As website developers and webmasters, you need to ensure that your websites comply with the relevant requirements of English law. You also need to ensure that you have suitable terms and conditions of trade which govern the relationship between you and your client; in short, a handful of emails is rarely enough to protect you if a dispute arises. Whilst it is relatively straight forward these days to create and publish a website, the legal issues involved can be complex, and expensive to remedy!
A multitude of UK and EU laws impact upon website design, domain name choice, website content, online sales, and virtually every other aspect of ecommerce and online activity.
Some of the key areas to consider when creating websites include contract, copyright, defamation, trade mark infringement, E-Commerce Regulations, Distance Selling Regulations, terms and conditions, and many more.
If you are a web designer, your clients will expect you to provide them with a legally compliant website – or at least to be able to point them in the direction of experts who can advise on whether their site falls foul of legislation.
As well as the issues involved with actually designing a website, do you have terms and conditions in place with your customer which effectively protect you in case of dispute? What if the customer does not pay you, or chooses to have someone else update the site? Who owns what rights to the site, and what rights do your customers have? The answers may not be what you think.
If you are unsure whether the websites you design are legally compliant, whether it is the content, domain name, or an online order process you are concerned about, or if you are unsure about the contracts you have in place with your customers, the IT solicitors at Ironmonger Curtis LLP will be able to assist you.