Let’s consider one of the biggest corporations in the world — Visa.

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At the bottom of their home page is a “Legal + Privacy” section that has a directory of three pages. The first one is a ‘Legal’ information page which contains their entire Terms of Use. Basically, everything that is not their privacy policy. Below that is their entire privacy policy which spells out all of the details about user and customer data. Finally is a section specific to Intellectual Property Rights, which spells out how to make a claim against them if they happen to have infringed on any patents, which is a fairly unique legal page.


We understand that the legal aspects of setting up your website may be mundane and grueling to deal with, but they are of utmost importance. Hopefully, this article has given you a more thorough understanding of the requirements necessary for your website to operate lawfully, but if you have any further questions, we advise you to seek counsel specializing in internet law.  


How are you ensuring your website stays legal? Let us know in the comments, below. ⇩
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