Internet Law for Websites
Web Site Policies
The Refund Policy & Warranty Provisions
Many U.S. states and teritorries require that businesses establish a refund policy and/or a warranty policy as well as a way of notifying consumers of the terms of such policies. For example, if a business provides a refund within thirty (30) days, then such language should be posted for a site that provides online sales. And, at the very least, if a consumer inquires as to what the refund policy consists of, a web site owner must timely inform that consumer via e-mail or another communication method, typically within five to seven (5-7) days of such a query.
The Copyright Notice
While not required under U.S. copyright law, posting a copyright notice on a web site may reduce the likelihood of another plagiarizing web site content, may increase the amount of damages a copyright owner is entitled to if someone infringed, and may protect the business’ interests in jurisdictions that are not signatories to the Berne Convention.
To the extent that any copyright notice is required, notification should include:
Copyright [date] by [name]
Notifications may substitute the “c” in a circle © instead of the word “copyright”.
If a web site receives uploaded content by others, has message boards, a guestbook, a chat area, or any other place that a visitor could, without the consent of the business, post potential copyrighted material, the business may get protection under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) by registering with the U.S. Copyright Office and designating a registered agent for DMCA notification. Each business should consult with an attorney or with the U.S. Copyright Office to understand what this involves before registering an agent.
Last Modified: December 5th, 2009