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Online Marketing Law for Small Businesses
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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.

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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  • 1. Avoiding Legal Pitfalls of Advertising Online
    Elizabeth C. Lewis
    © Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.
  • 2. Online Marketing
    Privately owned websites
    Public websites
    Email marketing
    Social media sites
    Text messaging
    Mobile communications
  • 3. Govt. Agencies Affecting Online Marketing
    Federal Trade Commission
    Federal Communications Commission
    Securities Exchange Commission
    Also - State Governments
  • 4. Laws Affecting Online Marketing
    Telecommunications Act
    Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
    Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule
    Lending Rules
    Truth in Advertising
    Industry Specific Rules
    Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
    Colorado Rules of Professional Ethics
  • 5. General Principles
    Copyright law
    Trademark law
    Trade secret law
    Employment law
    Tort law
  • 6. Tonight’s Roadmap
    Website Text
    FTC Endorsement Rules
    Recent Rulings in SEO marketing
    CAN SPAM Act
  • 7. Website Legalize
    Terms of Use
    Privacy Policy
    Copyright Policy
    Industry Specific
  • 8. 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
  • 9. 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
  • 10. 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
  • 11. Industry Specific Texts
    Red Flag Rules if you extend credit
    Software license agreements
    SEC information
    Attorneys, financial institutions, etc
  • 12. FTC Endorsement Rules
    Rules were released in October of 2009 regarding paid endorsements
    15 US §45
    Affects bloggers, employees, employers, family members
  • 13. 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
  • 14. What Can I Say?
    Must be honest
    Must not say anything advertiser can’t
    Must disclose relationship
  • 15. Endorsements
    Both endorser and endorsee can be held responsible if relationship not disclosed
    Action is brought by the FTC
    No right of private action
  • 16. 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
  • 17. CAN SPAM Act
    Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing
    Passed in 2003
    Applies to commercial and transactional email
  • 18. Applicable Emails
    Commercial mail – primarily promoting service or product
    Transactional mail - primarily to inform existing client of something dealing with past or current transactions
  • 19. 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
  • 20. 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
  • 21. 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
  • 22. 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?
  • 23. 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
  • 24. 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.”
  • 25. Questions?
  • 26. Slides will be available at:
  • 27. Elizabeth C. Lewis, Esq.
    Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C.