Legal Question in Technology Law in California

Hi,

I am starting an online classified ad web site. The idea is to keep the ads free and eventually if I can make it grow sell banner ads (similar to craigslist, except they charge for job listings). What should be my main concerns in terms of covering myself from the liability stand point? My worst fear is someone getting ripped off or hurt from an ad posted on my web site. I would like to limit my liabilities. I know I need to have the "Use of Terms" and "privacy policy" pages clearly laid out. How would I get those and what other protective measures should I implement on my site? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Asked on 2/06/10, 7:53 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Daniel Bakondi The Law Office of Daniel Bakondi
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A couple of things you might consider are having an attorney write a good agreement and disclaimer (instead of just copying one from another website that doesnt apply to you) and forming a separate entity, and maybe getting business insurance. Let me know if you want help.

Best,

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2/11/10, 8:08 am
Gordon Firemark Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark
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Hire an attorney to help you. Don't just copy another site's terms of service and privacy policy. If you're sick, you go to a doctor, right? You don't just take your friend's medicine and hope for the best.

Consider getting some insurance to cover potential liability, and make sure that the advertisers on the site have to do a click-through agreement for EACH ad. The agreement should provide for various warranties and an indemnity.

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2/11/10, 11:42 am
Cathy Cowin Law Offices of Cathy Cowin
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Your post contains a number of very good questions that are too lengthy and complicated to respond to adequately in this forum. I have experience in these areas and would be pleased to speak with you further. What risk reduction strategies we might consider would be based on specifics about your website design. By way of example, you may want to consider a clause in your user agreement that permits you sole discretion to block abusers or remove postings. Additionally, you may want some language indicating that you do not take responsibility for the content of posts or links going to third party sites.

(1) This post is intended only concerning California legal matters. We are licensed in the State of California. Laws in other states may vary in a substantial manner from laws within California. (2) Nothing in this post is intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The Law Offices of Cathy Cowin specifically requires a conflict check and written letter of engagement before an attorney-client relationship is formed. (3) Nothing in this response is intended to constitute legal advice. Materials posted are for general education only and are not guaranteed for updating accuracy or applicability to your facts and circumstances. For specific legal advice, please make an appointment.

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2/11/10, 11:48 am
James Bame San Diego Law Office
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A terms or service agreement and disclaimer should be drafted for your particular site for a reasonable fee. Contact me directly.

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2/11/10, 2:04 pm

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