Online Marketing Law for Small Businesses

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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

  1. 1. Avoiding Legal Pitfalls of Advertising Online<br />Elizabeth C. Lewis<br />© Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.<br />
  2. 2. Online Marketing<br />Privately owned websites<br />Public websites<br />Email marketing<br />Social media sites<br />Text messaging<br />Mobile communications <br />
  3. 3. Govt. Agencies Affecting Online Marketing<br />Federal Trade Commission<br />Federal Communications Commission<br />Securities Exchange Commission<br />Also - State Governments<br />
  4. 4. Laws Affecting Online Marketing<br />Telecommunications Act<br />Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act<br />Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule<br />Lending Rules<br />Truth in Advertising<br />CANSPAM Act<br />Industry Specific Rules<br />Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act<br />Colorado Rules of Professional Ethics<br />
  5. 5. General Principles<br />Copyright law<br />Trademark law<br />Trade secret law<br />Employment law<br />Tort law<br />
  6. 6. Tonight’s Roadmap<br />Website Text<br />FTC Endorsement Rules<br />Recent Rulings in SEO marketing<br />CAN SPAM Act<br />Facebook/LinkedIn<br />
  7. 7. Website Legalize<br />Terms of Use<br />Privacy Policy<br />Copyright Policy<br />Industry Specific<br />
  8. 8. Terms of Use<br />Covers the use of the website by users<br />Covers issues like jurisdiction, venue, uptime, etc<br />May include language regarding sales on the site<br />May include language regarding user conduct on site<br />
  9. 9. Privacy Policies<br />Covers what the website owner does with the information gained from users<br />Should state if any third party applications are used through website (i.e. PayPal)<br />Should cover information gained through weblogs<br />
  10. 10. Copyright Policies<br />DMCA requires that you have information about who to contact to remove infringing materials<br />Should have designated agent<br />In some cases need to have website registration form with copyright office<br />
  11. 11. Industry Specific Texts<br />Red Flag Rules if you extend credit<br />Software license agreements<br />SEC information<br />Attorneys, financial institutions, etc<br />
  12. 12. FTC Endorsement Rules<br />Rules were released in October of 2009 regarding paid endorsements<br />15 US §45<br />Affects bloggers, employees, employers, family members<br />
  13. 13. What is an Endorsement?<br />Endorsement – any act in which a person is likely to believe the information is coming from someone other than the sponsoring advertiser<br />Covers<br />Paid advertisements<br />Free products<br />Employees/material connections<br />
  14. 14. What Can I Say?<br />Endorsements<br />Must be honest<br />Must not say anything advertiser can’t<br />Must disclose relationship<br />
  15. 15. Endorsements<br />Both endorser and endorsee can be held responsible if relationship not disclosed<br />Action is brought by the FTC<br />No right of private action<br />
  16. 16. Adwords<br />Lanham Act – regulates trademarks<br />Current status<br />European Court of Justice said okay for competitors to bid on competitors’ names in March<br />US court say adwords can contain competitors’ names<br />Rosetta Stone case is still pending<br />
  17. 17. CAN SPAM Act<br />Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing<br />Passed in 2003<br />Applies to commercial and transactional email<br />
  18. 18. Applicable Emails<br />Commercial mail – primarily promoting service or product<br />Transactional mail - primarily to inform existing client of something dealing with past or current transactions<br />
  19. 19. What You Can’t Do! <br />Deceptive email headers<br />Deceptive subject lines<br />Not give opt-out<br />Make multiple accounts to send email<br />Send fraudulent, obscene, or child porn<br />
  20. 20. What You Can Do! <br />Email people without permission (as long as not dictionary style list)<br />Send multiple emails until someone opts out<br />Send commercial email<br />
  21. 21. Enforcement of CAN SPAM<br />Civil penalty of up to 16k per email<br />Criminal convictions for<br />Email harvesting<br />Randomly generating receipents<br />False info<br />Fraudulent, pornographic emails<br />
  22. 22. Best Practices<br />Although it may be legal, ask:<br />When do you add people?<br />Do you want to be added without permission?<br />Do you give way to opt-out before adding them?<br />
  23. 23. Facebook<br />Terms of Use<br />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.<br />Profile page must be a real person<br />Cannot collect information about others without permission and policy in place<br />
  24. 24. LinkedIn<br />“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.”<br />
  25. 25. Questions?<br />
  26. 26. Slides will be available at:<br />www.eclewis.com/wordpress<br />
  27. 27. Elizabeth C. Lewis, Esq.<br />Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.<br />720-530-3405<br />Elizabeth.Lewis@eclewis.com<br />www.facebook.com/legalsolutions<br />www.twitter.com/eclewis<br />
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