12 eCommerce Legal Issues to Consider in Operating an Online Business

The following article provides a high-level summary of some key eCommerce law issues online business operators face in running a website or other eCommerce business. Conducting business online or maintaining a website may subject companies and individuals to unforeseen legal liabilities. The following is a brief survey of 12 key eCommerce law issues to consider:

1. Internet Business & eCommerce

A good starting point is analyzing a company’s online presence and auditing their procedures to determine how to grow their brand and online influence. As part of this, the company’s agreements and websites should comply with the myriad of laws and regulations affecting websites and online businesses, such as COPPA.

2. Domain Name Acquisition

Domains are often the key to an online business, but can present a number of problems. Domain name issues include securing a domain name initially, as well as protecting domain names from adverse parties that attempt to trade off the goodwill associated with the company’s brand. Sometimes, the company needs defense, retrieval, and protection of domain names on the Internet.

3. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) Compliance

Companies operating websites, particularly where third-party content may be uploaded directly, should consider adopting agreements and procedures to shield themselves against claims of liability and copyright infringement. This procedure is sometimes referred to as a “copyright policy” or “DMCA takedown” procedure. Compliance with the DMCA can provide the online operator with a safe harbor from liability.

4. Online Privacy

Online privacy continues to become a bigger issue. With the spread of mobile devices, tablets, and apps, privacy issues are becoming more complex. Companies should consider composing or updating their privacy policies as well as adopting internal security protocols aimed at protecting the online privacy of customers and website users.

5. Social Media Law

While a powerful vehicle to build brand strength and interact with customers, social media can create a number of legal issues for online businesses. A social media policy provided to employees as well as guidelines can be effective steps to reduce risk. A few key areas to consider are employment related use of social media, confidentiality, sponsorship, and branding guidelines.

6. Privacy Policies

Privacy policies should not be copied from online templates or rival companies. They should be drafted comprehensively to address unique issues of a specific online business and to accommodate future growth. Whether a company looks to collect analytics or more personalized information, the company should focus on its specific business needs and risk factors. Privacy policies should be updated as a business evolves.

7. Terms of Use Agreements

Terms of Use (TOU) agreements can limit liability for companies that maintain an Internet presence. These agreements should be optimized to address a company’s specific business and should not be simply cut and pasted from the Internet. What works for one company may not work for another company.

8. eCommerce Agreements

eCommerce agreements come in many forms such as licensing, advertising agreements, and payment processor agreements. eCommerce agreements should be drafted to address the primary legal risks involved in a particular eCommerce contract or business transaction.

9. Online Sweepstakes & Games

Online sweepstakes, contests, and games create a number of legal pitfalls. Depending on the sweepstake, contest, or game, compliance with the laws of all 50 states as well as the federal government may be required. Registration in specific states may also be required. Online businesses may benefit from guidance as to whether a particular new initiative is considered a sweepstake, contest, or game.

10. Domain Theft

Recovering hijacked domains can often be difficult and time-consuming. Typically, avoiding domain theft in the first place is much easier than attempting to recover a stolen domain. While difficult, it is possible to recover a hijacked domain.

11. Website Agreements

Website agreements can be customized to limit legal liability and reduce risks of disputes by analyzing an online business’s intellectual property portfolio, business processes, and brand objectives. Website agreements can be used for mobile applications in addition to websites.

12. Impersonation and Username Squatting

Impersonation and username squatting can occur when a third party registers a social media account using someone else’s identity. This can result in harmful posts and information being published in social media. Username squatting can also prevent a trademark or brand owner from controlling their trademark. Typically, registering usernames in advance is the best strategy to avoid impersonation or username squatting.

Home Based Business Marketing – The Truth About Duplication

Recent conversations regarding the theory of replication and home based business marketing strategies sparked this article. I need to start by genuinely asking the argument of whether or not we should be chasing duplication at all. Moreover, what will we be duplicating?

For years in my business the idea of a duplicable home based business marketing strategy was shoved down my throat and infused within my thinking. I didn’t just accept this idea of using one system that anyone pursued, but I taught the notion to everyone I worked with. Then things changed for me that literally transformed how I understand home based business marketing.

Do not misunderstand, I definitely acknowledge that individuals and businesses crave systems. Succeeding is more challenging if you do not have a process to follow. Let’s face it, individuals need specific direction. New home business owners need a 1,2,3 kind of system. You have to ask yourself what your home based business marketing system is in fact yielding or replicating. Additionally, is your system really duplicating at all?

In order to answer this question, we initially have to describe duplication within the conditions of the home based business marketing field. The average home business owner views replication as the primary goal. Expressly, when we have enough individuals duplicating our business system, we may sit back, enjoy, and observe as the checks keep rolling in. This type of belief is actually buying into the myth of duplication. Allow me to demonstrate.

We start with the hope that one by one or two by two we will add others to our sales force who will follow and copy our home based business marketing strategy. We think that the majority of people will get comparable results to our own, before long momentum is achieved and we will be duplicating in masses. In due season though, real life slaps us in the face as the accomplishment of true replication isn’t as easy as we anticipated. This is where the light bulb was turned on for me and altered my rationale concerning duplication.

After 8 years of working my business persistently, I recognized that even though we had assembled a healthy business, we were still stuck in the same situation as when we began. Yes, I was making a lot more money than when I first started my business and had some pretty awesome perks; yet, I hadn’t secured the degree of viral duplication that everyone talks about. Hence I started studying home based business marketing programs.

