If you have built a new website or have done a refresh to your old website (to get rid of the website shame you were feeling), congratulations!
A lot of business owners that I talk to have either not focused on the legal requirements for their website or are relying on their web developers or web designers to have included what they need.
Don't Assume Your Web Person Has Got This Handled
In my experience, most web developers and web designers are focused on the user experience and design of your website, but not the legal stuff. They may pull a template from somewhere, but very few of them customize the website templates for Canadians and for your specific business needs.
So what to do? I’ve got you covered.
Copyright Notice - To protect the content on your website, you should have a copyright notice to assert your rights in the work. The content can include written stuff like blog posts or product descriptions or photos, videos or podcast episodes.
Your copyright notice is in the form of © + Legal Business Name + Year of Creation. All Rights Reserved. i.e. © Legal Essentials 2021. All Rights Reserved. This serves as a reminder that you own the copyright to the content and others should not use this content (writing - blog posts, product descriptions, photos, videos, podcast audio) without your permission.
For websites where you may publish works over a period of years, you are recommended to use © + Legal Business Name + First Year of Publication - Current Year.
Website Disclaimers - It is important for your Website to have a legal disclaimer for several different purposes.
You should tell your website visitors that you are providing information but not professional advice through your website. You want to make it clear that visitors should not rely upon the information on your website as a substitute for professional advice from someone who understands their situation.
Your disclaimer should be transparent about any compensation that you receive for recommending any products or services. Although not required by law in Canada, your disclaimer may wish to be clear that particular results are not guaranteed and any testimonials or endorsements are not indicative of similar results.
You should define acceptable and unacceptable uses of your website for visitors and give yourself remedies for unacceptable use.
Conclusion - Protect Your Website
If I have convinced you that there are some legal requirements for your business website that you need to comply with, I would love to help you with this. As your legal guide, I have created a Website Legal Essentials template pack which makes each of these four requirements easy to put into practice in no time.