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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I don't have an access to a lawyer but I notice that every website has the privacy statement, legal disclosure or terms of service. Anyone know a generic template or software that can make these? How do you approach them, where did you get them?
Sunday, September 12, 2004
A competitor's site took a privacy statement I wrote, quick search and replace and uploaded that.
Although http://www.out-law.com is British (and Hong Kong?) based, it has a lot of good info about legal things (and a lot of its news articles are often US, especially Californian - I presume because it's delivering legal news affecting "governing" the internet)
If you want to suprise and delight your customers, consider writing your own. Unless it's a IP licensing contract for sensitive data, in which case it shouldn't be on your site any way it should be something that is actually signed.
Write your statement in plain english and make it short. Longwinded legalese actually is a poor legal strategy because the more words you include the more likely you are to have screwed up somewhere and left a gaping loophole.
I don't do web business with any company that has a legal agreement they expect me to agree to which would require me to pay my attorney to inspect in order to find out what it says. And neither should anyone. It's foolish to agree to stuff you don't understand. You can get majornly screwed over and have no one to blame but yourself.
For example, anyone using ebay, given their terms of service, is a fool.
Monday, September 13, 2004
I'm going to disagree with the previous posts. You should definitely get legal counsel to help draft these documents. Lawyers don’t write software, and programmers don’t write (effective) legal documents.
We have legal representation helping us with
- IP releases for vendors and employees
- Trademarking: US, EU, and Canada
- Sales contract/EULA
- Support agreement: product support, training, and upgrades
- Beta testing & NDA agreements
Using generic documents copied from the web are potentially not legally binding and will negatively affect your company's ability to get funding from VC/banks as well as its ultimate resale value.
Yes lawyers are expensive. Our primary bills out at $250US/hr, the paralegals are at $110/hr. Consider it an investment in your company's future. Clear IP ownership by a company is a HUGE corporate asset.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Nolo.com has a lot of good and inexpensive legal resources for small businesses.
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
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