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What legal notice to put on website?

Discussion in 'Internet & Social Media Law' started by Asta, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. Asta

    Asta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What is a good legal notice (terms of service, acceptable use policy, privacy policy, etc) to put on website, that favors the website? Would a notice give more protection, than having no notice at all? Is a notice legally required? I would like something short and simple.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Have a lawyer create one for you that is based on what you and your website are doing.
     
    justblue and Zigner like this.
  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    That question is, as a practical matter, unanswerable in the abstract.

    Depends on what the notice says and what it's purpose is, and on all other relevant facts and circumstances.
     
  4. Asta

    Asta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    to adjusterjack, Super Moderator.
    "Have a lawyer create one": This seems to be a good site to begin that process. From here, I learned that I need to say what me and my website are doing.

    "what you and your website are doing.": The website is currently work in progress, not yet uploaded to internet. It mostly has video files for end user to download. It also has books and music. I am looking for more attractions. It will require regristration, and maybe a fee. (Links removed by moderator) The site will be hosted in USA.

    to zddoodah, Well-Known Member.
    "unanswerable in the abstract. Depends.": Sorry, I am not a lawyer. How should I word the question? What information should I give you?

    Here is a legal statement I propose. Can a lawyer please comment? "This website disclaims all liability. Use at your own risk." Another idea is to copy the notices from similar sites.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2020
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Yes, a lawyer can (and has) commented, but the simple fact is that you need to speak to YOUR lawyer about this matter. Don't cheap out on it.
    Oh - your idea to copy notices from similar sites...that's called stealing. Why would you even propose that? Baffling...
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't. A request for a disclaimer/notice that will accomplish something for your specific website calls for legal advice, which no one on an internet message board should be providing, and which you should not want from anonymous strangers. Also, read the disclaimer at the bottom of every page at this site.

    Utterly pointless.
     
  7. Asta

    Asta Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all for your quick response. It looks like I have recieved my answer. This post is to clear up some things. to zddoodah, Well-Known Member. I was hoping to get a comment on my proposal, yours is the first. I was also hoping to cheap out, but you say not to. Thank you for your advice.

    About my idea to copy notices. Stealing is a harsh term for that and only applies if done without permission. Thank you for bringing that misunderstanding to my attention, and steering me in the right direction. To answer your question "Why would you even propose that?": It might be legal in some cases. And I wanted to give an example of what I was looking for.

    And I would like an explanation. zddoodah says my statement is Utterly pointless. But I have seen similar wording elsewhere. So why is it pointless here? (if you care to answer).
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    A statement that says, "This website disclaims all liability. Use at your own risk," is utterly pointless, regardless of where it's found, because such a statement has no legal effect.

    Imagine if I put signs on my car that said, "The driver and owner of this car disclaim all liability. Drive nearby at your own risk." What do you think those signs would accomplish? Do you suppose those signs would allow me to drive in a negligent/reckless manner with impunity?

    As I said previously, if you want some sort of disclaimer that might serve some useful purpose for your website, you need to consult with a local attorney.
     
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  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    @zddoodah is 100% correct in his response.

    Here's why.

    You've probably seen "disclaimers" almost everywhere, on a playground, at a public swimming pool, a high school gym, your local health club, your dry-cleaner, a hospital parking lot, your local mall, most websites, etc...

    These "disclaimers" are impossible to miss because most often they are printed in big letters on brightly colored signage.


    disclaimer3.jpg

    disclaimer2.png

    disclaimer1.jpg

    disclaimer.jpg

    It is obvious that store management isn't responsible for what may happen to your car out in the parking lot.

    Yes, even if someone rams the side of your car with one of the store's shopping carts, you can't blame the store for it.

    But use at your own risk disclaimers go further than just common sense. Any kind of disclaimer has one big purpose -- to limit or eliminate legal liability.

    In this case, the owner of the playground, the owner of the gym, and the owner of the parking lot are all saying that you can't sue them if something happens.

    Can such signs hold up in court?

    That depends on what the disclaimer says, what actually happened, and what your state laws say.

    One thing that plaintiffs attempt to argue is that they didn't actually agree to the disclaimer.

    A person often says she didn't sign anything that waived her right to bring legal action like people do when they swim with sharks, for example.

    A signature isn't the only way that a person can consent to a disclaimer, however.

    If you persist and wish to use disclaimers, a person's presence can be deemed consent in the eyes of the law, sometimes.

    Didn't he see the sign at the playground, yet permitted his children to use the playground?

    Once you read the sign, it could be presumed that the owner of the playground would refuse to compensate you if one of your kids got injured, you broke your leg when you stepped in gopher hole, or suffered some other injury.

    Despite the "risks", you didn't choose to leave.

    There are some basic guidelines to think about if you want avoid legal liability.

    First and foremost, make sure you buy liability insurance, GOOD liability insurance sufficient to protect your assets.

    Nest, make sure your disclaimer is prominent enough so that people actually know that it exists.

    Remember, not everyone can read.
    Even if someone reads the words, the person might not be smart enough to understand the words.

    You need to install the disclaimer sign on your playground near the entrance, put the gym sign on the wall next to the front door, and attach the parking lot sign to various light poles in each row of parked cars.

    What if your victim is blind?

    What if your victim is illiterate?

    What if your victim is Chinese, and unable to read English?

    Someone may take you to court and argue that they weren't aware of the disclaimer.

    Make sure that the wording in your disclaimer is easy to understand.

    That means, don't use that legal "weasel" words and post in "legalese".

    Don't do anything negligent.

    A use at your own risk disclaimer won't protect you if your property is poorly maintained, or never maintained.

    If you've known that the playground is infested with rats, feces, poisonous snakes, and rabid skunks; but you haven't taken any steps to correct any of those dangers, your use at your own risk disclaimer likely won't be much help in court.

    A "disclaimer" isn't a "get out of jail free" card, protecting you from every possible threat.

    That is why you must purchase the proper liability insurance.
     
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