The Seven Most Common Mistakes When Doing Business Online
Tonight’s Content• The seven most common mistakes when doing business online.• Some practical solutions.• Some useful resources.
The Facts• 39 per cent of businesses now have an online presence.• Tendency to overlook legal issues in the online environment.• Failure to comply with changing legal rules could be fatal to your business.
Mistake 1: Copyright infringement• What is copyright? – Copyright protects original expressions of ideas and not the ideas themselves.• What is copyright infringement? – Copyright infringement takes place where another party does an act which infringes the exclusive rights of a copyright owner.
Mistake 1: Copyright infringement• Examples of copyright infringement: – Unauthorised reproduction of text and images. – Unauthorised reproduction of website legal documents!• Solution: Use your own material or obtain a licence to use another person’s material.
Mistake 2: Trade Marks• What is a trade mark? – Sign, shape, symbol, label, letter, word, slogan, scent, sound, colour, aspect of packaging or a combination of any of these.• What is trade mark infringement? – Where a person uses a trade mark that is substantially identical with, or deceptively similar to, a trade mark owned by another person.
Mistake 2: Trade Marks• Examples of trade mark infringement: – Unauthorised display of third party logos. – Unauthorised use of a trade mark in a domain name or Google Adwords campaign.• Solution: Obtain consent to use a third party trade mark.• eBook: http://www.podlegal.com.au/downloads/eb ook-trademarks.pdf
Mistake 3: Deceptive Trade Practices• Consumer protection laws such as the Competition and Consumer Act.• Examples of deceptive trade practices: – Leading consumers to believe that an association or affiliation with another trader exists when it doesn’t. – False testimonials (Wheeler: $6,600 fine). • Article: www.podlegal.com.au/article-walking-the- talk.php• Solution: Don’t mislead or deceive!
Mistake 4: Breach of Privacy• When collecting information about a person, that person has a right to know: – that the information is being collected; – how the information will be stored; – how the information will be used; and – under what circumstances the information may be disclosed.
Mistake 5: Use of a Competitor’s TradeMark in your Google AdWords Campaign.
Mistake 5: Google AdWords• What are Google AdWords? – It’s a form of pay per click (PPC) advertising.• Using a competitor’s trade mark in your Google AdWords campaign may amount to: – misleading or deceptive conduct; – trade mark infringement; and/or – passing off.
Mistake 5: Google AdWords• Solution: Do not use a competitor’s trade mark in your pay per click advertising campaigns.• Article: http://www.podlegal.com.au/article- tm-google-adwords.php
Mistake 6: Violation of Spam Laws• What is spam? – An electronic message that contains an invitation to do business and that has been sent without the consent of a recipient.• Big penalties apply: – $5.5m in 2006 (213m emails) • Use of address harvesting software and no recipient consent. – $15m in 2009 (re SMS) • No recipient consent.
Mistake 6: Violation of Spam Laws• How to comply with the Spam Act: 1. Obtain recipient consent prior to sending; 2. Identify your business as the sender; and 3. Provide a functional unsubscribe facility.• Solution: Comply with the Spam Act and display a Spam Statement on your website.• Article: http://www.podlegal.com.au/article-spam.php
Mistake 7:Overlooking Legal Aspects of Social Media
Mistake 7: Social Media• Social media is just another medium for publishing information and communications.• Legal rules also apply to conduct relating to social media.• Examples of the dangers of social media: – Comments via Facebook re an employer resulted in termination of employment (The Good Guys). – Posts via Twitter re Bindy Irwin resulted in termination of employment (The Age Newspaper).
Mistake 7: Social Media• Solution: Don’t overlook legal issues associated with social media.• Articles: – http://www.podlegal.com.au/article-social-media- twits.php – http://www.podlegal.com.au/article-defamation- online.php – http://www.podlegal.com.au/article-facebook- promotions.php
Overall Solutions• The benefits of legal documentation: – Those engaging with you to do business online are made aware of laws and policy regarding your website and/or Facebook page. – Disputes resolved more efficiently and favourably. – Liability associated with your website and/or Facebook page will be limited.
Interesting fact• Nine out of ten business websites are not legally compliant… is yours?• Website Legal Audit: See your ‘Pod Pack’.• Always identify and assess risk.
Take Action Now• To reduce legal risk associated with your online business practices, you should: – consult an Internet/IT Lawyer (not a Property or Family Lawyer) to review your online business practices; – ensure that you display legal documentation, specific to your online business practices; and – not assume that all will be ok because you are doing business in the online environment.
Take Action Now• Article: http://www.podlegal.com.au/article-online- business-risk.php• eBook: http://www.podlegal.com.au/downloads/ebook- your-website.pdf