As more and more businesses start using the web to advertise services, sell products, or just to have an online presence, businesses are entering into a new frontier. While many of the bigger sites such as CNN, Facebook, and Google, have full-fledged policies governing the use of their site, companies just entering the World Wide Web may not have the same policies developed.
For brick and mortar businesses, coming up with and telling customers about policies is usually pretty easy. An owner may post a sign behind the cash register than says “Please turn off your cell phones when at the register” to state the policy on that customers can’t use cell phones when at the register. An owner may have a sign on the door that states “No Checks” to state the policy is cash or credit card only. An owner may print the return policy on a receipt to make the customer aware the returns must be in new condition.
However, when creating a website, the average website owner may not know what types of policies he needs, where to state them, or how to state them. Although I strongly recommend you go to a business attorney such as myself that specializes in working with businesses with an online presence, it is always a good idea to know a little bit before you see your attorney. Therefore, I am doing this series about what online businesses need to know about online policies.
For the next forty or so days on this blog, I am going to look at terms of services, privacy policies, copyright policies, sale policies, and all things pertaining to websites. For the Terms of Service, I will be using Facebook’s TOS to explain the major sections that are in most TOSs and go over the ones that are somewhat unique to Facebook’s, The information I give does not make up for reading Facebook’s TOS as I cannot go into everything that is in their TOS and they can change it at any time. In addition, as I point out in later posts, each site has its own TOS and it may differ from Facebook’s.
If you have any general questions or comments throughout this series of posts, please feel free to post them. I will try to answer general questions; however, if you have a specific question about what your business needs, please contact me personally as I cannot give legal advice over the web and, if you are not located in Colorado, may have to refer you to an attorney in your area that can help you.
By reading this series, this bog in general, and using this website, you agree to my Terms of Service and acknowledge that this is not legal advice but for informational purposes only. If you are a Colorado business with an online presence, please contact me, Elizabeth Lewis, your online business attorney for more information about how you need to structure your business, what you need to do to make sure your website complies with all the laws and protects you, and for all your business needs at 720-258-6647 or Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com.