15 Legal Issues for Website | Top and latest

1. Copyright Issues

While you might not immediately think about copyrights when planning your website, it is important to keep in mind that most of the content on your site will be protected by copyright.  Site owners often need permission from content owners before including content on their sites or they risk infringing  the owners’ rights. Luckily there are several exceptions that may apply depending on what type of content you are posting and why you are posting it. These exceptions allow site owners to include certain types of copyrighted materials without fear of liability for infringement as long as they comply with the exception’s requirements set forth by law.

2. Trademark Issues

Another form of IP protection that comes into play during the development process is trademark issues .    If your site name or design features a logo,  symbol, brand name or tagline that is protected by trademark law  you should be careful to include all of the appropriate  notices or risk infringing on another’s right.  This can potentially involve creating disclaimers for certain parts of your website so users are aware the content they are viewing is not created by you.

3. Privacy Issues

A website is essentially an online advertisement for your business and company policy regarding privacy issues may have a serious impact on how successful it will be at attracting consumers . Sites need to implement policies about how they collect information from visitors including email addresses, phone numbers and any personally identifiable information in order to avoid violating their users’ privacy rights.

4. Website Content and Children

Some states have enacted laws that require websites to post a warning if their site includes content intended for children under a certain age . If your website contains material inappropriate for minors, you will need to include a warning on your site or risk running afoul of the law in these states. These warnings are usually easy to send using the appropriate meta tags, but you should check with an attorney in your area before adding them to make sure they meet all legal requirements.

5. False Advertising Claims

Advertising is regulated by both federal and state laws which means sites cannot claim something is true when it isn’t or fail to disclose important information about products and services offered the web site. Sites should be careful to avoid making promises or claims about products and services that cannot be met or do not include all of the information necessary for users to make an informed decision.

6. Copying Other People’s Work

If you are including content on your website that is taken from another source, either in whole or part, you will need to ensure that proper credit is given where it is due . Failure to do so could result in charges of plagiarism, which can lead to lawsuits if other parties feel they have been financially harmed by your actions.  It also makes it more likely users visiting your site will believe what they read or view has come form you rather than the original author creating possible legal issues for you as well.

7. Privacy Policies

If your business collects personally identifiable information like email addresses, phone numbers or credit card numbers you should consider creating a privacy policy to let users know how their information will be used and stored .  This will help protect the site owner in the event of unauthorized use or disclosure of this information.  Your professional liability insurance policy may also require that you have one on file before they will provide coverage.

8. Acceptable Use Policies

Acceptable Use Policies , often referred to as an AUP , are terms of service for websites that inform users about their responsibilities when using the site and what actions can result in their privileges being revoked . These policies exist not only to keep sites legal, but also to protect them from legal action by disgruntled users or competitors.

9. Impersonation Issues

If your website is an extension of your business you will need to be aware that if it impersonates another individual, company or entity it may open you up to legal action .    There are also sites whose sole purpose is to collect information about others , which can be considered a form of impersonation as well. You should take the time to read the terms and conditions for each site you plan on using and follow any guidelines they specify before establishing a presence there.

10. Disclosing Private Information

Although most social media sites have privacy settings which allow users to limit who can view their content, certain types of information cannot be hidden from public viewing .  Information such as birthdays, names, marital status, religious views and political affiliations are considered private under the law but must be reported on certain sites .

 11. False Injuries

One way people try to cheat the system is by inventing an injury and/or exaggerating existing injuries in hopes of receiving compensation from their insurer .    Claiming that everyday ailments such as allergies , insomnia and depression are severe enough to cause missed time from work can result in big payouts when in reality it only amounts to minor discomfort for the claimant .  It is always to contact a doctor before submitting any claims to verify that the injury is severe enough to warrant compensation.

12. Staged Accidents

Unfortunately, some people are willing to go as far as causing an accident in order to file a fraudulent claim .  These staged accidents are known as phantom vehicle claims and involve the claimant reporting damage or injuries resulting from a collision he or she was involved in .  Phantom vehicle claims are expensive for insurers because they often result in property damage , bodily harm and/or personal lawsuits against the insurer .    The best way to protect yourself against phantom vehicle claims is hiring well-trained investigators who can uncover any incriminating evidence during their investigation .

13. Medical Identity Theft

Medical identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s identity illegally obtain medical services and make insurance claims .    It is essential to check your credit report regularly because medical identity theft can affect not only you but also your dependents, such as a child or spouse .  It is always recommended that you monitor your bank accounts as well.

14. The Joint-and-Several Rule

Today there are many different types of insurance claims available to those who need coverage.  The joint-and-several rule typically applies in property damage cases where several persons may be responsible for causing the damage, making it difficult to determine precisely who should pay what amounts .    The person responsible for the most damage will often have to cover 100 percent of the damages, while others responsible for a lesser amount will owe a reduced percentage or none at all.   

15. The Subrogation Clause

Another common term is subrogation , which means that an insurer can pursue legal action against another party responsible for damages in order to recover the amount it has already paid out .    Insurance companies usually set up subrogation clauses into their policies that give them this right.  Whether you agree with your company’s subrogation clause or not, it is necessary to adhere to its rules and regulations so as not jeopardize your future business dealings with the insurer .  Always read through any insurance policy before signing on the dotted line so you know what you are getting yourself into!

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