Once you own or start operating as an Internet Business Owner, you are obligated to abide by established legislation, regulations, and codes of practice. Unfortunately as with most legislation, being ignorant of the law is not a defence. It is up to you to ensure you are legal, and the fact that you didn’t know, or didn’t mean to contravene something, only means that you are at fault, period.

It is extremely easy to innocently step outside the boundaries of the law. Mike Filsamine in his latest report, ‘The Death of Internet Marketing’ tells of a frightening story where he used an online program to generate the wording of legal site documents, only to discover that the application had unwittingly breached another person’s copyrighted material to generate those documents. Here’s the kicker, because Mike used those generated documents he breached the copyright and had to resolve the issue with the copyrighted owner.

But it is even easier to fall foul of the law. If you purchase Private Label Rights to a product and for example a photograph that has been used to generate the ebook cover, graphics, or in the content has unwittingly been used without the correct permissions, you could be the one paying damages.

Imagine the nightmare of waking up to find a summons in your mail. Maybe it is for something totally petty. But you start to think that it’s nothing to worry about, you’re only an ordinary person trying to make some extra money (probably not too successfully). Perhaps you are only selling someone else’s product, or a simple ebook or software program, so you shrug it off.

If you think, heck it can’t come to much, I’m only a very small operation, think again!

That simple summons is the start of devastating stress, legal fees, travelling, administration costs, and loss of earnings (if you have to take time off work). Even if you turn out to be right, in the meantime you could be reported to several agencies, (actually I think the real figure is around 17 different agencies), depending where you are in the world. Even if you are from outside the country of the complainant, you could still face a legal nightmare.

That omission, improper claim, or complaint from someone who has visited your site might mean you now face an investigation for Internet Fraud, a serious criminal offence in any country.

In America the Federal Trade Commission investigates numerous such cases. If you go to their web site you will see real cases listed.

So what else can go wrong?

What if a child wanders onto your site, or someone else who reads something, or sees something that ‘they’ claim to find upsetting? Are you legally protected?

Even writing an article such as this one could get you into copyright issues. If you cut and paste pieces of other people’s work, you could, if found out have to pay damages to the author. So if you write articles, do it the hard way, and write them yourself as original content. Besides, original content is king! Right?

The point is, while it is easy to fall foul of problems, it is equally easy to protect yourself against nearly all of these types of problems. How?

By having a proper legally prepared Terms of Use (or service) document, Privacy Policy (including children’s privacy), and Purchase (or license) Agreement, that includes proper legal disclaimers, and liability protection.

What you absolutely must not do is to use free online generators, or free legal packages which can be found on the Internet. You must make sure that your documents are prepared by an attorney, or solicitor, who know or specialise in Internet Law.

I suggest you immediately revise your position in this area before it is too late. Look up the information on the internet and carefully consider your need for protection. If you wish to see an example of the licensed material, you may find it on my site. budapest shooting