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Online Marketing Law for Small Businesses

Online Marketing Law for Small Businesses



Online marketing law presentation for small businesses given by Denver Business Attorney Elizabeth Lewis from the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C. for Colorado based businesses.

Online marketing law presentation for small businesses given by Denver Business Attorney Elizabeth Lewis from the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C. for Colorado based businesses.



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    Online Marketing Law for Small Businesses Online Marketing Law for Small Businesses Presentation Transcript

    • Avoiding Legal Pitfalls of Advertising Online
      Elizabeth C. Lewis
      © Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
    • Online Marketing
      Privately owned websites
      Public websites
      Email marketing
      Social media sites
      Text messaging
      Mobile communications
    • Govt. Agencies Affecting Online Marketing
      Federal Trade Commission
      Federal Communications Commission
      Securities Exchange Commission
      Also - State Governments
    • Laws Affecting Online Marketing
      Telecommunications Act
      Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
      Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule
      Lending Rules
      Truth in Advertising
      CANSPAM Act
      Industry Specific Rules
      Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
      Colorado Rules of Professional Ethics
    • General Principles
      Copyright law
      Trademark law
      Trade secret law
      Employment law
      Tort law
    • Tonight’s Roadmap
      Website Text
      FTC Endorsement Rules
      Recent Rulings in SEO marketing
      CAN SPAM Act
    • Website Legalize
      Terms of Use
      Privacy Policy
      Copyright Policy
      Industry Specific
    • Terms of Use
      Covers the use of the website by users
      Covers issues like jurisdiction, venue, uptime, etc
      May include language regarding sales on the site
      May include language regarding user conduct on site
    • Privacy Policies
      Covers what the website owner does with the information gained from users
      Should state if any third party applications are used through website (i.e. PayPal)
      Should cover information gained through weblogs
    • Copyright Policies
      DMCA requires that you have information about who to contact to remove infringing materials
      Should have designated agent
      In some cases need to have website registration form with copyright office
    • Industry Specific Texts
      Red Flag Rules if you extend credit
      Software license agreements
      SEC information
      Attorneys, financial institutions, etc
    • FTC Endorsement Rules
      Rules were released in October of 2009 regarding paid endorsements
      15 US §45
      Affects bloggers, employees, employers, family members
    • What is an Endorsement?
      Endorsement – any act in which a person is likely to believe the information is coming from someone other than the sponsoring advertiser
      Paid advertisements
      Free products
      Employees/material connections
    • What Can I Say?
      Must be honest
      Must not say anything advertiser can’t
      Must disclose relationship
    • Endorsements
      Both endorser and endorsee can be held responsible if relationship not disclosed
      Action is brought by the FTC
      No right of private action
    • Adwords
      Lanham Act – regulates trademarks
      Current status
      European Court of Justice said okay for competitors to bid on competitors’ names in March
      US court say adwords can contain competitors’ names
      Rosetta Stone case is still pending
    • CAN SPAM Act
      Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing
      Passed in 2003
      Applies to commercial and transactional email
    • Applicable Emails
      Commercial mail – primarily promoting service or product
      Transactional mail - primarily to inform existing client of something dealing with past or current transactions
    • What You Can’t Do! 
      Deceptive email headers
      Deceptive subject lines
      Not give opt-out
      Make multiple accounts to send email
      Send fraudulent, obscene, or child porn
    • What You Can Do! 
      Email people without permission (as long as not dictionary style list)
      Send multiple emails until someone opts out
      Send commercial email
    • Enforcement of CAN SPAM
      Civil penalty of up to 16k per email
      Criminal convictions for
      Email harvesting
      Randomly generating receipents
      False info
      Fraudulent, pornographic emails
    • Best Practices
      Although it may be legal, ask:
      When do you add people?
      Do you want to be added without permission?
      Do you give way to opt-out before adding them?
    • Facebook
      Terms of Use
      By posting information, you grant Facebook a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook until you delete your account.
      Profile page must be a real person
      Cannot collect information about others without permission and policy in place
    • LinkedIn
      “You grant LinkedIn a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, perpetual, unlimited, assignable, sublicenseable, fully paid up and royalty-free right to us to copy, prepare derivative works of, improve, distribute, publish, remove, retain, add, process, analyze, use and commercialize, in any way now known or in the future discovered, any information you provide, directly or indirectly to LinkedIn, including but not limited to any user generated content, ideas, concepts, techniques or data to the services, you submit to LinkedIn, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or to any third parties.”
    • Questions?
    • Slides will be available at:
    • Elizabeth C. Lewis, Esq.
      Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.