I found that replication is a myth in the home business world. This might rattle your chain a bit; yet, I wish to rouse your beliefs. Fairly ask and assess what the statistics are in your business regarding overall duplication and real people seeing real results? For a fair assessment you need to examine more than the handful of individuals who may be having direct or singular results. The question is how many individuals are able to realize true reproduction in depth in your business?

Earnestly assess your business and ask:

Has your team grown apart from your personal contact? Fundamentally this indicates that you regularly have team members that you have never met who are generating ample numbers without you.

Would you be able to completely remove yourself and your personal resources (your closing calls, webinars, training, etc.) from the arrangement and have your team persist to multiply?
Is your team creating multiple legacy type businesses to the point where they could not be swayed to move to another company?

Could you walk away from your business and travel the world for an entire year without affecting your income?

Most people are answering these questions with a negative response. If you are answering yes to all of the above, either you are out of touch with reality OR you hold a superior home based business marketing formula that understands that true replication can’t be achieved with one limited home based business marketing system.

The reason so many people struggle to duplicate their home based business marketing lies in this answer. A simple system designed to be mass replicated does not exist. Why? Let’s get back to my light bulb moment.

After eight years of employing a duplicable home based business marketing plan, I was still doing the same things I was doing whenever I began working my career. Until I reprogrammed my beliefs and reprogrammed my strategies, I would continue doing the same things always. We are simply human. Each of us are different and bring to the table a different skill, talent, gift, personality, and perspective. Buying into an idea where a single home based business marketing plan will essentially clone your results is insanity.

I was executing the identical tasks repeatedly because I wasn’t offering options, strategies, and home based business marketing methods that would function for different individuals. I was wrongfully believing that anyone could be altered and adapted to fit the plan, rather than tailoring the system for dissimilarity. An eye opening lesson it was.

Duplication is a myth considering nobody may duplicate you. Nobody will do exactly what you do and get the exact same results. Until you discount the idea of mass duplication and adjust your home based business marketing system, you will make the same mistakes I made and continually reconstruct your team searching for team members just like you!

The Opportunity That Awaits With Mobile Business Solutions

Improved technology and telecommunications have enabled people to stay connected and also transact business from wherever they are. It is common to have access to emails, be able to open web pages and even conduct meetings using the telephone. The world of mobile technology and its applications have enabled so much that this is clearly the avenue where significant focus lies.

People are today more dependent on their mobile phones, which is among the main reasons why there is so much being made available to them. The option of surfing and researching the internet is something that is being exploited and worked upon tremendously.

Mobile business solutions enable users to not just look at and respond to emails, but also search and connect through various sites on the internet. For this to be made possible, there are two ends which must be in consonance with one another.

To start off with, it is important that the telephone have the ability to surf and register sites widely. Apart from this, the site must also be designed in such a way that it can be opened and used by mobile phones optimally.
The process is not very complex, and relies heavily on common sense. To begin with, the text must be minimal and to the point. No matter how large the screen of the phone may be, it cannot compare with the size of a computer screen, and too much strain may cause disinterest in the user. Therefore, using essential content, and accompanying it with visuals is certain to help. It is also preferable that you use standard fonts in a fair font size to reduce the strain.

Site navigation must be made easy so that people using mobile phones may also get through them without difficulty. Ease in navigation and use is a clear edge that your site can score on. When you use pictures, ensure that the images are in a format which can be opened and viewed on mobile phones as well. Avoid the use of either very dark or very light backgrounds as they might not e clearly visible on the phone. Also try and use pictures which have a good resolution.

A few simple pointers can enable you to make much more money through mobile business solutions. This is certainly the anthem of the present, and a permanent feature of the future, and it is best to keep with the times.

Using Custom Printed Products So As to Build Your Small Business

Starting a business is one of the hardest times that anyone can go through. This is especially true when you have never tried it before. As such, you need to market your brand and take it out there so that people can know who you are and the products that you are dealing in.

There are many ways in which you can reach your target audience. Making people aware of your goods and services is one of hardest things today in today’s world. However, there are many means in which you can apply so as to sensitize people about your brand.

One method that is widely used today is having custom printed products. There are different types of products that you can go for in this case. You can use car air fresheners, tote bags, disposable coffee cups and even key chains. In this article, we will focus on tote bags and disposable coffee cups.

Custom tote bags

These are ideal for all manner of activities. They can be used for grocery shopping or even collecting materials at trade shows. These bags have got a great branding power that you should take advantage of.

One of the things that have made the tote bags so famous is due to the fact that they are eco-friendly as compared to the plastic options. The bags serve so many purposes. When you distribute the custom tote bags, you are advertising your brand in a very inexpensive way. This is because the bags will be seen wherever the bearer goes thereby creating awareness.

Many companies hand out these kinds of bags at retail outlets, trade fairs and other such areas. As such, advertising is taken to a whole new level reaching far and wide.

There are so many colors, size, and style options that you can settle for when you are creating your bags. This means that you can come up with something that people will easily associate with your brand. So as to do it right, consider the material, the size, and the features.

Disposable coffee cups

This is yet another way in which you can build up your small business. While there has been a lot of debate about the use of disposable coffee cups, it still remains one of the most ideal way in which you can sell your brand. Most of us cannot go a day without several cups of coffee and therefore there is no better way to reach your target audience than to use coffee cups.

Due to the eco-friendly campaigns, there are disposable paper coffee cups that have been created. With these, you can do a custom print of your brand so that people may be sensitized about your services and products.

Coffee cups come in different sizes. You can also choose the kind of color that you want on your cups so that people can associate you with it. This is a very common trend today and it seems to be very effective.