When I first started this business in 2005, I was just winging it, and went the “learn as you go” route. Today’s guest post is one that, had it existed, would have saved me so much time and stress. Jackie from Jade and Oak is sharing 4 legal statements every website must have, and there’s a special Pretty Darn Cute Discount in there for you as well. Take it away, Jackie..
4 Legal Statements Every Website Must Have
Whether you are starting a new website or giving your site a refresh, getting a new theme is so exciting. I’m in awe of people like Lindsey who have the creativity and skills to create beautiful websites. The graphics and images are super important but there is something else you shouldn’t forget about either – these 4 Legal Statements Every Website Must Have.
As you are working on your website, don’t forget about the legal side. I’m excited to help break down what you need for your site, to cover yourself AND your business.
Disclaimer: I’m a US licensed attorney, so this info is directed towards US bloggers, but it may also apply to international bloggers. Check your country’s laws for more information about laws and regulations in your country.
2. Terms and Conditions Statement
This is another suuuuuper important statement for your website. I like to think of terms and conditions as the “rules” of your business/website. You are letting everyone know what type of behavior is appropriate and acceptable – both by you as the site owner but also by the visitors of your site.
Having a solid terms and condition statement will help to legitimize your business, as well as protect you, your business and your readers. If you want to learn more about terms and conditions statements, including more details on the elements that your statement should include, check out this blog post: LINK: https://www.jadeoak.com/terms-conditions-blog-needs/
3. Disclaimer Statement
A disclaimer statement is basically where you remind your visitors that the content of your website should be taken “as is.” This means that you aren’t providing professional advice and you won’t be liable or responsible if someone takes your content as advice and then has a problem down the line.
For example, if you are providing info about healthy living, it’s important to remind your readers and visitors that you aren’t a professional and you aren’t providing them with specific health advice. This is where you would also remind them that you are presenting info but they should always consult with a professional.
Now, if you ARE a professional or expert, it is still important (and maybe even more important) to have a clear disclaimer statement. Remind your website visitors that although you are a doctor or therapist or accountant, etc, that you are not advising that they rely solely on the information on your website.
This info might seem like common sense, but it is still important to include this kind of language on your website. This doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed to never have issues arise, but it can help to have a clear statement in place already, in case a situation arises at some point. If something comes up, you can always point back to this statement as a reminder that you weren’t presenting yourself as an expert, promising any specific results or giving specific advice. You can write your disclaimer and include it as a part of your terms and conditions statement.
4. Copyright Statement
In the United States, your original and unique work is automatically copyright protected from the moment of creation, even without you formally filing anything for that protection. Copyrights are the legal system that protect creative works and give the creator of the work the control over the copying, reuse, selling, etc. of her original work product. This includes things such as your original website content/graphics, your blog posts, photographs, etc.
Even though a creator has that automatic protection, it is still important to remind others of your rights over your work. You should do this a few different ways. First, include a short general copyright notice on every page of your website, with your name/your business name, the copyright symbol and years of publication. This is a good reminder to someone that you are affirmatively claiming copyright ownership over your website content.
You should also include a longer copyright statement somewhere on your blog, indicating that you aren’t (or are) okay with others taking and using your work without your permission. In this longer statement, you can further explain what material is protected, how it can be used, etc. You can include this as part of your terms and conditions statement or on the same page with your terms and conditions and your privacy statement.
I know that it can be overwhelming to make sure that you have all the legal info and necessities in place for your business and website. It’s all about doing your research to figure out exactly what you need and get good statements in place. For the most part, with the legal side, you can create your statements now and “set it and forget it.” You probably won’t need to do any updates to your legal statements unless something in your business changes.
To help you with keeping it legal, I’m providing some awesome discounts for Pretty Darn Cute readers! You can get any of the legal templates in my Legal Marketplace https://www.jadeoak.com/legal-marketplace/ for 30% off by using promo code “PDCUTE” at checkout! This is a great way to get the legal statements you need, written by an attorney, for way less!
Disclaimer: I am an attorney, but I am not your attorney. The information in this article is for general informational purposes only and is not legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. The author is not liable for any losses or damages related to actions of failure to act related to the content in this article. If you need specific legal advice, consult with an attorney who specializes in your subject matter and jurisdiction.
Jackie has been blogging for over 4 years and has been a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania for nearly 7 years. Jackie started her blog, Jade and Oak, as a creative outlet as she was working as a litigator. She now works with bloggers and small business owners on making sure that they are keeping everything legal, all while working her day job. When she isn’t working, Jackie enjoys spending time with her husband and their two pugs, reading in bed and taking ballet classes.
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