Legal Question in Technology Law in California


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.


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

4 Answers from Attorneys

Daniel Bakondi The Law Office of Daniel Bakondi

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.


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Answered on 2/11/10, 8:08 am

Gordon Firemark Law Offices of Gordon P. Firemark

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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Answered on 2/11/10, 11:42 am
Cathy Cowin Law Offices of Cathy Cowin

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.

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Answered on 2/11/10, 11:48 am
James Bame San Diego Law Office

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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Answered on 2/11/10, 2:04 pm

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