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Websites and the Law

Is your company/client website legal? This report deals with all the practical legal issues which arise with websites - both those sites which sell goods or services and those which advertise.



This Report aims to provide the reader with a full description of the areas of law which apply to websites. It summarises the main legislation and provides practical guidance on how to ensure your website is legally compliant.

“Most companies in the UK have a website. Many do not follow the legislation.”

You cannot afford to be one of them. Laws and regulations are being added all the time and the risk of non-compliance is growing with them. Many of the legal rules stem from the EU, from those governing distance learning to e-commerce and data protection.

Did you know, for example, that if you wanted to set up a new website, the legislation you need to comply with is strewn across at least 10 different directives or regulations?

This fully updated and expanded Report deals with all the practical legal issues that arise with websites, both those sites that sell goods or services and those which advertise. It includes new information on internet selling and the pitfalls and risks that surround that area. This expert Report will ensure that you are aware of everything you need to do to comply with the law. Be clear about your legal responsibilities, understand what your obligations are, be aware of the traps and pitfalls and avoid the costly penalties.

This expert Report will ensure that you can rest secure that you are doing everything you need to do to comply with the law:

  • Be clear about your legal responsibilities
  • Understand what your obligations are
  • Be aware of the traps and pitfalls
  • Avoid penalties

Who will benefit from this Report

  • In-House Lawyers
  • IT Managers
  • IT Advisers and Consultants
  • Private Practice Legal Advisers
  • Web and Software designers
  • Compliance Officers


1 Introduction to setting up a website

  • Your employment contract
  • Blogs
  • Commissioning a website or designs for your site
  • Copyright ownership issues
  • Timing
  • Principal laws to consider
  • Computer viruses
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
  • FAST and BSA
  • Pirated software

2 Domain names and trade marks

  • Summary
  • International trade mark disputes
  • Legal notices
  • Uniform Dispute Resolution Procedure
  • Cybersquatters
  • Resolving disputes
  • Metatags and search engines and trade marks
  • International trade mark issues
  • Parallel imports and exhaustion of rights
  • Further information

3 Advertising and copyright

  • Summary
  • Advertising agencies
  • Running a competition
  • Points schemes
  • Partnerships and alliances
  • Offering warranties
  • Linking and the law
  • Copyright notices and intellectual property
  • Example copyright notice
  • Confidentiality
  • Codes of Practice
  • Further information

4 Selling from a website

  • Summary
  • Making the terms stick
  • Distance selling regulations
  • Exclusions
  • Rights
  • Delivery in 30 days
  • Action for companies
  • Credit card transactions
  • Security
  • The electronic commerce regulations
  • Electronic contracting
  • Rescinding contracts
  • Further information

5 Personal data and websites

  • Summary
  • Notification
  • The data protection principles
  • Subject access
  • Opting in and out
  • Glossary of terms
  • Exporting data
  • Breaching the law
  • Example of a privacy policy
  • Further information
  • B2B telemarketing guidance published

6 Disability access to websites

  • Summary
  • ‘Reasonable adjustments’?
  • RNIB recommendations
  • Compliance
  • The W3C standard
  • DRC investigation
  • Further information

Appendices include:

Appendix 1:
  • Websites and the internet – FAQs of the information commissioner
Apeendix 2:
  • Complying with the E-commerce Regulations 2002
  • Introduction
  • New information requirements
  • Information requirements
  • Commercial communications
  • Electronic contracting
  • Limited liability for service providers
  • Other sources of information
Appendix 3:
  • Monitoring at work
  • Guidance for small businesses
Appendix 4:
  • Extract from the Information Commissioner’s Data Protection Code of Practice – Monitoring at Work Good Practice Recommendations V1.0.29

The author

Susan Singleton is described by Chambers and Partners Legal Directory as one of the leading UK IT lawyers. Her firm Singletons specialises in Internet/ IT and E-commerce law, competition law, intellectual property law and general commercial law.

She is author of over 30 law books on topics such as Internet and e-commerce law, competition law, commercial agency law, data protection legislation and intellectual property, and writes 15 legal articles a month. She is a frequent speaker in the intellectual property, competition and commercial law fields, both in the UK and abroad.

Susan is on the Committee of the Competition Law Association, is a member of the Licensing Executives Society (EC/Laws Committee) and serves on the Legal Committee of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) and is a member of the Society of Computers and Law and The Intellectual Property Lawyers’ Organization (TIPLO).

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