Unless you’re living in the dark ages, your business has a website. Unfortunately, many companies, even big companies, don’t spend the time to really consider the legal issues and potential liability related to their website.
Websites have a myriad of issues, many of which relate to intellectual property. Indeed, analysis of the legal issues on a website would be a great law school final exam.
If your business is based on a website, it’s important to understand the critical legal issues. Of course you want to avoid potential legal liability, but most importantly, if you ever want to sell the site, you must make sure that you own or have the right to use every element of it and the ability to convey the whole thing for a big hunk of cash. If your site’s IP is a muddled mess, it may kill a deal or greatly reduce the potential sale price. Worse yet, if your site infringes the IP rights of others, you may owe more than its worth.
If your business only uses its site for advertising, you still want to make sure that you don’t get in legal hot water. You want to comply with the law and avoid IP infringement.
The next five posts will address some of the critical website legal issues including:
- My Website’s Software Foundation: Do I Own the Code or Can I Sell It?
- Website Trademark Issues
- Website Copyright Issues
- Getting a Safe Harbor for Your Website Under the DMCA
In this series, I’m focusing on issues that you can control. Stay tuned if you want to protect the value of your website and avoid legal liability.
Jill Hubbard Bowman is an intellectual property attorney who helps startups and emerging growth companies own and protect their IP.
The information provided in this legal blog is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not submit questions or comments seeking legal advice or submit confidential information through this blog. By communicating through this blog, you understand and agree that the information will not be treated as confidential and the publisher has no duty to keep it confidential.