Is Your Online Business Internet Law Compliant?

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Is Your Online Business Internet Law Compliant?

This article concerns your legal obligations and rights concerning the maintenance of a mailing list and in particular the sending of commercial email. It is a tricky subject. You might even think that it is something which does not affect you, but if you have seen what is currently happening on the internet, and what is going to happen in the not so distant future, then you will also know that to ignore these developments would be to put yourself at unnecessary risk.

In the United States of America, the Federal Trade Commission has already prosecuted a number of well known internet marketers for non compliance of internet law, and these actions are bound to spread worldwide.

In January 2004, the Draconian California email laws came into force which immediately started to shake up the online business community, and in early December 2003 similar laws were introduced in England and elsewhere in the European Union.

Does any of this mean anything to you so far? If it doesn’t then we’ve got news for you. Saying that you know nothing about these laws will not protect you. Just as with all other types of law, ignorance is no defence.

Here are a couple of questions to ponder:

Do you have your own website, whether personal or commercial?
Do you operate an online magazine (ezine) or mailing list?
Do you have a list of contacts that you send messages to periodically?

If you manage a website do you:

* have a Privacy Policy in place?
* have a Terms of Use document in place?
* have a Purchase Agreement in place for every item you sell (for commercial sites)?
* have an Affiliate Agreement in place (if you run an Affiliate Programme)?