If you have a website, you should consider which, if any, legal pages your site should contain. Legal pages include things like:
- Privacy policies
- Copyright notices
- Terms and conditions of use
- Accessibility information
- Abuse or complaints contact information
- Corporate policies.
WHICH LEGAL PAGES SHOULD EVERY WEBSITE HAVE?
As to which legal pages your website should have, it depends.
There is no rule that says a website must have any legal pages at all. However, look at your website and evaluate it with or without legal counsel to determine whether you need a specific type of legal page.
- How the collected personal information is used
- Who receives the collected information
- Contact information for erasing private information
- Information about third-party sites that might collect information (such as advertisers)
- Editing dates when the document is changed
It’s important to include a copyight notice on all of your Web pages, but that doesn’t mean that you need a specific page for your copyright.
Most sites that have a specific page about their copyright do so because the copyright is complicated, as in some of the material is owned by the site itself and some of it is owned by contributors.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE
Many websites include a terms and conditions of use document on their site.
This explains the actions that are allowed and disallowed while using the website. You can include things like:
- How to credit content and images from the site
- Whether registration is required for posting content
- The types of user-submitted content that is allowed and disallowed
- Situations where user-submitted content is removed or changed
Keep in mind that while these terms and conditions can be popular with website owners, except in the case of registration, they are difficult to enforce. While taking images and content is a copyright violation, you have to find the culprits before you can go after them.
However, if your site uses a forum, blog comments, or other user-submitted content, you should strongly consider having a terms-of-use document.
Disclaimers are like simplified versions of a terms and conditions document. They are used on sites where there is a lot of user-submitted content that isn’t moderated by the site owners or where there are a lot of links to external pages. A disclaimer basically is saying the site owner isn’t responsible for the content or links.
COMPLAINTS OR FEEDBACK PAGES
While feedback pages aren’t legal pages, they can be useful for sites that have a lot of customer interaction.
Feedback links help customers by giving them a place to complain before they go to a lawyer, thus reducing legal issues.
PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, AND OTHER CORPORATE POLICIES
If your website or company has relevant patents and trademarks, you should have a page that details them. If there are other corporate policies that you want your customers to know about, you should have pages for them as well.